Truly Inspirational – Architectural Excellence

Over the following months Countrydad will be following the amazing work of Alex and the team at Guy Holloway Architects

In everyone’s career, I’m sure there’s point when we all analyse and question what we do. Has there been a time when you’ve thought ” I wish I was a doctor, vet or a lawyer”? There must have been a job that you would have loved to have done?

This weekend, my family and I travelled down, passed the big smoke, to Kent to stay with some great friends. During the carnage of baby vomit we got chatting about houses and the fact that we were looking for a new one but couldn’t find what we wanted within budget.


“Why not find a plot and build, or even an old wreck?” This coming from Alex, the Architect, who’s house was a wreck and is now a beautiful home.

“I love the thought of doing a project but it scares me to death, plus, I’m nervous of over-spending!”

This conversation was swiftly followed by an hour trawling through Rightmove, which sadly still didn’t give us any inspiration.

Back to the question; “What job would you do if you could do it all again?” 

Alex then showed us what he does at Guy Holloway Architects. Looking through projects the company has produced and future plans in the pipeline, we were blown away. This is not your bog standard build a house type situation. This is life changing, mind blowing design and the end results are amazing. Everything they strive to design is contemporary and contextual, with a story behind it. These are passionate people!


“I want to be an Architect!” 

Listening to Alex talk about his work was truly inspiring. Being talked through the clients, the job and the end result was fascinating. What really topped it off for me was listening to his very sweet daughter on the way back from swimming saying, “Is that one of your buildings Daddy?” Driving through a local city we spotted completed projects and other projects currently under construction. How amazing to be able to say to your child that you designed that building!


As a final treat before heading home, I was lucky enough to see a completed residential project. This was a special one as well.


A four year live-in project showing the definition of perfection. Not surprisingly this home has been shortlisted for the RIBA Award. – “For 50 years the RIBA awards and prizes for buildings have championed and celebrated the best architecture in the UK and around the world, no matter the form, size or budget. Microsoft is the RIBA Awards Exclusive Technology Partner.


The owner spent time making sure that every part of this house was designed, placed and built in the exact way he intended. A countryside dwelling that from the front was a modest quintessential cottage, but behind and inside was a modern masterpiece.


There were so many parts that I simply loved. Using the original brick work inside to surround a monster wood-burning stove which warmed up a cosy TV room. The best part about this room was so simple. “Sit there for second. Imagine you have the TV on watching the cricket or Wimbledon.” The front door opened directly in line with your seat, where you were faced with a hedge lined central walkway through a beautiful country garden. Something so simple that so many wouldn’t have thought of.


The master bathroom was my next favourite part showing, again, flawless design. What topped it was the view. All the glass sides with panoramic views of a flat-roofed garden matching the colours of the barn roof to your right, a wonderful lit swimming pool and then a mirrored pool shed. “People could see in” you say… Just hit a button and windows smoke up so you can have complete privacy. Very James Bond and so cool!


To the right of the property was a black barn. Something about this caught my eye. The roofline seemed to gravitate towards the main cottage in the shape of a sports car. To the eye it was wonderful and subtle.

Every little detail has fours years of thought behind it. The chairs lining the polished concrete table match the colours of a Damian Hurst painting in the snug.

I’m not a designer, I don’t live in such luxury but my God, what I would give to have the imagination to turn an olde worlde cottage into an architectural masterpiece.

@ Guy Holloway Architects





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