We work as an intimate design studio team. Andrew is always present in the design process. It is important that he works with people that he has known over a period of time. Sometimes having taught them in years past at Architecture schools or has developed mutual interests in ways of working and design. The unfolding of a design process always evolves from conversation between the Client and the design team. Clients often comment that they get something that they couldn’t have arrived at themselves. In many cases the design process brings ideas and solutions that are perhaps an unexpected outcome resulting from the consultative process.
Houlton Architects are a design led practice delivering new buildings, restoring or adapting existing structures, for both residential and commercial use. We have continued to achieve high quality innovative designs within the education sector. Notably children’s early learning facilities and school buildings for special educational needs. We are interested in various scales of design, able to deliver a diverse range of projects such as, feasibilities in urban planning, the reinvention of townhouses, to the detailed design of customised bespoke built in furniture.
Andrew Houlton first trained and practiced as an interior designer attaining Master of Arts (MA) Royal College of Art. Then subsequently qualified as an Architect. This particular journey has shaped the design process in the studio. Importance is given to observing how people use places, gaining a careful understanding of their needs, which through a process of exploration and imaginative thinking, leads to proposals in spatial structures and room environments that can benefit Client activities.
The practice has developed an approach for simple direct design in both spatial organisation and material expression of form. The built work is distinctive in its aesthetic signature. Yet designs reflect the collaborative personality of individual Clients. It is our job to discover imaginative solutions. Yet unique design can only evolve after, listening, understanding, then offering design thinking that can surprise, liberate expectations, benefit and enhance Clients activities.
Andrew Houlton MA RCA RIBA has established a reputation designing for special needs environments and primary care facilities, educational buildings for children, over a period of more than twenty years.
He has acted as a CABE enabler (Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment) advising upon Children’s Centres and Schools.
Further to Riverside School, which received an RIBA Award in 1999, the work continues to explore working with Client bodies in terms of brief development and assisting with advice for procurement, design and implementation. The practice and research is committed to offering a full design service for the Client as user and stakeholder, bringing benefits resulting from simple yet rigorous design proposals.
Previous experience was gained acting as a consultant collaborating with Greenhill Jenner Architects working on the development of educational, healthcare and community care facilities. In particular Andrew Houlton and John Jenner designed a number of nursery schools and external play areas during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. This work has continued in his own practice, focussing on community and early learning projects.
Andrew believes in the importance of continuing consultation with the people who will occupy the spaces, establishing designs that grow from detailed conversations.
His work has been published internationally.