Focus on Helen Needham: Head of Architectural design

I am pleased to introduce myself as Helen Needham, Head of Oakwrights Architectural design team. 

I am originally from a farming background in Lincolnshire and went to Brighton University gaining a BA (Hons) degree and Postgraduate Diplomas in Architecture, Management, Practice, and Law, with RIBA Parts 1 to 3.  Prior to joining Oakwrights, I worked for practices in Lincolnshire, Devon, London, Surrey, and Sussex.  I qualified as an Architect in October 2008 and have nearly 20 years’ experience.  My passion is to design; I have acted as the Project Architect for many great developments and have enjoyed working through all stages, from meeting a client to handing over the keys and aftercare.

A passion for design & architecture

I have mainly focused upon residential schemes of private houses and flats, although I have worked on commercial and listed buildings, including churches.  I have also had the lovely opportunity to design church chandeliers, a Scout tee pee, swimming pools, Devon cob and local Lincolnshire ‘mud and stud’.  I like to hand draw, particularly in the early concept development and Planning stages, and I also use AutoCAD, Photoshop, and SketchUp.  I love meeting our clients from the very beginning of a project, listening to them, getting to know their likes and dislikes and visiting their site to gain design inspiration; this drives the design process throughout.  A strong concept alongside a good vision for space and colour, backed up with a technical ability to build the proposals is a fundamental formula; working closely with all members of the design team is also essential and has given me a strong foundation.

I consider my design style and philosophy compliments oak framing.  It is wonderful to design the beautiful spaces that are possible to create with oak frames. It is extremely exciting to see them built on site.  I love that the oak is tangible, natural and sustainable, creating a clean living environment, and it has longevity.  The beauty of design is such that it is a never-ending process and is continually evolving.  We embrace all challenges with the goal and commitment to the production of a quality design.  We also want to ensure a great service to our clients with good communication being key.

Previous experience:

  • RDjW Architects Ltd. Nov 2010 – Apr 2015.
  • Glew Mackintosh Smith Architecture. Oct 2014 – Apr 2015.
  • Wolff Architects. May 2010 – Sept 2010.
  • Robert Seymour & Associates. Nov 2009 – May 2010.
  • Glew & Smith: Jun ‘08 – Nov ‘09.
  • David Glew: Aug 2007 – Jun 2008.
  • Tomei & Mackley Architects. Nov 2005 – Apr 2007.
  • David Ashton-Hill Architects. Jun 2005 – Sept 2005.
  • David Glew: Architect and Surveyor. Aug 2003 – Sept 2004.
  • University of Lincoln Architects: Jun 2002 – Sept 2002.

To book a design consultation with Helen get in touch by calling 01432 353 353 or by emailing enquiries@oakwrights.co.uk

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