The art of architecture

July 13, 2016

Tony Harmieson, managing director of Sadler Brown Architecture, reflects on why passion and legacy building – not necessarily budget – make good design

Architecture has to take in not only the effective look and design of a building, but also its construction, cost and end-of-use purpose.

But often the desired use of a building and how this can be achieved within budget is forgotten at the early stages of a development.

Sadler Brown Architecture is one of the region’s proponents of outstanding design being achievable for the many, rather than being reserved for the wealthy.

We design with passion and with a thought to the future, looking at how a building will be required today but also how it will be required in years to come. An architect’s passion must remain in a design but a truly talented designer can create something iconic on even a very limited budget.

Money should therefore inevitably play a paradoxical role in the creation of architecture. Formless itself, money is a fundamental catalyst, and architecture is a product of what can be achieved within a client’s budget. At Sadler Brown, we often find that placing the financial boundaries centrally within a project can help the design as well as helping ignite the passion for creating something truly ‘outstanding’.

I am a firm believer that with well-considered bespoke ideas, investing in architecture can grow your wealth, and also protect it for future generations.

Through the creation of iconic and award-winning architecture for numerous rurally based clients, Sadler Brown has achieved just that.

Having already appeared on Channel 4’s Grand Designs once, the practice has again started filming for its second appearance on the show this summer. The episode will include one of the practice’s current Paragraph 55 home designs.

Paragraph 55 homes (so called because they are discussed within Paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework) offer an exemption from all planning constraints for individual houses that meet specific criteria – not least that they should be architecturally outstanding.

Some of these award-winning, attention-grabbing and innovative creations can be seen throughout the British countryside from Northumberland to Devon, with each one designed to blend into its setting, using the most appropriate materials and technologies. In short, the homes must create something that gives back to their environments, surroundings and communities.

But that doesn’t mean these Paragraph 55 homes will be popping up all over, as they are extremely challenging and have to pass the most stringent of national design panels.

They are, however, raising the bar of the North East’s countryside’s landmark architectural designs.


Scroll to next article
Go to

What’s mine is yours