Award winning architect Stan Bolt is considered by some to have changed the face of contemporary, cutting-edge self-build. We look at his practice and several of his designs that have featured in the pages of H&R.

Stan Bolt established his multi-awardwinning architectural practice exactly 15 years ago and since then his team has created some of the best contemporary individually designed homes in Britain. But in an age seemingly full of so-called genre-defining, über-cool – albeit slightly standoffish – architects, what really sets the practice apart is its ability to at all times remain completely down to earth, genuinely approachable and friendly, and a solid adherence to the principle of never taking an ‘all style, no substance’ attitude. As Stan himself puts it: “Our analytical and considered approach to building, rather than simply a manifesto to ‘style’ or superficial appearance has found favour with clients, planners and all those who view our work at first hand.”

And what favour it has found. Aside from featuring on the pages of H&R several times, the team’s houses have won numerous awards — in fact, a spectacular cliff-side home was the overall winner in the 2002 Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating Awards; an accolade to add to a pile that already includes several RIBA Design Awards, as well as those from Civic Trust, Arnold Sayer and Ibstock awards schemes.

But what is it about self-build that Stan Bolt himself was first so drawn to all those years ago? “The unfolding experience of selfbuild was a liberating one in that it allowed a focus from which only architectural projects which had the potential to go beyond the ordinary could lure me away.” H&R for one hopes that if Stan is lured away, it won’t be for very long…

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