Planning Permission for Les Massies

We are very pleased to share with you that one of our residential projects has just obtained planning permission!

Les Massies Farm is a historical Guernsey farmhouse dating back to the 16th Century. It has continuously been altered and added to over the years, resulting in a legible patchwork of Guernsey’s Architectural Vernacular.

The brief was to design a contemporary extension, creating a modern living space in an otherwise very traditional home. Part of the process involved removing conservatories and additions that had been built in recent years.

When working with a building with such a rich history, it is important to take the right approach. Our response to the building was to identify the architectural value and significance present, and how best we might intervene without taking away from that. The first move was to remove the existing conservatory, and small lean-to’s that have been constructed up against the gable end of the farmhouse in recent years, in an attempt to simplify the massing present.

Our intervention then took a simple flat-roof form. The intention with the design to be understated, and to not draw attention away from the farmhouse. The extension ties through into the existing kitchen, drawing light into the older part of the house, which was previously limited by thick walls and small windows. An Oak frame forms a main design feature, helping to tie the more contemporary scheme into the farmhouse by using traditional construction methods.

The Environment department seems to agree with us on our chosen approach, and has nicely summarised the scheme with the following:

“The elements to be demolished comprise later additions to the traditional building group, and removal would not have any adverse impact on the character of the group. The proposed replacement extension follows the footprint of the existing structures but utilises a mix of traditional and modern materials to create a complementary but distinct addition to the farmhouse.”

DLM Launch and Birthday Party

In the run up to Christmas DLM Architects hosted a drinks party to celebrate their 5th birthday and the move to their newly converted warehouse studio on Pitronnerie Road. Not your run of the mill architects office, the studio showcases DLM’s creative design approach and the way they think about spaces a little differently. The large double height lobby, with overhead mezzanine, provided the perfect venue for an evening of drinks, music and conversation.
A great spread of food was provided by James Ferguson at Cooked for a mixed guest list of industry professionals and clients.

DLM would like to take the opportunity to thank all their clients, past and present, and the consultants and contractors that they work with, making the past 5 years so successful and enjoyable.

DLM Architects Gets an upgrade

After 4 years of operating out of offices not much larger than a garden shed we finally felt it was time for an upgrade! DLM Architects recently completed the construction and fit out of their own new studio within the bare shell of a warehouse at Pittronerie Road Industrial Estate

The nature of DLM Architects work demands an inspiring studio space different to the traditional office environment. Every single detail has been considered and fabricated with precision to allow each space to function as required. The robust palette of materials is honest to the industrial setting, but softened with the warmth of reclaimed timber and considered lighting.

By designing and building our own studio, we were able to really have fun with it, and test out a few of the wackier ideas that we’ve had, for example the large lighting rafts hanging just above our heads. A lot of the materials used are up-cycled, from old floorboards to repurposed retired airport lights. The office is a playground for ideas, and showcases exactly what it is we do best.

The fit-out serves as an example of the approach that DLM take towards design, showcasing a raw palette of natural and reclaimed materials. The workshop is concealed behind doors clad in old concrete shuttering boards, the stairs are lined in oak stripped during a recent demolition, and the kitchen from reclaimed bricks and locally milled timber. Lightweight rafts have been constructed to integrate flush lighting with polished plaster giving the perception of heavy concrete slabs floating above the workspaces.

The meeting room utilises the existing blockwork structure, with charred timber lining the ceiling and presentation wall. 2 fully glazed sides overlook the double height space, framed within a bespoke blackened steel frame that extends to the mezzanine handrail. The meeting table itself has been fabricated from blackened steel trestles suspending 2 slabs of locally felled oak.

The office isn’t only pretty to look at, we’ve made sure it works as hard as it can as a design tool. It features a wide range of raw materials and finishes to showcase them, etched vinyl manifestation details serve as guides for useful dimensions for regulations, construction sizes, and furniture heights.

The Apple doesn’t fall far from 50

After much speculation as to what would replace the former ‘Au Caprice’ at 50 High Street, it’s great to be able to share the news that IQ will be opening a new Apple Store on Saturday 24th September.

It has been a challenging experience to develop Apple’s design criteria whilst complying with local planning and heritage restrictions. DLM Architects specified and coordinated the works and fit out that is being completed by Ravenscroft Construction Ltd ahead of the Apple team heading over to complete the final touches. More photos to follow after the big opening.

DLM have been working on the restoration of the entire external envelope of the protected building that makes the corner of The High Street, Smith Street and Lefebvre Street, and the significant reconfiguration and upgrade of all internal spaces providing mixed use office and retail space over 5 floors. We are excited about the other potential tenants and our involvement with further fitting out of the building.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels. Design is how it works”

Steve Jobs

Safe Site Access for GSPCA

As keen dog and animal lovers in general the team at DLM were very happy to recently assist the GSPCA with the planning process to create a safer access to their site in St Andrews.

It’s always nice to receive a glowing report from a client, so we decided to share it with you:

“The GSPCA are always trying to improve the grounds at the Animal Shelter in St Andrews and we are hugely grateful to DLM Architects who have recently helped us put together an application and drawings for works to be undertaken which are very much needed.

The team at DLM Architects are fantastic and from the GSPCA we can’t speak highly enough of their professionalism and support they have given.

The plans, advice and continued support from the staff at DLM Architects is really appreciated and from all of the team and animals in our care at the GSPCA thank you for all of your wonderful help, it is really appreciated.”

– Steve Byrne, GSPCA Manager.

What Lies Beneath

Following 3.5 years of applications, appeals and variations, we have now achieved planning permission for the full scheme at ‘The Glade’, and work has begun.
It promises to demonstrate an array of new techniques and technology, experimenting with finishes and construction methods, ideas that we hope will be adopted in future projects across the island.

With over 100 truck loads of soil removed, excavation of the site is now complete, allowing the house to nest within the topography and below the surrounding tree canopy, including a large basement below.

Broken plan living, double height spaces and open roof voids mean that the common loft has become a thing of the past. We experience people struggling with useable storage in their homes, and garages, sheds and spare rooms are often sacrificed. The basement offers a flexible space that can adapt with the user to be storage, a games room, a cinema etc. We have designed the proposed structure of this basement to minimise the expense associated with building below ground, which has made it a viable addition to the project.

before and after

New Construction Methods

DLM are starting a very unique project on the south coast cliffs using insulated concrete formwork (ICF). ICF is a sacrificial polystyrene shutter that produces a very robust and thermally efficient structure to the building. It is a building method that is growing rapidly in popularity due to its speed of construction and benefits in sustainability as we move toward ‘zero carbon’ homes, think vastly reduced energy bills and minimal space-heating requirement.

In this instance the ICF system is manufactured by Charcon, a sister company of local firm Ronez, and is the first time this product has been used on Guernsey. DLM be working closely with Ronez to ensure a successful first project in the hope that it being used more extensively over the island.

The DLM team were fortunate enough to be invited to the UK by Charcon to see their ICF product in various stages of construction across 3 live projects, and were impressed with the standard and scope of the resulting builds.

Whilst we were there we also viewed a product called Hollow-Core. It has the benefits of being very robust and efficient structurally, and very fast to construct.

This project promises to be a very unique home that pushes conventional boundaries with the latest construction techniques.


Awards Season Hits

It’s been a busy start to the year for the DLM team. It’s not quite the Oscars or the Grammys but awards season has certainly been fruitful for DLM, and it’s been incredible to be recognised by both the public and our peers for the work that we do.

We were extraordinarily proud to have received the Investec Sustainability Award in the Awards for Achievement, you can read all about it here.

To then go on and scoop two Guernsey Design Awards, the Small Projects Award for the design and build of La Frene and the People’s Choice Award for the Rosso bar, has been the icing on the cake!

Thank you to everyone for your support, it only further inspires us to deliver our promise of designing unique and creative spaces for islanders to enjoy!

Le Vieil Puit

This project has been designed to create an additional 1000 square feet of accommodation to an existing traditional farm house. We are now into month four of a nine month construction programme and works are progressing well, with external walls erected and roof works nearing completion. From the roadside, a traditional granite facade and pitched slate roof enclose a contrasting contemporary south and west facing extension. This largely glazed frontage hosts a 7.5m wide sliding door system at ground floor and an inset balcony at first floor, both of which boasting frameless glass corners to provide uninterrupted views of our Islands’ enviable West Coast.

The build is being undertaken by ‘Rocks & Blocks’ Ltd, a local contractor with a highly skilled labour force trained in traditional construction skills. The introduction of a full scaffold and canopy around the building has meant that despite the inclement weather over the winter months, building work has remained uninterrupted throughout. DLM Architects are contract administrating this project under a JCT Minor Works 2011 form of contract and have obtained all the necessary Planning and Building Control Permissions on behalf of our client.


Digital Greenhouse

Fit out works continue at the Digital Greenhouse Guernsey in preparation for the opening later this month. To allow flexibility, we have designed a series of tables, benches and screens that can be moved and adapted to suit the required use. Various designs are CNC routered into the surface to relate to the digital emphasis on the working space, with a modular clamp system and powder coated framework providing a robust yet slender structure to maximise the internal flow of light into the deep footprint of the building. Finished photos to follow soon.