The musings of an Architect going about his daily business – life, design, the everyday are never as mundane as they may seem!

This blog will give you an insight into the weird and wonderful world of architecture, from tricky design challenges to strange coincidences, interesting products and the funny side of life as seen by an Architect on a Scooter.

As a Student of Architecture (Breaking in my tutor’s flat)

I arranged for a tutorial with Charlie Mann, a great teacher, architect and urban cowboy. Charlie often wore a blue slim suit, Stetson and cowboy boots. He was one of the most eccentric of my teachers, and a bibliophile. His flat was full of books, on shelves but mainly as columns that you had...

Candy – Femme Fatale

(When the architect simply can’t concentrate) I meet a prospective client at her house. We start a conservation about the house owner’s plans for change. We walk around the house. I get distracted by the faint sweet delicate chime of a little bell. I see this beautiful little creature with...

Aerogel

Aerogel – also referred to as ‘Frozen Smoke’, ‘Solid Smoke’, ‘Solid Air’, ‘Solid Cloud’ and “Blue Smoke’ owing to its translucent nature and the way light scatters in the material. Aerogel is a synthetic porous ultralight material derived from a gel, in which the liquid...

The Munchies

I arrive for a first meeting, there is debris everywhere. The house is a tip. Cannot open the door to some rooms, due to the combination of worn clothes, wrappers, and toys on the floor. Some rooms smell, a lot. I walk around from top – down and then to the garden. The garden is the cleanest...

Mystery Client, Mystery Phone…

So I get a call one day from a lady who lives in a big house in Richmond. She asked me to come and look at her house so I went over and I’m met by her at the front door. She drops her keys into my hand and says, ‘have a look around, I’ll see you later.’ So I don’t know what I’m looking...

Simon Miller Architects Office

Pre-fabricated buildings have moved on since the 1950’s and what we have now is a system of building using timber – known as cross-laminated construction – think thick plywood. It is a bit like the way you make a model of a building by cutting up pieces of cardboard to the right shape and...

Clapham Pod

We found a fun, practical solution to a family’s space problems in Clapham. They didn’t want to move but they needed a study/office. Renting locally wasn’t an option so the idea of the pod – an external structure in the garden – was born. By rehousing the existing study outside of the...

A Scooter Has Its Limitations

An elderly lady rang me and asked whether we did loft conversions and I said we did. She told me where she lived, which wasn’t far from the office. I said it would be no problem and I’d come on the scooter and she said, ‘can you bring a ladder for the loft’ and I said, ‘no, I’m on the...

Stalemate!

I went to a big house which was occupied by only a couple, I think the kids must have left home. He was a big guy and she was quite petite. The brief was to convert the loft into something much bigger and I found it perplexing because the house was so big already. I went up to see it and the space...

Fun House for Cartoonist

At a very early meeting with a client she said, ‘it would be nice to have one big open space where the back of the house can be open to the garden’. And I said, ‘why don’t you have a swing in the house?’ She loved the idea, the swing would be un-hookable so didn’t need to be in place...