Awarded Planning Permission in Brighton

We’ve just been awarded another planning permission! This feels like a great victory as the client came to us following two failed planning applications and a dismissed planning appeal. We succeeded in coming up with a scheme that gives the couple the spaces they wanted while still satisfying the planners with a combination of a planning application and additional future development to be carried out in accordance with permitted development legislation.

Our proposal creates an generous open plan living space on the ground floor with large sliding doors that make the most of the sea views their position offers. The change in levels of the site meant that the property is perfect for a basement development too, which allows direct access to the garden from additional living spaces. Upstairs, rearrangement of the floor plan provides space for an extra bathroom and creates the opportunity to access the loft for a loft conversation under permitted development.

Need an architect? Contact us to discuss further.



Sketch Perspective
SophieAwarded Planning Permission in Brighton

Work Experience

ARCH angels Architects actively supports work experience throughout the year. It is great that we are in the fortunate position to support any one keen to embark upon an architectural / interiors route and those already proceeding through their 7-years to qualification.

We recently had the privilege of supporting Chloe who was given a beach hut brief to complete during her week with the team. We were very impressed with her work and she clearly has a talent for architecture. Chloe will certainly be one to look out for once she has finished her degree.

Here is what she had to say about her experience.

Dear ARCH  angels Architects,

Thank you so much for having me for the past week. My Work Experience placement was both enjoyable and rewarding. Throughout the week I was welcomed with kind smiling faces and loved being included in the atmosphere of success. During my work experience I learnt how to create both a 3D and 2D model of a beach house via a program named Vector Works. The highlight of my week was watching my project piece together and being proud of the outcome. I really appreciate my experience and am now considering a career in architecture. Thank you so much for this opportunity  – I am extremely grateful.

Yours Chloe Farrell


If you are interested in work experience with ARCH angels Architects please email or contact our studio on 01273 267184.



SophieWork Experience

New Low Energy Home

A new low energy home is on its way!

Construction works for a private new low energy home has started with the use of sustainable materials throughout. The design has taken full advantage of the plots uninterrupted views across fields and beautiful countryside. Foundations have been built and the slab is poured. We love going on the site visits and collecting wild blackberries in our hard hats!

What are the benefits of building your own home?

It is a great opportunity to create a home that perfectly suits your lifestyle instead of fitting your family into a developer built ‘off the shelf’ home.

Whilst developer houses are far from bad homes, as they have to meet all of the building regulations, they aren’t necessarily going to bring inspiration into your home life, nor suit all of your needs. When you choose to self-build, you are able to take control of your home project, in that you can choose who designs it, who builds it, and what needs your home will meet. You may want a home that is low energy, able to accommodate a growing family, or you may be approaching retirement and want a home that can support you.

What’s more, is that self-building works out to be more economical than purchasing the ready-made equivalent. This is because there are no VAT charges in labor costs, or building material costs when you are building a home from scratch.

You may be thinking, well that all sounds good but I don’t have the manual skills to build a home. Well in actuality most self-builders choose to take on the role of project manager and hire an architect to help with the design, and a contractor to take care of the skilled work. People from all walks of life can work towards building their dream home.

New build foundations
SophieNew Low Energy Home

We Love Design

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

The quote from the late Steve jobs proves that design isn’t just a tactile or aesthetic thing, but actually functional.

Here at ARCH-angels Architects, we love the design and we love the interiors! Check out some of our residential interior design sketch schemes, where functionality is at the heart of the design.

living room sketch ideas
SophieWe Love Design

Read about how an architect adds value

In 2014 ARCH-angels Architects were appointed to design a single storey side return extension to the whole depth of the existing kitchen. The client wished to have an open plan kitchen/dining space with a seamless access to the garden via sliding doors. One of the considerations was the connection to the existing reception room and the new space.

The mid terrace Victorian property is located on Grantham Road within the constraints of Preston Park Conservation Area. Due to its location planning permission was needed. This is to ensure the impact of the proposed development has minimal effect on the appearance and character of the building and on the setting of the Preston Park Conservation Area.

The extension aligned with the rear wall of the existing property so the side return infilled the existing open space between the side elevation and the shared boundary with the neighbour.

Design issues

The principal design consideration was maintaining the flow into the extended kitchen space from the hallway and also the rear reception room. In these extension projects, the rear reception room can become dark and become a corridor between spaces, losing its integrity. We avoided this by changing the existing window into this room into a door and retaining the access into the new enlarged space from the hallway. The room was to be a child’s play room and had plenty of natural light from the new roof windows of the new extension.

On site

The main site issues came from there being no access to the ‘site’ from the road. Everything had to be taken through the house including the large steel beam(s) supporting the existing side wall of the house. The builder suggested using a crane to take the steel beam over the roof of the house and into position, but in the end the beam was ‘spliced’ (divided) into three sections which were easier to carry and could be taken through the house. The other tricky element to the build was the new wall which had to be built on the shared party line between the client’s house and their neighbour. This was initially built in the wrong place due to difficult site conditions and the client asked for it to be moved but reluctantly settled for compensation from the builder.


The result is a calm bright space that the clients love and suits their lifestyle. They have achieved a good quality space with lovely materials such as the flooring and thin frames on the doors which bring the garden into the room. Another success was the addition of a small downstairs WC under the stairs which is functional and surprisingly spacious.


Nicola was a pleasure to work with, very patient with my demands and always offering great advice on aspects that neither us nor the builder had picked up on. Without a doubt the use of an architect caused the project to be more successful than it would have been otherwise, our subsequent viewings of similar projects by neighbours and friends completed without an

SophieRead about how an architect adds value

Tea with an ARCH-angel Architect

During Artists Open Houses festival we will be running our ‘Tea with an Architect’ event. We invite you to come and discuss how to create your dream home with the ARCH-angels team. Consultation is by donation in support of “Brighton Voices in Exile” a local charity that helps refugees who have no access to funding.

Book your hour slot and come along to Brighton and Hove’s Progressive Synagogue with ideas!

Running every Sunday between 11am and 3pm during the AOH Festival in May. Book at: 

Hurry as spaces are limited!
Tea with an Architect Final

SophieTea with an ARCH-angel Architect

Refurbishment of a Brighton home

A Sustainable & Contemporary Refurbishment


The Brief

This internal renovation was needed after this end of terrace house in Brighton had been subject to previous unsuccessful extension works. At ground floor a former rear extension had turned the rooms dark and disconnected. The owners wanted to create an open plan living/kitchen/dining space with a seamless transition into the garden. The first-floor accommodation needed to be rearranged to provide an en-suite shower room to the front bedroom and reposition the existing family bathroom. The loft had also been converted with an access staircase in the centre, dividing the room inconveniently through the middle. The owners wanted to extend this space and create a master bedroom suite with roof lights to the front and dormers to the rear. The brief was to rearrange the layout of the house, to maximise its useable space and light.

The Detail

ARCH-angels Architects needed to rearrange the layout of the house, to maximise its useable space and light. At ground floor, they enlarged existing openings between rooms and added roof lights, transforming the space into a dual aspect living/kitchen/dining room, flooded with natural light. A new entrance foyer and shower room were also added at ground floor level. At first floor the staircase to the loft was re-positioned over the existing staircase and a new dormer extension built to create a new spacious master bedroom. This was carried out under Permitted Development to enable to works to be on site sooner – important for the client as they were keen to carry out the works whilst they had funds to do so. The en-suite bathroom layout makes the most of the space under the pitched roof and addition of roof-lights adapts a space that otherwise would be unusable.

To ensure the build was sustainable ARCH-angels used low maintenance and durable materials throughout the build. Ensuring high levels of natural insulation were used they could be sure the fabric of the property would retain heat and allow natural ventilation. The architects researched and specified energy efficient light fittings and lamps, used environmentally friendly paints throughout and fitted low flush toilets in the en-suite and family bathroom.

There was an excellent working relationship between client and architect, with an emphasis on collaborative working. The clients were very much hands on and responsive when asked about changes or confirmation of materials and finishes etc.

The attention to detail in this project transformed a tired house lacking in flow to a unique home full of space and light. The project was delivered on time and on budget to a very happy client. The finished house is light, warm and spacious which allows the owners to experience seamless open plan living in this wonderful remodel of a family home.


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SophieRefurbishment of a Brighton home

Award Winning Design Eco House

Eco House of the Future – Award Winning Design

We are happy to announce our Paragraph 55 Eco House of the future has won Paper Landscape award for unbuilt projects in the prestigious Society of Garden Designers Awards 2016. 

Landscape Designer, Dan Lobb worked with ARCH-angels Architects on this futuristic Eco Home – A scheme 6 years in the making and conceived of by ARCH-angels Architects as a blueprint for the ‘country house of the future’, was granted planning permission on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate.

Judging the design of the cutting edge eco home as ‘Architecturally outstanding’, Inspector L Gibbons has granted permission in accordance with Paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Submitted for the award by Landscape Designer Dan Lobb Design MSGD who worked closely with ARCH-angels to blend the landscape and architecture seamlessly.

Read more about ‘Wishanger’  the architectural design Eco House

What the judges say:

“A design that seamlessly blends the landscape with the architecture in a sensitive very beautiful way.  An extremely accomplished piece of work that shows great sensitivity to the landscape.”

Wishanger estate CGI Designed by Arch angels architects Wishanger estate CGI Designed by Arch angels architects

SophieAward Winning Design Eco House

Christmas Closure

We are closing the studio from 23rd December 2016 and will be returning on

Season’s Greetings and wishing you all a prosperous 2017.

If you have any enquiries please do email

Christmas Cards 2016 AaA


SophieChristmas Closure

ARCH-angels Compact Challenge

Feature in Portfolio Magazine October 2016 ARCH-angels Portfolio article

ARCH-angels: Compact Challenge

The challenge: The internal and external renovation of a compact three- bedroom, three-storey, mid-terrace period property in Margaret Street, Brighton. ARCH-Angels architects take us through the project

The Brief:

ARCH-angels compact challenge saw an internal and external renovation of a compact three-bedroom, three storey, mid- terrace period property, including new services, windows, patio sliding doors, internal and external redecoration. The brief was to bring light down into the basement kitchen/dining area, which was a dark, compact space. The client also required the provision of a mini-utility room at the rear of the kitchen with a WC.

The interior scheme had to create open light spaces whilst simultaneously providing a lot of bespoke storage. We needed to open up the ground floor as one through-space and improve the connection to the rear patio area through full-height sliding windows. In order for this compact space to work as a home, we had to provide contemporary-style storage to the bedrooms and bathrooms, along with a coat cupboard near the front entrance door that also contains shoes and a mirror. This was achieved through designing the storage to be read as part of the walls with no visible hardware.

The detail:

The coat cupboard, for example, floats above the ground. It is painted out to match the surrounding walls, with a large mirrored panel door to both expand views of the internal room and bounce reflected light around. In this way the cupboard virtually disappears into the wall behind it.

“The overall finish was only achieved by some creative thinking regarding how to maximise every millimetre in the house”

The single bedroom upstairs had to provide a single bed, a wardrobe and a display area. This was achieved by designing the wardrobe to double up as a headboard for the bed, provide a niche for displaying objects and housing a reading lamp whilst also creating an area of hidden storage behind the bed.

Bringing the feeling of light and space was achieved by designing the stair to the basement in a way that borrows light from the ground floor living area through a glass panel in the stair wall. An existing light well was reclaimed, bringing a sense of space and light to a basement kitchen. A small utility area and WC were created next to this area, using pocket doors and cleverly thought-out storage. The rear of the property was opened out to an existing rear terrace by the incorporation of new sliding, glazed doors. Such features allow the house to be flooded with natural light, while the use of neutral decor allows the internal living space to feel fresh and spacious. By using LED lighting and finishing walls with Farrow & Ball paint, a perfect living area for both entertaining and relaxing was created.

Not only was the house compact, but access to the house was limited. Set in an urban environment, within a conservation area, with limited parking and no front gardens, the builders had a challenge on their hands! Getting materials delivered was, at times, problematic and getting the materials into the house could be a struggle.

The overall finish was only achieved by some creative thinking regarding how to maximise every millimetre in the house. Unused fireplaces and chimney breasts were removed internally, but the stack had to be kept external as the house is within a conservation area. Beams were spliced and hidden within the floor zones and were designed to be as small a possible whilst still complying with regulations, both in terms of strength/loading and health and safety (handling).

Compact sanitary ware was used throughout to ensure space was not wasted without compromising on comfort and usability. Existing drainage connections were upgraded and gulley repositioned. Existing sash windows were overhauled and some were replaced entirely to ensure no draughts or leaks. A new, integrated fire alarm system was installed to ensure the safety of the occupiers within the 4-storey house, which has a stair open to the living space and entrance level at ground floor.

Site management was exemplary, given the challenges faced: limited space, no parking, no skip licences, coupled with a deadline set by the client. Working relationships were good, as was communication with the whole team. The clients were very much hands-on and responsive when asked about changes or confirmation of materials, finishes and the like. The project did overrun a little, but this was acknowledged in advance when it became apparent that the challenge of the site limitations had begun to slow progress. Given the quality of the finish and space created, this was soon forgotten about as the clients began to enjoy and realise the full potential of their dream home.

Client Testimonial

“What to do with the ordinary – turn it into the extraordinary. If you’re thinking of refurbishing a property and want to maximise its potential, then using a good team of architects, as we did, makes all the difference. They were able to guide us through the unknown in a calm and positive manner.

Richard Zinzan, Co-owner/Director of ARCH-angels Architects took our brief and shared our vision to transform an airless basement kitchen and other dark spaces into a light, spacious home for our family.
One dated bathroom of average size was transformed into two 21st century shower rooms, complete with bespoke fitted storage.

Green space from outdoors was brought into the living area by adding glass sliding doors – an entirely different perspective on a tiny yard. When lit at night, the Sussex flint wall is transformed into a work of art infused with light and shade.

By taking the clutter of everyday living and designing bespoke storage around our needs, Rachael Pigg, architect and interior designer, enabled us to organise and bring order and calmness to all rooms.

Pete Sonntag, as project leader, was always there to answer queries and help us navigate through important decision-making processes. Sounds like magic but by sharing your vision with the ARCH-angel’s team your dream spaces are possible. They will challenge and extend your vision to its limits.

Although it was tough whilst the work was being done, do try to enjoy the journey as we did and know that it will all be forgotten once you are living in and enjoying your new spaces.”

Janet Bentley

Create your dream home: Contact ARCH-angels Architects Ltd
3 Dorset Place , Brighton BN2 1ST
01273 267 184 | | Twitter: @ArchAngelsBton

Over Head shot to Lounge
SophieARCH-angels Compact Challenge