This month London House sits down with property powerhouse duo Elnaz Namaki and Hugo van Bilderbeek to understand more about their design and build service, their current projects and what top tips they would give people who are starting their design journey.
Let’s start from the very beginning, how did the The HvB x Elnaz Namaki Studio partnership come about?
The partnership began in early 2017 after meeting serendipitously - we immediately connected on the inefficiencies of traditional building where the interior design and architecture is separate from the project management and construction leading to disconnection, unnecessary compromises, time and cost inefficiencies. Uniting in our shared pursuit of excellence and delivering the best quality we set out to redefine the design and build sector and to become a leading specialist in the refurbishment of London's finest homes.
What is your design philosophy?
Our design philosophy is creating warm and refined atmospheres with a combination of linear designs and textured original materials that are both timeless and functional. Spatial flow, clean lines, maximising natural light and enhancing proportions are integral to our design philosophy and creating overall balance and flow to the space. We believe that every interior should tell a story and reflect personality whilst enhancing the original character of the building and its historic context.
Can you explain your design and build service?
Our design and build service is bespoke and tailor-made to each project. We offer a seamless transition from the conceptual beginnings of a project from the architecture, design and planning alongside the project management and construction all the way to the final snagging and handover. This is ideal for busy clients without the time to be involved in day-to-day project management.
How is this service different from your standard interior design studio or construction and project management company?
The difference in our service is the cohesive work ethic of our teams as when the interior design is integrated within the management and construction from inception, the tradition blame culture is avoided where the interior design sits separately to the construction and project management company which leads to disconnection, unnecessary compromises and time and cost inefficiencies. With our integrated service, as everyone is on the same team, we have created a problem-solving culture and bespoke solutions.
What are the benefits of using an integrated end-to-end design and build service?
The benefit of an integrated end-to-end service is the accountability of the workmanship and service and increased attention to detail. The integrated service offers clients cost and time savings as our work programmes and projects run much more efficiently therefore avoiding typical delays and enabling enhanced quality and finish.
What advice would you give a client when they begin their build or design journey?
We advise clients not to overlook the importance of the infrastructure of the building as you can only do this right once to future proof your asset.
When designing a home, what tips would you give clients to add maximum value to their property?
Our tips are to try to make the spaces as open plan as possible to maximise natural light and to try to increase ceiling heights wherever possible to improve the volume. Also, to study the planning history of the surrounding area to see if any precedent for increasing the square footage for example through extensions or mansards.
What has been one of your favourite projects you have worked on together?
Our favourite project was our first project as it set the foundation for the rest of our collaborations - this was a detached townhouse in Kensington which was originally the ugliest building on the street but by the end of the project was the prettiest as we re designed the facade and increased all the windows and glazing whilst adding a 3 metre ceiling height basement.
Lastly, what do you have in the pipeline for 2023?
Our upcoming pipeline of projects is currently four family houses in Kensington, Notting Hill, Chelsea and Holland Park and a large lateral apartment in South Kensington.