Architectural Design

Architectural Design

What we do

Headed up by RIBA III and ARB accredited architect Saeadeh Birjandi, our architectural team create exceptional living spaces, beautifully designed & meticulously planned to maximise contemporary living requirements. We tailor each individual scheme to suit your style and budget while emphasising your own personality, taste and design flair.

We excel at the design of exemplary homes, with each project giving us a chance to create something original and spectacular. While this inevitably involves careful and complex coordination, we have designed a straightforward and customer-friendly process. We use a RIBA-based staged approach, set out with key, tangible milestones, allowing our clients to fully engage in and enjoy the design process, without having to worry about appointing and individually managing a host of independent consultants, or future ambiguous fees.

Our design team bring a passionate and sensitive approach to all our projects. We work collaboratively with our clients to help develop and uncover the full potential of their brief, finding the unique opportunities that exist within it. We are passionate about the implementation of innovative design ideas and transforming our client’s homes, with each of our projects carefully and innovatively crafted to find the perfect solution to an individual brief, property and budget.

Kingswood Road – View

Our in-house construction service allows us to design with the benefit of real-time “behind-the-scenes” analysis of live construction projects, ensuring we are designing while taking the crucial “buildability” of our schemes properly into account. Many architects can draw up a dream design, but we ensure our designs are not only inspirational but also practical and economically viable.

Our methodology is to work with our clients to make all critical decisions and choices in advance of the build going live. We typically work to a 5% contingency on projects where we have developed a fully detailed and itemised specification.

The Process

Design Brief & Survey

The initial step is for us to fully understand exactly what you want to achieve. We carefully listen to your requirements so that we can design a solution that fits within your budget. After an initial site visit, we prepare a detailed design fee proposal & initial consultation cost estimate. Upon instruction we conduct a full measured survey of the property.

RIBA Stage 0 & 1

Design Stage 1 – Concept Development

This conceptual stage is a very enjoyable and collaborative process where we work with you to refine the optimum layout for your needs. We offer a full architectural CAD drawing service supplemented by 3D visuals, from basic sketch up to detailed CGIs, to help you fully visualise the proposed scheme.

RIBA Stage 2

4–6 weeks
Design Stage 1 – Planning

Once the concepts are signed off, we submit the required planning or permitted development applications & manage the planning process during the statutory ten-week process. We pride ourselves on maintaining over a 90% success rate for planning applications & have successfully designed and submitted hundreds of complex planning schemes for London properties of every shape, scale and hue. 

RIBA Stage 3

Design Stage 2 – Construction Drawings

In preparation for the tender pack we produce a detailed technical drawing package for construction & building control approval, integrating the structural engineer’s drawings and any other third party specialist information. We work with a handful of trusted third-party engineers who design and produce full structural drawings and calculations, and any construction method statements required.

Typically this stage begins after planning permission is granted, however we can start this process earlier if we are reasonably confident of securing planning approval. Clients who are keen to start construction often decide it is worth the risk of proceeding with elements of this phase while awaiting planning permission approval.

RIBA Stage 4

6–8 weeks
Design Stage 2 – Party Wall Awards

In most cases structural works will involve a party wall agreement. We will recommend a surveyor who will issue the relevant notices as early in the process as required. As this can be a long lead item we generally recommend starting this process as early as possible in the design phase.

10–12 Weeks (concurrently)
Design Stage 2 – Interior Design

When you are spending significant sums on a project the finishes are crucial. We offer a full or hourly rate interior design service that seamlessly integrates with our architectural design process, to help you specify finishes, sanitaryware, colour schemes, fixtures & fittings as required.

Click here to learn more.

8–12 weeks (concurrently)

For clients who are not under immediate time constraints we recommend commencing Phase 2 design work after planning permission has been granted. This allows you to take more time and fully enjoy the decision-making process of the detailed design phase.

View Example


For clients who want to start construction works as quickly as possible, we can commence Phase 2 design work and the party wall process while we are waiting for planning permission to be approved.

View Example

Arlington Gardens – View

Services & Fees

Our design fees are extremely competitive for the service we provide. We charge a fixed cost for concepts & planning, then a further fixed cost to produce a tender pack for construction. We do not believe in hidden fees or complicated, ambiguous percentage-based fee models. We have three set stages which are based on clear deliverables and the RIBA plan of work. Meaning our clients know the full extent of our fees from the outset, but are only asked to commit on a stage by stage basis. Any third-party specialists are invoiced separately.

Our payment terms are as follows; 

  • Measured Survey – Payment upon appointment
  • Design Phase 1 – Concept Development & Planning – 50% upon appointment, 50% at the point of submission of a planning application
  • Design Phase 2 – Detailed Design/Construction Drawings – 50% upon appointment, 50% before releasing a final set of drawings

Where Zulufish are engaged to undertake the build, all subsequent project management fees are covered within the build price, making the design & build route a very cost-effective choice against a traditional Architect / Contractor model.

To learn more about the Design & Build service click here.