What we're up to...

Maximising property potential

Here at Barrett + Barrett Architects we try really hard to add value. Whatever the size of project or type of property, we’ll always do our best to add a little something more!

Over the past few weeks we have been fortunate to have worked on an extraordinary variety of schemes and here are brief details of just three:

Extending upwards

We were asked by a pension fund client to assess the condition a city centre apartment block roof. Having carefully surveyed the flat-roofed building we suggested that rather than simply repair the roof our client might want to consider building another storey on top. This would enable him to create three more apartments and thereby maximise the value of his property.

We are delighted to say planning permission was granted last week!

Think bigger

Bradford-based Fusion Paper & Board Ltd is flourishing and needs to expand its operations. Having found a suitable piece of land, they approached Barrett + Barrett to assist with the design of a 10,000 sq ft warehouse, distribution and office facility. We assessed the space available and devised a scheme that would enable Fusion to build not one but two units. The additional 10,000 sq ft unit would be a valuable asset for the company.

We are delighted to say planning permission was granted this week!

An extra slice  

Finally, we won a competitive pitch to design the refit of a very popular restaurant in North Leeds, Salvos in Headingley. The brief asked for a sophisticated but family-friendly ambience for the restaurant, an increase in the number of covers and for a new destination bar area to be created.  

In addition to achieving all of the above we also identified additional space to enable Salvo’s owners, the Dammone family, to incorporate a funky new pizza slice table near the bar for customers who just want a drink and a quick snack.

We think the restaurant and bar look fab but why don’t you check it out for yourselves?!


We're hiring

We are super busy on some great projects and are looking to expand both our Leeds and Middlesbrough teams.

Who we are looking for:


  • architects with 5 years+ post part III experience and bags of initiative
  • architectural technicians who are wizards on AutoCAD, Sketch Up and possibly Revit too, should also ideally have 5 years+ experience.


Candidates will need to be really motivated and flexible as we have a big variety of projects to work on ranging from one off designer homes to commercial property refurbs and social housing schemes.

Please email CV and examples of your work to simon@barrettarchitects.com


Google-touch for new training facility

Barrett+Barrett Architects has just completed a 4,800 sq ft Google-style training academy for Knaresborough-based pest control company Pelsis. Pest controllers from all over the UK and Europe come to Pelsis for training in the industry’s latest products and techniques. 

We were awarded the exceptional project following a hard fought competitive tender process and completed the refit, with its three training suites, kitchen and breakout area, and two-storey demonstration house, in just 16 weeks.

A central street-themed curvy corridor – complete with lamp posts – leads to large, brightly coloured training rooms and the cantilevered, full size house projecting over the warehouse below. Rats, squirrels, pigeons and flies have been used throughout as quirky but wholly appropriate decorative features.

Commenting on the project, Patrick Barrett said: “We had a great time working on this very contemporary project with Pelsis. Their brief to us was to develop a facility that would position them at the forefront of the pest control industry and at the same time bring an element of fun to the serious business of developing and educating staff, customers and industry representatives from the company's Europe-wide network.

“Judging by the overwhelmingly positive reactions we've received, it appears that we have done just that!”


We're on the telly! Watch it on More4 Series 4 Episode 3 Building the Dream

Barrett+Barrett architects was asked to act as mentors for a couple building their dream home on a very difficult site in Lancashire for the next episode of Building The Dream.

The Channel More4 programme aims to show people that it is possible to build amazing and affordable homes - something we whole heartedly endorse! The episode we appear in shows Howard and Kevin creating their dream home. 

Commenting on the programme, Patrick Barrett said: "I really like the format of the show and presenter Charlie Luxton gives some great advice. It's good to see people being really brave and embarking on designing and building their own homes but more importantly the programme highlights that whilst the process is complicated, there's lots of help available. Buddying up with someone who has already built something similar is an excellent approach."  

The programme, which is the 3rd episode in series 4, aired at 9pm on Tuesday 8th December and featured one of the most challenging sites Charlie says he had ever seen. We thoroughly enjoyed showing Howard, Kevin and the Building The Dream team how we had overcome many similar problems when designing and building a highly contemporary house on a restricted, sloping site in a North Leeds conservation area.    



Training Academy Officially Opened

We have had the most fantastic time working with Pelsis on their brand new 4,800 sq ft training academy. They have been an extremely enlightened client, wholeheartedly embracing the very contemporary design we created for them. 

Their brief to us was to develop a facility that would position them at the forefront of the pest control industry and at the same time bring an element of fun to the serious business of developing and educating staff, customers and industry representatives from the company's Europe-wide network. Judging by the overwhelmingly positive reactions we've received, it appears that we have done just that!

Working closely with Chapmelt Ltd's interior fit out team, Barrett + Barrett has been able to bring this ambitious project with its three training suites, kitchen and breakout area, and cantilevered, life-size demonstration house to fruition in just 12 weeks - and what's more within budget.

We hope the academy is a huge success for Pelsis.

 The image shows Patrick and Pelsis CEO Peter Mangion standing just outside the training 'house' which is cantilevered two storeys up over the warehouse - its really quite something!


Caring and ethical architecture

Here's some lovely feedback we received from a client of ours who referred us to a client of theirs...

Some months ago we referred you to some clients, who had used many chartered architects in the past, who had promised them the earth and delivered nothing. Our clients had lost all hope of achieving their dreams of a new farmhouse on their land as previous plans had been consistently rejected. They had finally decided to put the estate up for sale. 

From your first meeting with them they felt that you would be able to help and subsequently you not only achieved planning permission for the farmhouse but also came up with several solutions as to how to use the 73 acres of land.

I'm glad to say that with your help, our clients' dream is becoming a reality and they are truly delighted. 

Your ethics, attitude and attention to detail are second to none and your in-depth knowledge of the planning regulations is outstanding. 

We have no hesitation in referring you to any clients or friends in need of a caring, ethical chartered architect. 



Another Planning Battle Success

Carol and Peter Stagg purchased a house in a north Leeds conservation area that they planned to extend. They had visualised a single storey very modern addition to their new house and got just that with a largely glass and natural stone wrap-around design by Barrett+Barrett architects.

But having been delighted with the design process, the Staggs were to be dismayed at the response from the local planning department.

“Without Barrett+Barrett’s highly detailed understanding of the planning policy, in particular those appertaining to trees, we would have had to drastically alter the design,” explains Peter.

“Patrick worked very hard on our behalf to ensure the correct information was presented to the planning department at every stage of the very complicated twelve month battle. His professionalism and utter determination completely turned around what appeared to be an impossible situation. He and his team are worth every penny!”

Working closely with arboricultural specialists, Barrett+Barrrett argued that by sensitively reducing the number of very large trees surrounding the property their growing conditions and life span could in fact be improved.   

“The struggle to get what we wanted was worth it, we now have the fantastic addition to our home that Patrick originally designed.” 


Barrett+Barrett architects introduces Logic

Over the past two years we’ve been involved with an increasing number of larger development projects in the North East and have decided the time has come to set up a second office there.

We’ve chosen to base ourselves in one of the North East’s most sustainable buildings, Boho One in the heart of Middlesbrough’s regeneration area. 

As the only architect’s practice in the town centre we are confident we can utilise our proven pragmatic design expertise to assist in unlocking some of the many regeneration commercial, residential and retail opportunities in the region.   

The Middlesbrough office is branded ‘Logic Architecture’ to reflect an innovative design-led, yet highly commercial approach in delivering affordable architectural solutions. We have recruited a talented local team including award winning architect Mark Barlow, a former partner of a Teesside practice with an exceptional track record.  

Logic Architecture is currently managing projects worth £12m including two 60+ bed extra care developments for GallifordTry in addition to a multi-residential learning disability scheme and an ‘Alms-house’ style bungalow scheme. The new practice is also working on a number of regeneration and refurbishment feasibility projects in the commercial and education sector. 

Our intention is to run the two practices in complimentary tandem, with the teams from each office deployed to provide support and expertise to each other as required.

Since forming Barrett+Barrett architects in 2009 in the depths of a recession, we’ve built a reputation for delivering high-end commercially viable bespoke architecture and now believe the time has come to create a dedicated brand that will work nationally and appeal to a broader market.

It all seems perfectly logical to us!


Grab a copy of Yorkshire Life

Thank you Yorkshire Life for the fantastic article on the Barrett+Barrett architects designed uber contemporary house in Roundhay.  

That job was a BIG challenge with lots of logistical issues not to mention all the battling with the planners; good job the client was such a nice guy!

It was all worth it, the house is stunning and we’ve had some great feedback – even from the planning department once it was completed.

We wanted to prove that you can build a one-off highly individual house for less than £150 per sq ft which is widely regarded as the industry average cost for building and fitting out a new build property. And we did, in fact the house cost just under £100 per sq ft.

If you want to know how we did it – pick up a copy of Yorkshire Life, visit our home page or call and speak to Patrick.


Overcoming conservation challenges

First-time developer Chris Davis had a very clear idea as to the style of the two houses he was planning to build in the heart of the picturesque village of Thorner. No newcomer to property design, Mr Davis has spent his career overseeing the interior fit out of some of the most high profile commercial office developments in the UK. When it came to selecting an architect for his inaugural project he knew he needed a practice with extensive experience and a persuasive planning touch.

Commenting on the appointment of Barrett+Barrett architects Chris Davis said: “I asked three practices to pitch for the work and was impressed by Patrick and his team’s very pragmatic approach. Their design concept not only addressed my requirements in maximising the commercial potential of the plot but also those of the planners.”  

Sited in Main Street Thorner the plot was subject to many conservation regulations. Barrett+Barrett believe strongly that whilst it is important to design properties that do not weaken the integrity of the conversation area it is equally important to create homes that are relevant to today’s lifestyle.

“The large family homes Chris had in mind were perfect for this setting and we fought very hard to ensure his vision was realised. Sometimes clients feel daunted by the planning demands they face but we understand the intricacies of the policies and are prepared to be robust in our approach to tackling them,” explains Patrick Barrett.

“Indeed with this project we had to overcome a whole host of initial objections from the planning officers including concerns about access, privacy and scale – I am delighted to say we were able to resolve the issues to everyone’s satisfaction.” 

The two four bed-roomed three-storey semi-detached properties offer very spacious accommodation of over 2,000 sq ft. Constructed from traditional stone and slate but with contemporary detailing such as deeply recessed gables and light enhancing window fenestrations, the houses are luxuriously appointed. The interiors, as you would imagine, are exceptional.   


Green belt success for Barrett+Barrett Architects

Hot off the press...we have just had the fantastic news that Leeds City Planning department has finally given approval for what will be one of the most contemporary new homes in the region.

We are delighted for our clients John and Jane Wright who had previously been unsuccessful in getting permission to build the home of their dreams.

Barrett+Barrett took a very different approach to the design of this extremely contemporary 5 bed roomed house in North Leeds and were tenacious in meeting all of the planners’ requirements.

“Overcoming strict green belt policies is not easy and it has taken us 12 intensive months to persuade the planners that just because the new property will be on farm land it doesn’t have to be built in the style of a traditional barn,” explains Patrick Barrett.        

“The Wright’s have a passion for modern and eco considerate architecture and we’re so thrilled that we have managed to succeed where others failed. It’s been a battle but now we are very much looking forward to seeing the building work start.”


JCT600 extends and upgrades

Barrett+Barrett architects is delighted to be working with JCT600 once again. One of the UK’s largest privately owned motor groups, JCT600 came to us to help with the refurbishment of two dealerships.

The Mercedes-Benz outlet in Sheffield is currently undergoing an interior refurbishment and Volkswagen in Newark is being extended.

Over the years we have been fortunate to have worked with most of the leading car companies. We have provided architectural advice for everything from small showroom remodelling projects to complete new builds.

Barrett+Barrett has a deep understanding of the very exacting requirements that motor retailers have to adhere to. Car manufacturers, not just those of the prestige marques, invest heavily in their branding and in turn expect a great deal from those they supply to. It is our job to ensure that our client’s entire dealership premises – showrooms, workshops, offices and car parking – are all up to standard.    

“It is specialised work, but we really thrive in the motor environment. We have the expertise, experience and a passion for cars!” comments Patrick Barrett. “And it is particularly satisfying to be assisting such a successful and well respected northern-based business.”

Services provided by Barrett+Barrett include design, managing the planning application process, building regulations, main contractor co-ordination, construction quality control and contract administration.   


Big on hospitality

Over the past two years Barrett+Barrett architects has been involved with a number of restaurant, bar and club refurbishments. Whilst each project has been very different there have been to two common overriding requirements – to improve visitor attraction and increase sales.

Creating great looking spaces and maximising earning potential is not as difficult as it might at first appear. Click on the link below to read an interview from leading leisure magazine Big Hospitality in which Patrick Barrett shares his experience.        



Redesigning my Mum’s house by Lewis Graham, 6th Form student, Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Otley

I’ve been spending a week at Barrett+Barrett architect’s getting an insight into what being an architect is all about.

Patrick and his team have made me feel very welcome whilst at the same time throwing me in at the deep end. To try and appreciate as much as possible about the role of being an architect I was set the task of completely redesigning my family home.

My first two days were spent soaking up as much knowledge as I could via tutorials, shadowing the team and visiting a selection of sites. Then I was left to my own devices – with a disto.

I took an ambitious brief from my Mum, measured up our modest abode and returned to the office brimming with ideas.

Trying to emulate some of the great designs I’ve seen on the computers and drawing boards around the Barrett+Barrett offices, I was keen to introduce expanses of glass and an element of open plan living to my inaugural design concept.

Getting creative is one aspect of being an architect that really appealed to me. I suspected that there would be a whole lot more to get my teeth into but little had I realised just how multi-faceted the profession it is.

From creative thinker you move very quickly to designer, planner, draftsman, then builder and lawyer not to mention negotiator and arbitrator. No wonder these people take 7 years to qualify.

Thank you Patrick, it’s been an incredible week. Hugely interesting and I’m really inspired but how do I tell my Mum her new orangery is still on the drawing board? 


Barrett+Barrett has been in the press quite a bit just recently

The UK’s leading construction magazine Construction News interviewed MD Patrick Barrett and found out just what he thinks about planning, property development and Mary Poppins! Click on the link to read all about it www.cnplus.co.uk And have a look at this Yorkshire Post article if you’re curious to see just what an architect would design when he has almost absolute design freedom www.yorkshirepost.co.uk


The long and the short of planning permission

It has been a long and tortuous process but we have finally received notification that our clients in Garforth, Leeds can go ahead and start building their dream house.

All in all it has taken four years to persuade the planning department that a new 4 bedroom detached house was the right thing to replace the dilapidated abandoned former dwelling on this green belt site.

More details and photos to follow once the builders get underway.


Property conversion to 10 flats

St Lawrence House, Pudsey was a former local authority children’s home that had been empty for some time and had become extensively vandalised prior to its purchase by developers Treadwell Carpets Ltd.

The original Victorian house has been sympathetically altered and a three storey extension added which respects the scale and materials of this conversation area.

Barrett+Barrett architects overcame a number of significant planning issues to ensure that its client could maximise its investment in the development. The scheme’s initial capacity of four private flats was increased to ten with the addition of the new extension.

Commenting on the project Patrick Barrett said: “The main house is a wonderfully elegant building and we worked hard to make sure that the new extension not only enhanced the existing structure but would pay homage to the surrounding terraces.”


Permissible development expertise

When a client recently asked us to obtain planning permission for the substantial remodelling he wanted to do to his house, little did he realise that the process was going to be a lot more straightforward than he thought. Barrett+Barrett’s detailed understanding of the Permitted Development Regulations meant that the extension, roof conversion and detached garage he wanted to add to his home could go ahead without embarking on the lengthy and costly planning permission approvals process. Be assured that Barrett+Barrett always seek the required permitted development confirmations. Knowledge = options = power


5 bed roomed contemporary house

In the past twelve months we have completed a number of one-off new build houses all with a contemporary edge but this property in Roundhay, Leeds is perhaps the most expressive.

Barrett+Barrett architects had to be particularly tenacious when it came to persuading the planning department that this sophisticated dwelling was indeed befitting of its conservation area surroundings.

Designed to maximise the orientation and location of the site, the exterior of the 5-bedroomed property with garage and flat annex has been constructed using natural stone, hanging tiles and coloured aluminium windows, all under a flat roof.

Many innovative low carbon features have been incorporated into the house for example its highly insulated thermally broken timber-frame system, condensing boiler powered heating and exceptionally low wattage lighting.

In true Barrett+Barrett architects style there are also a number of surprising details such as concealed en suites and wet rooms, hidden storage and even a naughty step!


Retail park Manchester

We have just been appointed to undertake the initial building design, feasibility study and the planning application for a retail park in Manchester.

Located on a main arterial route to the north of the city, the 30,000 sq ft site will incorporate a leading high street retail anchor tenant and three additional retail units.

Barrett+Barrett architects have a number of design challenges to overcome including highways issues with regard to deliveries and the close proximity of residential properties. However we are confident that with our retail park development experience, planning expertise and innovative designs that we can create a scheme that is more than satisfactory for all parties.

Planning is due to be submitted in February with construction scheduled to commence in April.


Contemporary new home

Barrett+Barrett architects are delighted to report that we have secured planning permission for an uber-modern house in south east Leeds.

We are particularly pleased because there were a number of difficult planning issues to overcome including many objections and a desire by a local heritage group to have the original 1970s property on the site listed.

The creative use of commercial construction materials such as aluminium and engineered slate cladding will give the 5,500 sq ft house an imposing, private and secure exterior. While the intimate, light, roomy living space features a south-facing interior courtyard.

Client Nigel Fletcher said: “We are thrilled that planning approval has been achieved and the construction work can begin. Seeing how Barrett+Barrett architects interpreted our initial ideas and came up with their wonderfully creative design was very exciting and now we can’t wait to see the house take shape.

“This is our second project with Patrick and his talented team.”


Architecture awards nominations

We are thrilled to announce that two of our most recent projects – a contemporary new build house in Roundhay and the conversion of a Victorian former children’s home in Pudsey – have been nominated for this year’s Leeds Architecture Awards.

The awards aim to give recognition to excellent, innovative and sustainable architecture, conservation and landscape in Leeds and to increase awareness and interest in the design of buildings and their surroundings.

Previous winners include some of the most impressive projects in the region, let alone the city, and we’d love to be among this year’s successful few – we’ve got our fingers-crossed.


On every project we seek to provide creative, efficient and cost-effective solutions We maximize the potential of your buildings and land We endeavour to ask the right questions so we can obtain a clear understanding of your requirements and can deliver "the vision" Your premises and surroundings can lift the quality of life We provide straightforward practical, commercial and professional advice We work with planning departments, contractors and other construction professionals, not against them