Ström Architects is a contemporary architecture practice based in the New Forest. We specialise in unique modern homes, but also have experience in larger-scale residential schemes, and the arts sector.
The practice was founded in 2010, and since then the practice has grown in size and in reputation: we have been recognised through various awards - both nationally and internationally. Our work is mainly UK-based, but has also expanded to include projects in Europe and America.
We are a small office, but with a lot of passion for what we do. Being small means that we can offer a personal service to our clients, and we take pride in the positive, lasting relationships that we create.
At Ström Architects we operate an efficient team of staff. We offer a range of skills and experience in different areas, and we work to ensure the most appropriate mix of resourcing is assigned to each project.
We strive to achieve both efficiency and consistency in how we staff projects; this gives our clients confidence in a stable team structure, and fosters a successful professional partnership.
Our non-hierarchical open-plan studio used to be home to the Lymington Times Printers, and the white painted brick interior has a relaxed Scandinavian vibe about it. We take pride in our office and how it creates a comfortable work environment.
Once a week we all sit down to eat lunch together, taking turns to cook a meal and enjoy a more informal lunchtime chat. We also regularly host “Friday Fika”, building on the Swedish tradition of making time to share a cup of coffee and a bite to eat, with colleagues. At these Fika sessions we have a brief presentation by one of our team or external guests – very much like a ‘show and tell’ – about something that inspires us. This approach is not only healthy for office morale, but to our design skills. By sharing ideas and our interests, we ensure that we remain educated, engaged and invigoured – and we believe that this is reflected in our work.
The studio is located in the coastal town of Lymington, near Southampton and Bournemouth. We love where we work with both the New Forest and the Solent on our door step. The connection to nature is important in our work, and we practice what we preach.
We are 30 mins from Southampton Airport and our location allows us to work all over the UK, as well as internationally with current projects in Sweden, Spain and the US.
Magnus Ström BA(Hons) DipArch ARB RIBA SAR/ MSA
Magnus has an avid interest in houses and homes, as well as interior and furniture design. This developed as a child growing up in Sweden being surrounded by - and brought up in - Modernist houses. He was fascinated by their beauty, and how design was part of daily life. When asked as a child what he wanted to be when he grew up, the answer was easy, and always – an architect.
Magnus founded Ström Architects in 2010 and is responsible for developing the vision of the practice and leading the design of projects. He works with a talented team of architects to deliver buildings that improve the life of people, inspire and offer delight. Throughout the project process he is directly involved and is passionate about the detail, ensuring that we deliver buildings where the architectural vision has been carried through to completion.
Magnus enjoys working with clients to create their dreams throughout the UK, but also internationally with houses in Sweden, Spain and the USA. His designs have been recognised by winning both UK and international architecture awards.
Emma Ward-Lambert BSc MArch, ARB
Emma was born and raised in Hong Kong, where all too often buildings would strive for simply an impressive façade – achieving a superficial impact without considering their inhabitants. Pushing against this, Emma’s interest in architecture lies in how clients use space, how the built environment can impact their behaviour or mood, and to what extent the homes we design reflect their everyday life.
Coming from a long line of engineers, but with a love of nature and sustainability, Emma is trapped between pragmatism and idealism. Thankfully this combines well within the practice: she relishes her role as champion of all things ‘green’ (including her vegan cakes which the rest of the Ström team are happy to devour), whilst also being a keen nit-picker when beautiful ideas aren’t buildable or are impractical to live with.
When she’s not busy at work, Emma can be found cooking up a storm in the kitchen, lifting weights at the gym, or dragging her dog and family out for walks around Lymington.
Hugh Richardson BA (Hons) DipArch ARB
Hugh was raised in the west country, and first took an interest in art and design during his early studies. After a foundation course in fine art, sculpture, and industrial design, this interest became focused towards architecture.
Whilst working at Wilkinson Eyre Architects, the practice’s philosophy of bridging art and science fuelled his enthusiasm for engineering and detailing. Having worked on a wide range of project types and sizes, Hugh brings a wealth of construction knowledge with him.
When he joined Ström Architects, Hugh took on the responsibility of overseeing the studio’s production information and detailed design. This is where he really gets to flex his technical muscles; Hugh brings a keen eye to projects, making sure that the beautiful sketches and renders produced for planning are realised on site.
When he’s not making something as mundane as a brickwork setting-out drawing look like a work of art, Hugh can be found listening to records and perfecting his shed.
James Chapman BA (Hons) PG Dip Arch ARB
James came to study architecture through his love of hand-drawing and sketching. He has always been a dreamer and enjoys nothing better than imagining the perfect home, using drawings to explore all possible solutions.
During his formal education, the process of design fuelled his passion for art and contemporary culture which has informed his interest in design. James’s appreciation for domestic architecture was encouraged by a particularly enthusiastic professor who had an interest in Modern Scandinavian houses. The Villa Mairea by Alvar Aalto was an early inspiration for James, with its use of natural materials and the continuity between inside and outside spaces. This seed has grown, and whilst James has worked for numerous design-led studios on projects of various sizes, joining Ström Architects has allowed him to pursue his enthusiasm for bespoke houses – creating crafted spaces utilising beautiful natural materials.
As a project architect, James enjoys working alongside Magnus and the team to bring designs from the drawing board to their reality on site. He delights in the process of architecture, and the creative, collaborative relationships with clients and building specialists.
Will Mouland BA Hons, M'Arch, ARB
According to Will, there’s no greater pleasure in architecture than seeing a client move into their ‘dream home’. The worries of planning applications are forgotten as their art, furniture and families inhabit the carefully designed spaces, breathing a life into the finished project. Driven by quality materials, texture and shadow, Will thrives on designing beautifully crafted architecture designed to age with grace.
Drawing on his experience working on bespoke residential projects at McLean Quinlan, Will gravitates to using simple, honest materials to create calm and timeless interiors. His unhealthy obsession with all things dark and atmospheric helps to create more moody spaces, defined by the play of shadow and rich, authentic, materials.
In his downtime, you’ll often find Will running along Lymington’s seafront or working on his own home renovation.
A keen interest in architecture and property development drew Nicky to work at Ström Architects; where she could bring her organisational skills to the office. Having lived in much older properties, Nicky is even being teased into ‘the light’ and coming around to the advantages of the bright interiors of Ström design. With three children, 2 dogs and a love of the outdoors, the Scandinavian philosophy of clean living seems more and more appealing.
For every creative office there needs to be a ‘Nicky’ who can help the wheels run smoothly and keep them doing so! From understanding the photocopier to checking off the receipts; ensuring we have everything from coffee to insurance; Nicky’s job is varied and keeps her busy!
Nicky loves being in and around Lymington with the water and the forest so close. As a ‘part-timer’, Nicky makes the most of her days off - dividing her time between paddle-boarding, sailing and walking in the forest with her family.
Ross’s interest in architecture centres around authenticity, with a specific focus on the poetics of construction and experience of space. This is something he explored in his masters’ thesis, which was subsequently adapted into a short film and featured at a number of film festivals.
Ross joined Ström Architects in 2019 having previously worked for practices on the south coast of England and south west coast of Wales. Alongside his time in architecture, Ross has spent time working on construction sites in the UK and Australia, where he had the chance to challenge how the design translates from the drawing board to the building site.
In his spare time Ross can be found scouring the coastline in search of waves – a practice that filters into his approach to architecture: focussing on the unique constraints created by the rhythms of the world around us. Ross is obsessed with attention to detail and the successful communication of a concept from the initial stages of design, all the way through to construction and articulation of materials on site.
Jandré Grobler Architectural Design Technology Dip., Graduate of Architecture
Jandré joined the practice back in 2017 as an Architectural Assistant. He was born and bred in South Africa and has since lived and studied in a few different locations. He studied Interior Design in America and also gained a diploma in Architectural Design Technology. Furthermore, in 2016 he became a graduate of Architecture from Central Saint Martins, London. His unusual route into architecture encompassing art, interior design and technology brings a practical and creative ability to his work with Ström Architects. It is here where he intends to further develop his skill set and love for the contemporary.
When Jandré is not exploring the New Forest (accompanied by his Siberian Husky), his broader interests include working as a freelance Set Designer and Stylist.
1. We get to know our clients
Each of our clients have their own dreams and drivers behind their project. To develop the brief, we don’t just have to listen to our clients, we have to understand them. This understanding forms the foundations for a successful project.
2. We tell our clients’ story through design
Our understanding allows us to be in tune with our clients’ dreams. Design is the narrative that tells their story, and reflects their personality.
3. We take away worry and risk
Embarking on a bespoke one-off house invariably has elements of worry and risk. Through experience we know the typical risks, and identify project specific ones early on in our involvement.
We have an excellent planning record and we work collaboratively with the local Planning Authority, encouraging them to take ownership of the project with a design that becomes a local exemplar.
We produce extremely thorough Technical Design documents; this process ensures that all decisions are made up front, rather than forcing hasty decisions on site. Through careful planning we guide you through the project to ensure that the decision-making process doesn’t become overwhelming. We remain closely involved during the construction stage, with inspections to ensure the quality is in line with the Contract Documents and the best outcome is achieved.
We will always be straight with you regarding cost. We have a good understanding of the costs involved in building a bespoke house, and we work with an experienced cost consultant with whom we have done numerous projects. We keep an eye on cost throughout the whole process. Detailed cost information at an early stage ensures that you - as well as the project team - understand the cost constraints to ensure the viability of the project. We believe that it is irresponsible to promise you the world, with a budget and design that are out of sync.
4. We offer intangible qualities in our buildings such as reprieve in a stressful world
We bring value to you that goes beyond simply owning a high quality contemporary house. We create places where memories are made, that nurture relationships and that bring joy. Our designs connect with nature and offer intangible qualities – such as reprieve from a busy world, or a feeling of being ‘home’.
5. We love what we do, we’re good at it, and we deliver it
As architecture goes, the one-off house is the most rewarding building we can work on. We love the direct relationship between our clients and the houses we design. What we love even more, is how we are able to transform the way clients live, and the difference we can make to the quality of their lives.
The relationship between architect and client is extremely important, and we place great significance on rapport and engaging on a personal level.
Let’s add something here about cost at the end of the text – “Whilst we would love to be able to work project of all sizes and budgets, our size and operating costs unfortunately dictate that we cannot realistically undertake projects with a construction cost under £500,000. It is important that we are open and honest with clients from the outset, and we hope that you understand our constraints.
It is hard to give generic advice on what a new build one-off contemporary house will cost to build as there are many variables affecting this. We would typically advise that one of our house designs starts at around £3,500/ m2, but can quickly go north, depending on the site, location, design, specification, and what one actually includes in this cost. We would also advise that you may want to consider an allowance for fit-out (built-in furniture, curtains and blinds, loose furniture etc.) and landscaping.
Our fees vary depending on the size of project, complexity, and our offered scope of work. Typical fees range from 8-15% of build cost.
We get to know our clients to understand and develop briefs We tell our clients’ stories through design We take away worry and risk We offer intangible qualities in our architecture such as reprieve in a stressful world We love what we do, we’re good at it, and we deliver it.
We provide full architectural services from inception to completion. Our services are offered at three different levels; Good, Better and Best. All levels provide the same design quality and scope of work up to an including Planning Consent. For Technical Design our service structure offers flexibility for our clients. ‘Good’ offers Full Technical Design, Procurement and on-site services ‘Better’ is the same as above, but we do detailed drawings and specification of kitchen and bathrooms etc. ‘Best’ offer all of the above, plus interior design, bespoke joinery design, selection of furniture, a physical model as well as photo-realistic computer generated images.