Residential Architects Richmond-upon-Thames

AURA Architecture are award-winning Richmond upon Thames Architects

kitchen extension

We specialise in home offices, residential refurbishments, extensions, loft conversions, basement conversions, and bespoke new homes with a high-end finish, for clients in Richmond and surrounding areas.

The architects based in our design-led studio create sustainable home spaces with clean lines and simple designs that are filled with natural light.

Maximising space is our speciality, as is creating home designs that are energy efficient, and sustainable.

Get in touch for advice on Richmond Borough Council planning permission and building control advice, or for help to create your ideal project. As there are more than 80 conservation areas within the Richmond-upon-Thames it is very important to understand the particularly strict planning restrictions and we have a good deal of experience in this.

Maybe you have rather enjoyed working from home in the last year or so? We work closely with clients wishing to install home offices in lofts, gardens or basements; give us a call on 0203 189 1619.

Our Vision and Values:

These five key values are at the core of our Richmond architect service:

1. Attention to detail – Every aspect of the space is considered in our design and ensure that nothing is left to chance or left behind.

2. Innovation and creativity – In a constantly evolving world, we make sure we keep up with technology and use it for long lasting, future compatible designs.

3. Honesty and integrity – Professional behaviour in what we say and what we do are what our customers deserve and receive at all times.

4. Understanding and respecting people – Different people have different needs and different ideas. Our role is to understand these and find solutions that meet them.

5. Sustainability – Energy prices are rising and we need to reduce our carbon footprint.  Therefore the need to manage the impact our designs on the environment is vitally important. We work with specialists to achieve this – for example see our recent interview with Dr Chris Jardine on solar panels, including their impacts on building control and Richmond planning requirements.

These values feed in to our vision to design spaces that are clean and simple, maximise space, use natural light and are energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Deer At Richmond Park

Planning in Richmond Upon Thames

Richmond upon Thames is one of the most difficult areas to get planning permission in London. There are no less than 85 conservation areas within the borough!  You can download a map showing the conservation areas that have particularly strict planning restrictions on the planning website.

Each conservation area has it’s own regulations, so working with an architect that knows the ins and outs of Richmond planning is essential.  AURA Architecture will guide you through the process, and even if you’re not in one of the specific conservation areas, please be aware that this particular planning department will make it tough to get what you want to achieve for your home, unless you hire expert architect advice.

For more information on whether your Richmond project will require planning permission, or not, enquire online or else view our helpful planning permission blog post.

Our Richmond Planning Application Services include the following:

  • Planning Application Drawings (including Plans, Sections, Elevations etc.)
  • Retrospective Planning, Advice on Permitted Development
  • Building Regulation Drawings for Building Control
  • 3D Virtual Reality Tour
  • Interior Design
  • Spatial Planning and Layout
  • Feasibility Consultancy

Take a look at one of our amazing projects in South West London here (opens in new tab) – as pictured below.

Or for more Richmond home improvement ideas, see our main projects page.

Our Director gives a brief introduction to AURA and our award-winning Richmond architecture firm here…

Architect Fees in Richmond upon Thames

Unlike many architecture firms in Richmond, we believe in transparent fees. Our fees are fixed, laid out on an itemised quote before the project begins, and are based on £75 per hour. For clients who utilise our full range of services, the fees usually work out at approx. 8-12% of the total construction costs.

Other architects in Richmond charge fees based on a percentage of the project cost, and typically these are between 11-15%.  We avoid this approach as we feel it can incentivise the architect to add expensive and unnecessary features into the design to inflate their fees.  Agreeing fixed fees at the start allows us to focus entirely on what’s best for you, the client, when designing your home.

Full details of our fees can be viewed online here.

Our residential architecture process:

>>Download our free 10-Step Home Design Guide here<<


The guide covers everything we offer and gives you our step-by-step process for homeowners looking for architects in Richmond. In short these are:

1 – CONTACT: The first step is to get in touch and let us know your requirements.  A simple way to do this is by creating a design brief using our online enquiry form

2 – RESEARCH: We will then research your property so we understand which Richmond planning permissions and policies apply to your property.  This is called a desktop study.

3 – CONSULTATION: After completing the desktop study, we will schedule and meet with you in person or via video meeting, to review your requirements and goals for your home. After the consultation we will provide a fully itemised written quotation for our services.

4 – CONCEPT: When you are ready to begin, we first provide you with three conceptual designs including floor plans, sketches, and optional 3d renderings to help you fully visualise everything.

>>TRY OUR PREMIUM 3D SERVICE (opens in new tab)<<

5 – PLANNING PERMISSION:  Once a concept design is selected, the planning application (where necessary) is next.  We act as agents on your behalf, to ensure everything is submitted to Richmond upon Thames council correctly, and processed on time.

6 – BUILDING CONTROL: Once you have planning permission, we then prepare the necessary drawings and submit them to Richmond council’s building control team, so that they can check our plans for building control compliance.

If necessary for your work, we can also utilise the great relationships we’ve formed with Structural, Mechanical, Electrical Engineers, and Party Wall Surveyors, in order to provide you competitive quotes and dependable service.

7 – DETAILED DESIGN:  Next, we will produce a Specification of Works.  This includes interior design, finish plans, and all other tender documents.

8 – TENDER: By obtaining a range of competitive quotations from tried and tested builders, and by drawing up and managing contracts for all work, we can help you find a trustworthy, reliable builder, and lay the groundwork for a successful relationship.

9 – SITE MONITORING: We also monitor contracts and conduct regular site visits to ensure everything is on track and that the finished space will be all you hoped it would be.


Interior Architecture

Utilising Natural Light

Do you find yourself wishing for more natural light in your home? Do you find yourself saying “My lounge is so gloomy” or “I have to have the lights turned on in my kitchen even when it’s sunny outside”?  Many of our clients  feel natural sunlight is very important to their sense of wellbeing.  In fact this is often the key driver that persuades people that a home renovation is necessary.  AURA Architecture specialise in making homes a sunny and more desirable place to live.

Bringing more daylight into a home can have unexpected side effects though.  The wrong specifications, or incorrect use, can result in energy loss or a build-up of leaves and moss.  This additional energy and maintenance is not environmentally friendly.  With our experienced team of architects and home designers, AURA architecture will keep these considerations in mind, to provide you with a great solution to allow natural daylight into your home while ensuring your home is both energy efficient and low maintenance.

Architecture in Ealing

Kitchen Design Architecture in Richmond

The kitchen is often the heart of the home, especially modern kitchens incorporating dining areas and socialising space.

AURA Architecture can help you to design a practical, airy, and spacious new kitchen, so that you can entertain in style, and feel invigorated as you go about your daily chores.

The RIBA Architect Process

Whilst every home is unique, the process for planning it should be consistent and methodical in order to provide successful results.  RIBA stages are an excellent tool to ensure nothing is missed in the planning of your home.  While they can be complex and difficult for the average homeowner to understand, it’s important that your Richmond Architect uses them.

AURA Architecture follow the RIBA stages, but have broken these down in a more laymans approach for you.  We’ve created a 10-step Home Design Guide to help home owners understand our process, click here to learn more and download the guide.

Virtual-reality 3D video tours

What will it feel like?  How can I imagine myself in my new home?

Every home renovation is built twice, first on paper, then in real life.  Without a great deal of experience, imagining the final result is difficult.  This is why AURA Architecture offer our Richmond clients 3D renderings so you can experience the look and feel of your home during design phases.  Instead of making expensive, schedule-delaying changes and redos during the construction phase, changes can be much more efficiently ‘baked in’ to the design based on your feedback from the renderings before works begin. 

See our 3D visual blog post for an example of our design process in action.

In addition to qualified architects, our team also includes talented home designers.  Utilising the very best technology, you will be able to experience your new home and provide detailed feedback before plans are finalised.

Our Online Reviews

Scott Robertson
Scott Robertson
June 20, 2023
Professional, reliable, great to work with. Highly recommended if you are renovating your house.
Carina Isabel Lopes De Carvalho
Carina Isabel Lopes De Carvalho
May 2, 2023
It is a company of excellence
Emily Stuart
Emily Stuart
January 25, 2022
I used Aura for a side return and rear extension, and a renovation of my first floor bathroom. I wanted something unique and characterful, with lots of natural light. Aura really went above and beyond my expectations, creating me a space that truly is more than I could have imagined. From the initial consultation, where I felt immediately at ease with the team, to the transparency in their costings, all the way through the design process and project management, Aura have been consistently professional, communicative and flexible. It certainly hasn’t been an easy time for anyone in the industry, but Aura’s solution-first attitude and their adaptability made it so easy to work with them through lockdowns, supply chain challenges, pingdemics and everything in between. It was a true pleasure to work with the team - they really do their utmost to make the process as straightforward, simple and enjoyable as possible. I’d not hesitate to recommend Aura. They team are the perfect balance of creative and practical, imagination and solutions, to make whatever dream you have come to life.
Rob Birkin
Rob Birkin
November 18, 2021
February 9, 2021
I chose to use Aura based on their reviews in June 2020. At first it was a really good experience and I was impressed with their professionalisim. I received my drawings and wasn't completely happy with them. The 4 options I was given were all basically the same thing. They never came to my property to see the space or get a feel for where the light was coming in etc. The bathroom on the drawing didn't make sense as it was so small. (See below). The snug was also like a meter so again didn't make sense. I tried to escalate this to Ben, and I was offered another call but I had lost confidence in them. My neighbour was also doing work on her flat which is a similar layout and in contrast her drawings were really well thoughtout. In the end I had to pay again to get my drawings redone. (Attachment P&S - one example of my new drawings below - the more detailed drawings). I asked Aura for a partial refund as I never actually received a final drawing from them (despite paying for them) and they refused. It was just a disappointing and expensive experience.
Anthony Egan
Anthony Egan
May 22, 2020
I recently contacted Aura Homes Ltd to discuss a small development project. The project was unusual and a lot of factors needed to be taken into account due to the location, site surroundings and practicality of the proposal. I originally discussed it with Ben Richards who I found to be helpful, knowledgable and very accommodating in that he listened intently to give a fair assessment of feasibility. Iris Kouneni was assigned to me and met with me to thoroughly discuss and understand what my intentions were. Like Ben, she digested my layman’s view and proceeded to give me her professional opinion. Iris and Ben were an absolute delight to work with, professional, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and communicative to mention just a few of their qualities. Unfortunately due to the COVID19 lockdown we have had to shelve the project. It's been a pleasure to work with Aura Homes Ltd, refreshingly honest and professional. I look forward to working together with them in the future.
Brendan Quinn
Brendan Quinn
May 20, 2020
Thanks for reading this review. Ben is one of my monthly sponsors of the Property Events that I have run and also of the National Development Summit earlier in 2020. In a business setting I really appreciate Ben's support, particularly during COVid19- Ben had the option of pulling out of my events as a sponsor- as I have had to pivot- moving them online. Ben has continued to support these events as a sponsor, when he could have easily turned his back and moved on. Also at the National Development Summit 2020, Ben could see the effort I had put in to make the event, a great event, and himself and his team also equally put in huge effort. When you organise events, you ideally want things to go smoothly in terms of presenters turning up on time/before time, and with slides which are hassle free, and this Ben has done so. I have been to Ben's office several times and the staff have been really friendly. Ben's knowledge of working at Berkeley Homes, puts his company at a very high level.
Louise Hancock
Louise Hancock
April 13, 2020
Aura Homes is a highly professional firm of architects that always have the clients best interests at hart. The quality of their plans and drawings is superb and their turn-around when making amendments well within expected timelines. For bespoke projects, their research and recommendations (both in terms of quality and costs) is superb.
Harry Bucknell
Harry Bucknell
April 10, 2020
Couldn't recommend Ben and his team more. We were in a really tricky position with our building project and Ben navigated us safely out of it. Superb guidance, great technical knowledge and what I really valued the most was the communication. Always got back to me promptly which makes a real difference when stress levels are high. Thanks Aura!
Eugene Clarke
Eugene Clarke
April 9, 2020
The quality of work from Arua Architecture is to an excellent standard. We worked primarily with Ben and Gabby, they provide a friendly and professional service that minimised the worry and stresses associated with building projects. We hired Aura Architecture to assist us with our building project. We appointed them for the following work: - Regularisation on previous designs - Planning conditions discharge - Building regulation drawings - Detailed designs They came recommended from a Structural engineering company, and we were not disappointed.
Best Notting Hill Extension and Home Transformation Project Award

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