Yiangou Architects is a dynamic practice based in the Gloucestershire market town of Cirencester in the heart of the Cotswolds. Established in 1981, it has acquired an enviable reputation for the spread and scope of its work, being equally at ease in traditional and contemporary idioms. Recently, the practice won, in the same year, an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects for a contemporary scheme and one from the Georgian Society for a traditional design. This rare combination of honours is testament to the breadth of skill and knowledge that Yiangou offers its clients.
New-build country houses and extensions are at the core of the practice’s business. Designs are conceived with the site’s characteristics and the client’s requirements in mind and are executed in a variety of styles, including vernacular and traditional architecture.
Avalon is a new wellbeing centre at one of Yorkshire’s finest historic estates, sitting in parkland adjacent to a Grade I mansion. The site is challenging, being defined by a significant historic axis and protected parkland trees. The need for a large pool and ancillary rooms dictated a sizeable footprint, but the gentle slope and backdrop of tall trees permitted the inclusion of a first-floor pavilion.
The practice’s output is increasingly sophisticated, occupying a special position within British architecture
The casual observer might be forgiven for thinking that the rarefied world of designing specially commissioned houses in the English countryside is beyond the fallout of Brexit but recent experience suggests that it is not. Many British and international clients are biding their time before giving the go-ahead to a long-cherished building project. However, in Yiangou’s case, it has argued that quality in design will always add and hold value while assuaging clients’ worries about unnecessary cost.
So despite the uncertain times, Yiangou has many reasons for optimism. It employs around 30 staff, many of them young and all of them talented and enthusiastic. Its projects employ predominantly local craftsmen, helping to keep alive many centuries-old skills, and use local suppliers. The practice’s output is increasingly sophisticated, occupying a special position within British architecture with its blend of traditional and innovation. There is much to look forward to in 2020.