St Margaret's Church

Starting out as an engineer working for his local authority, Mark English knew he had passion for his work, but was unsure which direction to take. He decided to go freelance and explore his industry, branching out into architecture as well as multiple sectors of engineering. 

Now, over 20 years later, Mark has his own registered architecture design and structural engineering practice, and has developed some truly inspiring designs. He works across multiple industries, including residential, industrial and commercial construction.

‘Open spaces’ has become the latest trend for my customers; everyone is looking to extend the kitchen or take advantage of unused rooms!

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Despite all of his success, he is currently still studying to achieve a PhD in Architectural Design and Structural Engineering at Newcastle University with emphasis on Sustainable Buildings for Developing Countries. 

He is planning to introduce new designs with a structural-focus on timber and bamboo, in order to help create desirable low cost housing within the poorer regions of the Global South, such as India, Brazil and Africa. He will make little income from this work, however he is happy to be using his skills to make a difference across the world.

With Mark English Architecture having already enjoyed success using Plentific, we had to find out more about his character and history:

  • Tell me a bit about your business?

I basically offer structural engineering and architectural design to the general public. It is primarily an architectural practice undertaking mostly domestic projects. However, as a chartered building engineer with a degree in Civil and Structural Engineering, I can also offer a structural design service directly to clients and other architectural professionals.

  • What type of jobs have you been doing lately?

It has been mostly domestic work as of late, with a 70/30 split for extensions and loft conversions. ‘Open spaces’ has become the latest trend for my customers; everyone is looking to extend the kitchen or take advantage of unused rooms! 

Clients usually show me an image from Pinterest or Grand Designs magazine and ask me to create something similar. It’s always essential to consider the budget before I begin designing however; I want to make sure they have what they want but it must be achievable.

  • Do you have any interesting stories?

I was once hired for a small scale project on a Victorian terrace house in Northumberland. The owner wanted something special to make the home stand out from the others and after discussing the options and possibilities, they decided to expand the design. 

In the end, the front of the house appeared average to the eye, but as you stepped through the front door, you realise the entire back of the house has been cut away and replaced with a glass and steel structure, revealing a breathtaking view of the open fields behind the property. This design took me roughly 6 weeks to create, and the building took substantially longer, however the finished home is truly unique, creative and extremely personal to the client.

  • How are you finding Plentific?

It’s early days yet, but it has only taken me three days to sign off my first job. The website is proactive and the team are quick and efficient to call with leads. I also found its design unique and impressive.

  • What's been your favourite job?

My favourite project would have to be the front entrance extension on St Margaret’s Church. It had previously become quite run down and many did not realise it was even a church! The design of the entrance was lacking in that coffins had to be almost inverted to fit through the door. 

Someone had left money to the church for its renovation and so I designed a glass extension for the front door.

Once it was built, it made such a difference to the exterior! The church suddenly became a popular attraction, with more people visiting it than ever before. It also grew in demand as a venue with brownies and guides holding meetings and a variety of presentations being held there. The glass design lets in so much light during the day, and at night it lights up the structure beautifully.

  • What’s the best thing about your job?

Creating both desirable and usable spaces.

  • What's your favourite property TV show?

I’m a fan of George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. He studied his masters at the same university as me!

  • How do you take your tea?

Straight black - you do not want to risk drinking milk from a building site, there’s no guarantee how long it’s been out of the refrigerator!

If you're interested in Mark English Architecture, you can visit Mark's profile on Plentific, or alternatively we can find a local architect and structural engineer for you!