Meet Your Designer: Keeley Harris
Fun fact: Designer by day, viticulturist by night
Worked at Arkiplan since?
Most challenging project?
A new build is always challenging as it is such a large project to design, organise, and get finished on time. My biggest challenge was probably a new build 120-seater restaurant where I was given a concrete slab and a steel frame and asked to design it all. With such a blank canvas I had to break up the seating areas so it wasn’t too loud when it was full, and create space for the kitchen, bar area and toilets. I designed the bar and fitted furniture, feature ceilings and décor. It was a challenge narrowing down the options to one or two but I loved every minute of it!
How long have you been making clients’ lives more beautiful?
I have been working in the industry for over 22 years, working on all sorts of projects from simple extensions through to new builds, coffee shops, offices and restaurants.
Why did you get into architectural design?
I was always a creative child but followed a different career path initially. I had a family mentor within the industry who saw I had a gift and gave me the courage to change. I studied in my spare time and realised it really was what I was destined to do.
Previous work experience?
Where to start? I guess I began small doing interior design for residential clients which led me to work for a local restaurant. I loved designing this and through contacts worked on numerous leisure projects as well as houses. I offered a one-stop shop for clients from the initial design concept, through planning, through building control, project managed the entire construction and fit out, and handed back the keys to the homeowner 6 months later. I have worked with Amstrad and a couple of household names, as well individuals and small companies.I am currently studying in my own time to become an Accredited Passivhaus Designer, to design new and existing Carbon Zero properties. I am fully knowledgeable on all the new modern methods of construction (such as ICF, SIPs and Closed Panel systems), Solar Storage systems, Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR), Green Roofs (Sedum), Insulation requirements and Thermal Performance.