Frequently Asked Questions

Do you project manage?

On smaller projects we usually act as the ‘lead consultant’. This involves a degree of project management including recommending and introducing other consultants (e.g. structural engineer and quantity surveyor) to the project team, leading the design process, coordinating the input of the design team and reporting back to the client. When construction starts we then take the role of contract administrator, a role defined in the contract between the client and the main (building) contractor.

On larger projects it is usual for a designated project manager to be employed due to the greater complexity and larger design teams that are often involved.

Why are you called Project Orange?

The name Orange (before the advent of mobile ‘phones!) was coined by James and Christopher and a number of their architecture graduate contemporaries in the mid 1990s as the collective moniker under which they collaborated on architectural competitions. It began with a debate over a quotation by the Surrealist Paul Eluard; “The earth is blue like an orange”,.. It was a zeitgeist thing!

Orange became Project Orange in 1997 to reflect the shift from purely speculative work to real projects as the studio developed with James and Christopher at the helm.

How do you calculate fees?

We always try to equate our fee directly to the amount of work and therefore time that we believe a project will require. Where this can be accurately estimated at the outset of a project, we will propose a fixed fee for the work calculated on the predicted number of man-hours and relevant hourly rates.

Occasionally this may also be a fixed fee calculated as a percentage of a properly prepared estimate of the build cost of the project.

Where not enough is known about a project at the outset to fix our fees we often work on a time charge basis up to an agreed budget. Fees may then be fixed for the ongoing stages of the project on the basis described above.

On smaller and individual residential projects it is also customary to work on a fee calculated as a percentage of the build cost.

Can we come and visit your office?

We are always delighted to invite people to our offices, so please just get in touch. Our main studio is in Lavenham though we also have space in London - White Collar Factory / 1 Old Street Yard / London / EC1Y 8AF

Do you work on small projects?

Yes! We strongly believe that small projects offer the chance to test new ideas and offer balance in the diet of the office. The studio has a strong track record of working on smaller high quality domestic projects and you can see many examples of extensions, interiors and even just rooms that we have completed on our projects page.

Can we visit any of your projects?

Of course, though some are easier than others to visit on your own. Obviously hotels and restaurants are open to anyone, while private houses are more difficult. However if there is somewhere you would like to experience please get in touch and we will see what we can do.

Can I have an image to publish?

If you would like to publish one of our projects or obtain a photograph please get in touch. We generally own the copyright, so there is no cost. The only thing we like to agree is the necessary credits and a hard copy of any physical publication.

Can I send in my CV?

Yes – please send your CV to James Soane. As we are a small company we do not hire many people at once! However we are always on the look out. Hint – it is always good to write to the person (that’s me) and give some thought as to why you would like to work at Project Orange (rather than a general round robin letter). My e-mail is [email protected]

Who owns Project Orange?

Project Orange is a Limited Liability company set up in 1997 and owned by the directors, Christopher Ash and James Soane.

How does Project Orange work abroad?

We have worked on many overseas projects including those in India, Ireland, Morocco and Russia. Project Orange does not have an office in any other country but produces all of its work in the London studio.

Key to the success of working in any other country is a clear understanding at the outset of what services are required and how these will be coordinated and managed with the host project team. This varies from client to client and from country to country however we always look to the local team to ensure compliance of design work with local codes and regulations and to administer any relevant building contracts. With this in mind we are always clear in our requirements for the roles to be performed by the client’s consultant team.

The most important aspect of our work, and the reason clients approach us from overseas, is our skill in producing high quality and original concepts and the development of these through to working drawings and specifications.

Site visits to inspect works are then made in the usual way and supported by the issue of revised information to local teams and contractors as required. However, for cost and logistics reasons it is common that the number of site visits is less than for a UK based project, with much of the general quality inspection being the responsibility of the local team. We find that using e-mail, Skype and requesting regular photographic updates we are able to keep up with the project and ensure a positive outcome.