Architecture and interior design are intrinsically linked and both equally important in creating the perfect space. Architects are highly trained in the art and science of construction, and the technical, structural, and safety considerations, they are adept at structural problem-solving and creative design for both exterior and interior building design.

Interior architecture focuses on the functionality of a space, and interior design more on the aesthetic qualities and emotional responses a space can provoke.

Interior designers need a strong sense of functional and visual harmony which enables them to create cohesive and aesthetically pleasing designs, a process that is second nature for Kate Spence, co-founder of HUB Architects and Designers.

Evesham Journal:

Kate followed a broad design career path which began in stage and costume design.

“I worked as a designer for theatre in the 1980s before moving on to designing sets for BBC Television,”  said Kate.

She was also involved in several design projects for restaurants and clubs in the then emerging London docklands. In 2007, Kate set up HUB Architects and Designers with Simon Watkins, who directs the architecture while Kate leads on the interior design. “Simon’s career in architecture has been more conventional than mine, and to that end he became a founding partner of a large London based practice.

"Later we decided to combine our experience and creative energies and set up our own practice and haven’t looked back since. At HUB our vision has always been to deliver projects where the end user experience is at the fore from the earliest planning stages to final project completion.

"Our clients and their interface with their building is at the centre of all we do. This enables us to make sure that the interior design is not an after-thought but seamlessly integrated from the outset. Our work is about people as much as it is about buildings.”

One of HUB’s first projects was a large historic house on the Thames, originally designed in early 18th Century with a ballroom by Robert Adam and later 19th Century additions.

“It is an honour to be part of the legacy of important historic buildings and we have continued to be able to work on some magnificent examples since.”

Evesham Journal:

One of the most challenging projects Kate and Simon worked on together was the design and construction of the alteration and extension of a maisonette in a Listed mansion in Holland Park, London.

“We were successful in negotiating Listed Building consent to combine three flats into one and the construction of a two storey basement beneath the rear garden of the building containing a pool room, cinema room and gym. We have been privileged to work for some very creative people, who choose to collaborate on the architectural design.

"We welcome collaboration and relish the joy of working alongside the artistic energies of others. Sometimes, during this process, the approach to the construction stage can become a little unorthodox.

"One of our most dynamic clients found a life size model of a giraffe. The giraffe was being “skipped”, having been on display in a clothing store. Halfway through the site stage, the contractor was instructed to collect the giraffe and store it on site, so that it could take up residence in the main living room of the large apartment near Hyde Park.”

Simon’s favourite project was a new music and sixth form centre for Aldenham School in Hertfordshire.

“This building links a Victorian chapel to an Edwardian sports pavilion in an historic setting. We arranged a design 'charette' with the sixth formers and teachers. We chose a traditional oak frame for the superstructure that enabled us to create large internal spaces.”

And Kate’s favourite project?

“My favourite project was the full architectural and interior design of an unusual 1950s house in Central London, overlooking Hyde Park. The original house had been built cheaply in the 1950s, post-war rush and was not a good example of Mid-Century Architecture.

"The brief was to renovate it for an international family with a nod to its’ Mid-Century heritage and a clean, calm palette of materials. The building was not grand in scale, but we were able to completely gut all four floors of the building and reconfigure the plan, to maximise the space and circulation and add air conditioning and comfort cooling. We were also able to relocate and design a new staircase with a nod to the building’s origin.”

HUB have been fortunate to work on many beautiful projects with a luxurious specification in stunning locations. Possibly one of their grandest was a new build house near Regents Park in London.

“In order to meet planning guidance, we designed the exterior of the house in the style of the adjacent early 19th Century stucco rendered villas. Internally, it was contemporary but classic, acknowledging the shell context, while concealing a myriad of smart home accessories, gadgets, and technical wizardry. The building included a basement swimming pool and cinema.

"For us, the greatest pleasure was being able to work with the finest craftsmen. The most beautiful feature in the house is a sweeping stone staircase over four floors, which was exquisitely and lightly detailed in Italian marble.”

While HUB have never presented themselves for any awards, their projects have won many accolades. Most recently a conversion of Hanstead House, a grand listed building in Hertfordshire, which has gone on to win several property awards.

Like many businesses, when the Covid pandemic struck in 2020, Kate and Simon knew they needed to diversify.

“We realised that the lockdown “pause” would give our clients the chance to think more about their homes. With the benefits of communication via the internet, we have been able to offer a design service online. Working with photos and any other information that our clients can share; we are able to assemble schemes that inspire and refresh.

"We believe that good design can be achieved without spending large sums of money. It is simply a case of working within our clients’ budgets to maximise the benefits of their space and to celebrate their lives and taste, within that space.”

During the last year Kate and Simon have also relocated their architectural practice to the North Cotswolds and renovated a beautiful Regency house near Evesham. This has given them time and opportunity to get to know local craftsmen, suppliers, and contractors who they look forward to working with on future projects in the Cotswolds and Midlands.

Kate and Simon bring many years of experience and have a wide understanding of architectural history and planning, when combined with a passion for contemporary design and new construction methods, they deliver schemes that are both sympathetic and contemporary.

“Building the perfect home takes patience, energy, and time from all those concerned, but it is worth it. Well-considered architecture and interior design can add massive benefits to our lives. Our greatest pleasure at HUB is to enhance our clients’ quality of life through carefully planned spaces and exquisitely detailed buildings. We know that a good building will stand the test of time and will be sustainable, retained intact and loved for generations. At a practical level our advice is always to invest in the sustainability of your home.” Sound advice indeed.


Tel:020 7328 2576