AREA GUIDES

Ekkist Co-founder Jonathan Baker on tranquil Surrey

Tangerine Californian poppies Photo: Spencer Wilton

Ekkist is based in the Surrey Hills, which have not only inspired us, but also provide dramatic scenery which reinvigorates the mind.

Pewley Down is only a short, albeit steep, walk from Guildford town centre, but follow the North Downs Way and you are treated to a dramatic view south west towards Sussex and beyond which you cannot help but pause and admire. Further along the trail is Chantry Wood, a steep hill covered in mature trees and offering teasing views of the surrounding countryside through the occasional clearing.

In the opposite direction, away from Guildford, the Hogs Back offers a wide view towards Hampshire and Berkshire, with the arch of Wembley Stadium visible on a clear day.

View from above at the plant
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Final caption from above at the plant

“Juxtaposed against the rolling hills, striking architecture also plays a role in stimulating ideas”

The modernist Cathedral sits on top of a hill overlooking the surrounding town and countryside. The exterior is bold, however inside the design is simple, modern and light, offering drama but also tranquillity- a trait that fits with our design principles.

The United Reform Church offers a butterfly roofline which makes an otherwise normal building stand out from the neighbouring buildings, whereas on the other side of town, the grand Georgian townhouses offer elegant uniformity.

Our surroundings will always influence us, and inspiration can be found in many different, sometimes unexpected, places, large Cathedral or tiny detail. It is therefore crucial to bear this in mind when creating and shaping new spaces.