One Yorkshire architect, who has already won awards in 2022 for pushing boundaries, is on a mission to continue breaking design glass ceilings in 2023, discovers Bethan Andrews
An adopted Yorkshire dweller through and through, architect Daniel Harvey fell in love with the charm of the county when studying in Sheffield for his degree. After marrying a Yorkshire woman, he’s very much found himself here to stay, and is dedicating his career to pushing the boundaries of design in the county – a pursuit that has seen him win a host of awards in 2022.
So, where did it all start? Daniel built up his experience in his hometown of London after university, working for high profile design studios ranging from small and bespoke to large international companies. “I worked primarily on large, mixed-use developments such as a 45-storey triangular tower in the Olympic Village, but when I came to Yorkshire, I had incredible new opportunities as I started designing university buildings, schools and colleges, then I took on the role of leader of Architecture and Innovation at a leading modular company for several years,” he says.
“Three and a half years ago, with that experience, I decided it was time to set up on my own,” he continues. “As a small architectural studio, I focused on residential and started with high-end extensions, but always with the same outlook of going for high-profile design. I like to push boundaries and think of things that other people haven’t thought of. I like to ultimately improve the lives of the people who are going to be living or working in the space and to make a big difference. This is why I wanted to be an architect. So, I started small, I built up and that’s when I moved into designing whole houses.”
It was here that Poet’s View in Whitby presented itself to Daniel, and it marked a huge turning point in his career. After a long two-year planning journey, the property on the cliff top overlooking the Whitby coastline has become something of an iconic development, and one which has captured the imaginations of many people, including those at the Yorkshire Residential Real Estate Awards. At the end of 2022, Daniel won Design Project of the Year for Poet’s View at the awards, and now, requests from people across Yorkshire who are, too, wanting to push boundaries in design are flooding in. “It felt really good to be getting some recognition as it’s hard work being an architect and you have to have passion and drive,” says Daniel. “To be recognised for achievement is a really nice feeling.”
So, what was so special about the project? Naturally, the enormous horizon window that makes the most of the views makes it pretty special, and the large amount of glazing and natural light, too. The client even wanted their vintage cars on display from the window, so special fire rated glass was installed into the garage. The living green roof full of flowers and the double height hallway also adds to the impressive design, as well as the turret room and roof terrace.
“It became apparent quite quickly that demolishing the existing property and starting again would be best,” Daniel reveals. “You can create anything you want. The Poet’s View site is interesting, with two fronts to the building and visible from all sides. I had to come up with a design that responded to every single side in a different way, with the street frontage being different to the sea frontage. We needed to maximise the views out to the sea as it’s, apparently, one of the only places in the UK where you can see the sun rise out of the sea and back into the sea from the same place, with its 180 degree sea views – it extends round to past Whitby Abbey, it’s spectacular. The client wanted art deco, which was appropriate for the site, but there was quite a lot of opposition at first from neighbours and locals. People are always taking photographs of it and telling us and the owners how wonderful it is, and the local people responded well to it in the end.”
It’s clear from chatting with Daniel that he is well versed in the importance of communication and collaboration. He smiles as he tells me about how the contractor for Poet’s View is one of the best he’s ever come across, and that it meant the project happily became a collaborative process. “It was a collaboration between builder, architect and client, and because of that relationship and understanding between us all, it was delivered successfully,” he says. In fact, with his love for yoga and his wife being a yoga teacher, Daniel is possibly one step further in combining his passion for wellbeing and the internal thoughts, with his passion for external and aesthetic design.
“I like working with people who understand that the environment that you create around you impacts your internal environment,” he continues. “The external and internal environments are both linked, so that’s where my passion lies. I want people to have their lives and wellbeing improved and enhanced by the spaces that I design for them.”
So, what follows next? We talk about how exciting it is that Yorkshire seems to be really coming into its own when it comes to pushing boundaries and testing architecture. Gone are the days that people fell back on simple designs and new-builds, and there’s a definite movement whereby many clients in Yorkshire want something particularly special. Daniel has another project in Whitby that is a similar story to Poet’s View, as well as an ambitious property within York. “I want to be designing bespoke houses specifically for the needs of the client and the site,” he says. “I want clients who are people that want something different and who really understand design. My ideal client that I’m looking for now is someone that comes to me and wants their dream house, and wants me to push boundaries in a way that they might not get elsewhere, but in an impactful but realistic way.”
It certainly sounds as though Daniel Harvey is here to stay, too – he’s been caught hook, line and sinker by the beauty of our county. “I love the rural countryside of Yorkshire, but also love being next to the coast. I love the Yorkshire Dales and I proposed to my wife in the Hole of Horcum. I also really love the rugged coastline of Whitby,” he smiles. “When I moved here, I couldn’t believe how friendly everyone was as well, and how much space there is everywhere.”