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Classical Country House Architects

Grounded in traditionalist values, at Jonathan Lees Architects, we take a contemporary and considered approach towards our unique projects. As Architects and Designers, we ensure that our progressive nature is nurtured and informed by lessons learnt from the past. And so, we encourage freedom and play in our studio so that every design flows with creativity. We emphasise the need and necessity to think outside the conventional box. Here, architecture transcends ‘building’ and instead celebrates the invention and poetry of objects and spaces to create the contextual backdrop to our client’s life experiences. Proudly progressive, we are traditionalist Architects pushing the boundaries of design.

Call 01173 790079 or email to discuss your project.

Front entrance to Arts and Crafts country manor

‘In our Studio you will find pens, pencils and watercolour paints strewn between sheets of half drawn sketches and drawing paraphernalia. Somewhere, hidden amongst the tracing paper is a drawing board or two. And under the piles of books, are Macs and PC workstations that assist us in creating wonderful things.’ – Jonathan Lees RIBA


about this Cornish Home


Series one ‘Our Approach to Architecture’ in the Writings Library


about ‘The Belvedere Garden Folly’

‘…progressing the Classical, Vernacular and Arts and Crafts language of architecture….’

We are a unique design practice with a philosophical approach grounded in the creation of classically influenced architectural design. We are inspired by the playfulness of progressing the Classical, Vernacular and Arts and Crafts language of architecture and design, taking a distinctive approach to the art of building by focusing on an artistic and craft-influenced design process.

Contemporary Steel and Oak Staircase

One of the core beliefs of our practice is that architecture is the art of building, and that bricks, stone, plaster, iron, brass and timber are an Architect’s medium when creating an artwork or diorama for the patron of the design.

Modern spiral staircase in Oak
Feature Oak hammerbeam timber frame ceiling
Classical sandstone fireplace
Oak frame covered garden loggia
Our Writings Library showcases a handful of project profiles and a collection of architectural essays and musings.

Arts and Crafts English Manor House

Read  ‘The Arts and Crafts Country House in Oxfordshire’ project memoir.

Everything, both interior and exterior, from door handles, light fittings and furniture, to windows, grates, grills, handrails, doors, staircases and cabinetry are designed by the team in our studio.

Visit our Curiosities Emporium, where some of our bespoke items designed for clients are exhibited.

Beech leaves and ferns carved in Oak
Stone carved classical fireplace in main hall
Oak car port outdoor lighting
Carved stone scroll with beech leaf and dog roses

Our studio invents its own palette and rulebook for design, based on many years of experience, research and learning from our ancestors and fellow artisans.

Although traditional building techniques and processes form the backbone of our knowledge, they do not restrict us in our ventures to be inventive, innovative and forward thinking.

Seaside new build house with classical proportions
Contemporary garden design and pergola
Classical house watercolour design with portico
‘Our challenge as Architects and designers is to ensure that we embrace our progressive nature but do not lose sight of what we have learnt from the past.’

Country House Swimming Pool and Orangery
Country house Arts and Crafts garden wisteria

Architecture is not just a visual art. It is a physical sculpture, an acoustic melody and a delicate painting. It is the use of proportions to create perfect compositions. Architecture is the invention and poetry of objects and spaces working together to create the contextual backdrop to our life experiences.

‘….thinking outside the
conventional box.

I encourage as much freedom and play in our studio for the designs to flow with creativity and thinking outside the conventional box.

Bespoke plaster ceiling rose design
‘….invention and poetry of
objects and spaces….
Watercolour sketch design of woodland cabin
Estate gatehouse with large cartway and brick buttresses

As a design-house, we enjoy pushing the boundaries of unique, bespoke designs, whilst learning from a wealth of historical examples and skilled trades in order to create objects, features and pieces that celebrate the design language of the overall building and personality of our clients.

Carved stone staircase with metal handrail and Oak panelling

Our aim as designers, is to create spaces forming a multitude of incidental surprises that are found and enriched by the inquisitive, ambitious homeowner.

‘The Arts and Crafts tradition has had a profound influence on my creative life.’

Queen Anne Style House Design Watercolour

‘For me, the Arts and Crafts tradition has had a profound influence on my creative life. My interest in Classical architecture stemmed from a love of history and from learning about the ancient civilisations, from ancient Egypt, the golden age of classical Greece through to the Roman Empire. This early interest spread to ancient architecture and I was soon consumed by a love of the history of architecture and how it has developed through the ages.’ – Jonathan Lees RIBA

Carved stone leaves and flowers in a swag

With Classical architecture now only being taught as a history module in most schools of architecture, it is difficult to see a future for it. But with a focus on sustainable and ecological design, there comes a resurgence in interest in the Arts and Crafts approach. We are, perhaps, entering a new age, one that looks to technology to help us to preserve our planet and meet our demands, but also one that looks to our ancestors for inspiration and example.

Awards won by some of our projects;

British Woodworking Federation 2017 – Overall Project Winner

Brick Awards 2018 – Category Winner for Craft

Natural Stone Awards 2020 – Winner of Craftsmanship Category

Browse the Curiosities Emporium that showcases a range of bespoke items designed for some of our clients. 


Read a selection of musings and essays written in our Writings Library, including in-depth specific project profiles on some of our projects.

Contact us by email or telephone if you find inspiration and would like us to work with you on your project.

01173 790079