“To whom it may concern.
I am writing to recommend Ivan McFie as an architect.


I have had dealings with several architects in the past, either directly, or indirectly through other family members.  I won’t name names, but some of them were very highly regarded, appearing on Grand Designs, in the newspapers and so forth.  To be frank they have all been a nightmare to interact with.  The bills seem to be out of control, and you are presented with ridiculously complex contracts, and bills for work you didn’t even know was being carried out, often by unknown juniors.  Twice there has had to be a negotiated bill for work undertaken “mistakenly”, but the kind of mistake that can only happen through wilful misunderstanding, if I’m honest with myself about what I really think they were up to.  Also the designs all seemed to have basic flaws in them.  No matter how often you might point them out, they were never corrected.  To be frank, talking with all these other architects about the actual design was like talking at a brick wall.  No meaningful feedback or changes ever seemed to reach the plans themselves, which often continued down wild goose chases, until they were eventually abandoned at great cost.

Ivan is the total opposite in every respect.  He is a real, singular individual you can talk to, with great clarity of mind and organisation of facts.  The fees are clear, and make sense as regards the stages involved, and have been excellent value.  He seems to remember and take on every point that is thrown his way and incorporate all the best ideas in his designs.  Everything is discussed and evaluated until the optimum design is reached.  He also does research off his own bat, and even managed to get a final environmental assessment carried out on my recent plans for two detached houses on a patch of land I own in an environmentally sensitive area, with a Green-led council.

I couldn’t be happier with him and would recommend him without hesitation.  (My planning agent who works with a wide variety of architectural firms everyday told me he feels the same way – that Ivan is great.)

I would also say that Ivan is a very artistic soul and his designs are capable of being at that extremely rarefied level of virtuosity that might set him out as a truly great architect one day.  Yet at the same time, you get what you wanted.  He really hits the ‘sweet spot’.  I’ll certainly use him from now on.

Yours faithfully

Tim J, Brighton