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About Us

Chris Exley, Director

Chris set up Water Lane Architects in 2011 to provide architectural design services for clients through all project stages. The practice works across East Anglia, with projects from Cambridge to Chelmsford, and with most projects being in north Essex, clustered around Colchester.
Drawing on 30 years' experience across many sectors - from residential to commercial, education to defence, leisure to industrial - Chris's specialism remains in ecological and low energy/ low carbon design.
Since setting up Water Lane Architects Chris has been a lecturer in concept design and a part time architectural tutor to architecture students at Anglia Ruskin University; the next generation of the profession.
Water Lane Architects' projects include new house design, large extension/ alteration schemes for private houses, and commercial schemes (offices, retail), as well as working for building contractors to provide technical design for design and build schemes. Project costs typically range from £50,000 to £2,000,000.

RIBA Chartered Practice, AECB member, Passivhaus Trust member, corporate member of the Essex Wildlife Trust

Water Lane Architects is an RIBA chartered practice, a member of the AECB (Association for Environment Conscious Building), a member of the Passivhaus Trust, and a corporate member of the Essex Wildlife Trust.

Giving something back

We support schools with career advice to their pupils, by attending careers events around Colchester, often representing the RIBA.  We aim to encourage pupils to consider architecture as a career, providing as it does a dynamic and continually evolving mixture of design, technology and pragmatic solution-finding for clients. 
During FY 2016-17 Water Lane Architects' two charities have been Essex Wildlife Trust and the Architects Benevolent Society.  Our 'No Christmas Cards' donations went to Wildlives (a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation charity in Essex) and Flyability (a charity giving experience flights on hang gliders and paragliders to those with mental and physical challenges).  Our winning clients' charity - Hillside Animal Sanctuary - also received a donation.
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