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Juliet Miles Lea – “Roundel”

Easter Monday – Site Survey 2014

Installation – 7th October 2014

We’ve recently decided to revisit a client to see how she was settling in with her building, exactly two years since our initial meeting:

Two years ago today, Juliet Miles Lea of ‘Hollingbourne Counselling’ in Kent was looking forward to her site survey for her long awaited dream, the ‘Roundel’; her therapeutic practice room for person centred counselling.

Living in Kent, the land of the vernacular building the Oast house, Juliet had always had an affinity with round buildings. Working as a drama teacher but training to be a counsellor between 2001 and 2004, Juliet had a vision of practising from a garden room which, she instinctively felt that needed to be round.

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(A Kentish Oasthouse)

Juliet had an instinct that round spaces were more therapeutic, and she “just had to work in one”!

Whilst Juliet was embarking on further training to be a supervisor in 2014 she realised that she could wait no longer and her quest for the perfect therapy space had begun! Juliet was made aware of the fact that her teachers pension was being made available to her early and the lump sum could comfortably cover the cost of her long awaited dream. As it often works with serendipitous moments, her local builder (and friend), Rob, had picked up a Rotunda promotional postcard at the Ideal Homes exhibition and had passed it to her; and this was the start of a beautiful relationship.

Juliet: “I knew that I had to do this at that moment. It was the right time. I rang up and spoke to Gemma and I was pleased that she seemed to understand exactly what I was looking for. It was good contact from the word go!”

It was Easter Monday bank holiday (the perfect day – rebirth), when Gemma excitedly arrived in her garden to chat about her dream for the little corner in the garden which later became a sanctuary for her, and others.

As they chatted, Juliet’s husband, Mark made some peppermint tea and Gemma measured the corner of the garden. As they sketched out a rough plan of how a Rotunda might look, the shape and feel of the building started to shift into focus. Everything was considered; where the windows should be positioned to allow the maximum amount of light into the building, how the door might open (in or out?), where the hinges were (left or right?!) and how the path would wind up to the entrance from the patio Would the Rotunda, being nestled into the corner amongst trees look better with shingles or larch boards? What style of roof covering would look best and how would the building be furnished? Symmetrical design or Asymmetrical features? Where would Juliet like the light switch to be and how would the heating system work?

After some furious scribbling and excitedly chatting back and forth, a visual image of “Roundel” was becoming clearer.

BASE AND DRAWING ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDEL {focus_keyword} Case Study BASE AND DRAWING ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDELSo, a few slices of cake and a gallon of peppermint tea later, Gemma, Juliet and Mark said their goodbyes until a few days later when some 3D visuals of the initial sketch were emailed across to Juliet prior to generating a quotation. It was love at first sight!

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Juliet was impressed that Rotunda was not only a ethical company, building exclusively in the round, but was a female led organisation with a very strong environmental ethos. The very concept of a ‘Roundhouse’, being intrinsically soulful and in alignment with shapes and form within nature conjures up conversations about emotional well-being and it became very apparent from the outset that Juliet had found a company with a philosophy which ties in exactly with hers.

So, once the details had been drawn up, and the installation date set for the Autumn, Juliet and Mark embarked on the ground works.

Juliet: “We decided to go for a concrete plinth because we have clay, Rob our builder did the groundworks for us and even though it wasn’t’ the most eco friendly it was the most suitable. I think it cost about £1,500.00.”

When we asked Juliet what she liked the most about our company, she stated that the moment she first saw the website, she knew that it was exactly what she was looking for.

The shape of the building was of course the primary attraction but the use of eco materials, carefully sourced components and ethics really captured her imagination. Juliet mentioned that she loved the fact the Rotunda “Wasn’t just off the peg”. It can be customised and is very much a bespoke build.”

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Juliet: “The roof of the building is my absolute favourite feature, it has a yurt-like quality, and the double-glazed rooflight dome is so, so special and the central letting in of light is very important. I love that. We knew of a yurt and had stayed in yurts before and we liked those. However, I needed an all year round building. A yurt, no matter how cosy you make it it’s always a bit susceptible to the weather.”

I also love what I chose in terms of upgrades. The Shingles, the Eco-Slates on the roof, and the T&G boarding inside; all of this detail makes it very individual and exactly what I wanted. We chose the perfect number of windows and I’m glad that I went for the wider door with the circle of the mandala – my rotunda is completely unique – we selected different sized windows and went with an asymmetrical design. It works so well with the use of the space.”

I remember chalking out on the plinth the dims of the desks etc. It was very important that I didn’t buy armchair and sofa that was too big! Everyone at Rotunda was so accommodating, you couldn’t do enough for me. Rhiannon sourced my furniture and the rug which was handmade and shipped over from the USA; and the desk, shelves and drawers were designed and crafted with great care and attention to detail.”

roundel roundhouse therapy {focus_keyword} Case Study roundel roundhouse therapyWhen we asked Juliet how she felt at the point of ordering her Rotunda, she responded that:

I always knew that I was doing the thing that I wanted to do. It was a process similar to waiting for Christmas when you’re a child. I was beyond excited and spent that summer fine tuning it all in my mind!”

And has it delivered?

Absolutely, and more besides. Roundel has surpassed my expectations. It’s an ideal workspace for me. I also love the fact that Rotunda is an ethical company, I prefer to deal with grass roots companies and I dislike corporate organisations; your passion for the environment is one of the main things that attracted me to you.”

Roundel has now become a retreat space for Juliet and Mark which also has a social function in their lives and they certainly love to take friends out there for a glass of Kentish fizz in the evenings! The new space is also fantastic for arts and creative works. Even though Juliet doesn’t visualise herself stopping counselling for quite a while, she imagines that if her work did decrease in the future then Roundel would be used more as a creative space.

(Photo below: Juliet Miles Lea (left) Joanna Hayes – Production Manager Rotunda (right) March 2016)

BUY ROUNDHOUSE THERAPY ROOM {focus_keyword} Case Study Roundel A1newEven though the Rotunda can be disassembled and relocated if Juliet were to sell her house, she’s declared that she would most definitely want to take Roundel with her, “I would never be parted from it, it would be a terrible wrench to imagine leaving this beautiful space. It’s reassuring to know that the building can be moved if we were to move, but that is very unlikely!”

It’s been beautiful trip down memory lane for all of us here at Rotunda and we appreciate the heartfelt feedback from a client of ours who has a deep connection to her Rotunda and the space it provides her.

THANK YOU JULIET!

www.hollingbournecounselling.co.uk

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