Robinson van Noort design buildings, interiors and furniture. We specialise in combining contemporary design with historic and period buildings, looking at ways for the two to uplift each other.
We believe in working within a framework that honours the heritage of the host building and allows real and conceptual space for our clients’ existing possessions, providing a design service from shell and core to full interior design and decoration.
We aim to present a period building and interior in a new context – one that centres on our client’s history and how they wish to use and enjoy their new home. A brief is, after all a list of needs and wants. These are driven by our clients’ knowledge, attitude and beliefs, all of which have been created by their own stories, their own history. Merging their present-time brief with a period building is a magical and transformational process that creates a lot of pleasure.
It is this client-centric ethos that has led us to set up You & Your Project – a fundamental shift in the practice that offers an additional service – one that advises anyone considering undertaking a home alteration or refurbishment. From 20 years of experience, we fundamentally believe that the quality of client’s brief is directly proportional to the success of their project. And a quality brief is only possible with some foundational knowledge about design and the building process. The adage that there’s no such thing as great design, just great clients isn’t as ridiculous as many designers think. For more information about how to learn and prepare for your own project, please click You & Your Project – it provides you with the tools to give you the very best chance of success, whether you decide RVN is the right studio for you or not.
Do watch a short video about the workings of our studio and practice, what distinguishes us and how we serve and create value, financial and otherwise, for our clients.
Nothing gives Ali more pleasure than to make homes for people. He thinks it is the most honourable and worthwhile thing he can do to directly improve the lives of his clients, their friends and family. Making beautiful contemporary things that honour the existing building and showing respect for those who make it happen, creates magic and gives enormous pleasure. He always says there isn’t such as thing as a great designer, just great clients. Great clients allow talented and gifted teams to deliver their wishes, wants and dreams.
He set up RVN with Carolyn 20 years ago and has completed several dozen quality and featured projects in London, the UK and aboard. His skills lie in working with his clients to reach a concept design that answers their brief. He then directs RVN’s delivery team to ensure the concept moves through from planning to the completed project, overseeing the studio’s blending of architecture, interior design and decoration. His background is fine art having read that at The Ruskin, Oxford University. He has array of interests from been involved in a number of entrepreneurial enterprises, like founding One for The Road, to running his award winning furniture collection, Ali Robinson, to playing and loving a number of sports including rackets where he became world champion. It is this unusual mix of interests that brings something interesting to all RVN’s projects – a celebration of both the contemporary and classical and the fine and decorative arts.
Carolyn Van Noort
Carolyn has a rare gift for colour and texture. By nature, an extremely dextrous maker of things, she has a wonderful love and appreciation of all finishes, be it fabric, stone, timber, metal or polymers and a special talent of how to combine these in unusual ways to reflect RVN’s clients. Carolyn studied Interior design at the Inchbald and textile design at Morley. She has over 25 years experience working on numerous interior design projects throughout the UK and abroad. RVN’s separate skillsets of architecture and interior decoration is not a split. Rather it presents a situation for Carolyn, as head of interiors, to lead a process of ongoing osmosis between the macro and micro such that the established look and feel is maintained throughout all stages of work. In doing so she prepares the space for decorative layering. Part of this layering is RVN’s clients history, often reflected in possessions they take with them into their new home. Carolyn believes that as everyone has a history they have stories. She takes great pride in creating environments that tell those stories, as she feels the best homes are the ones where the owner’s personality, character and history speaks to you everywhere.
Project & Design Coordinator
Anand has a wonderful problem-solving and technical ability alongside the most affable of natures. He is a great team builder and organiser and client faces from start of site till project completion. His is forever inquisitive about the technical advancements in architectural aides and keeps us all on our toes with how we can better express our ideas to both contractors, suppliers and clients.
Anand has a BA in Architecture and MSC from Sheffield University in computer aided environmental design. He joined RVN in 2010 and now leads the delivery of our
Financial Controller/ Studio Manager
Mary heads accounts and all financial aspects of projects, from purchasing ff&e items to updating total project costs and payment schedules. Her responsibility includes the vital role of checking and updating costs to keep our clients aware of all past and future expenditures. She is hard working, diligent and organised and shows these trait in everything she does coordinating things for the studio, be it internal design programs or forecasts. This determination also reveals itself in her (obsessive!) dedication to snooker where she is working her way up to the top of the world rankings!
Matt has worked with RVN for 10 years. He likes to challenge the norm, developing creative and innovative solutions to respond to an increasingly complex planning system where he believes in demystifying and simplifying planning and development legislation to cut through the jargon. This is an essential skill to present planning risk to our clients who are, understandably, rarely experts in this field, yet must make early and potentially expensive decisions based on our advice. He is a town planning consultant and member of the Royal Institute with 20 years of experience and success in securing planning and listed building consents.
Vlad is a recently qualified architect, joining RVN in 2023. We’ve thrown him into a variety of projects where he’s already demonstrated his versatility at handling a myriad of tasks with excellent planning, organisation and technical ability. However it is his sheer enthusiasm and hard graft that we so welcome. We very much look forward in helping him develop his career at RVN.