Our architectural ideas emerge from an understanding of place, through history, topography, context and culture. We see our work as being vitally connected to its surroundings and to the people who inhabit it. We often describe our projects as ‘explanatory buildings’ that reveal or frame an aspect of their inner workings, their cultural purpose or their relationship to the world.
In conversation, we talk about ‘scalelessness’, an invented word, and how architecture must work at many scales – from the landscape to the hand, from the city to an individual window – and in so doing reveal something about us and our surroundings. As a practice it means that we like to work both strategically and tactically, both conceptually and in detail.
We search for a combination of project and context (physical, historical and cultural) that elaborates upon a heightened sense of place.
We are fascinated by the nature and quality of a material, its colour and grain, the way that it is cut and fits together. The care shown in how materials are employed tells a story about the value that a community places in its built environment. It can also intertwine with a client’s aspirations, a city’s culture and traditions, a society’s preoccupations, the history of a place and new technology.
The detail of systems and materials, at the scale of a person, is highly considered by our practice. These are the moments of one-on-one interaction with a building, where you may touch a handrail, open a drawer, perceive the framing of a view, understand the way materials join, or how they may have been reinvigorated from an earlier life.
Our interest in the process of making, in turn leads to inventing new ways of making, to a strong material presence in our work that engages all of the senses.