We deliver a bespoke service regardless of the scale or complexity of brief. We usually deliver our work through one of three philosophies: Creating Places; Creating Buildings; and Creating Spaces.
We have a clear method of approaching masterplanning that has proven to be both successful and stimulating; we call this “Creating Places”. This process can be broken down into three distinct stages; Appreciating, Connecting and Designing.
We make sure that we understand the context of a project, by analysing, researching and mapping all the available data about a place. These factual matters are backed up by making sure we understand the social side too. We produce diagrams, maps and sketches as a way of summarising the information we have gleaned. But, more important is the need to ensure we get to grips with what makes the character of a place unique.
Once we have understood what is special about the location, we can begin to involve the local community in the discussion about what the project should be. Making connections with community groups, local stakeholders and clients is a vital way of ensuring a shared vision is developed.
The design process begins with creating the shared vision, and continues beyond the building process to post completion analysis so that we learn lessons for the future. It is a loop of constant iteration and improvement. Running as threads through our design work are the ideas of sustainability and a respect for context. The job of designing is made simpler if the character and history of a site been fully appreciated, and connections have been made with local people. The result is that we can maximise value by promoting appropriate densities, scale and uses.
We create new buildings or upgrade/re-imagine existing ones.
We either offer a full architectural service, from inception to completion of works on site, or tailor our involvement to suit a particular client requirement.
Whether we are dealing with an existing property or a new-build proposal, the best proposals are built around a big idea. That idea needs thorough testing. Appraisals are a necessary design tool early on, however approximate, and they can be initiated with a full design team, or often just a skeleton crew. But its not just technical data and feasibility which are important. The idea needs to be communicated and tested in spatial terms, through collaboration, to ensure it meets or exceeds the early ambitions.
The success or failure of a project will come down to its attention to detail. We gently work at that idea to mould and craft it. That means coordinating the engineering so that ceilings are the right height, the right layout and that services take up the right amount of space in the right locations; openings are the right proportion and given the right priority; energy use is minimised.
We work at both the small and big scales – the small detail often informs the bigger picture. The big idea is crucial, but it also needs to work at close quarters.
We space-plan building interiors, and create interior spaces.
Like a place or a building, an interior is a reflection of its owners and occupants; a demonstration of their ambitions and character. A successful interior will contribute strongly to the effectiveness of the business that uses it, or the well-being of the people that work, rest or play in it.
Following a thorough understanding of the client business plan, we test layouts and materials for quality and appropriateness. We collaborate with the design team to test cost, coordination and buildability. We interrogate the results and test their value.
However, emotional responses are as important as spatial and technical requirements in creating that value – colours, sound, privacy and openness, darkness and light, tactility, softness, all contribute to the important ‘feel’ of the space.
Modern partitioning systems and ceilings have provided cost effective means of dividing spaces to pre-determined dimensions and technical requirements, but do little to ‘shape’ those spaces. We spend time making sure walls and ceilings are not just uncluttered and efficient, but that that room ‘edges’ enclose a space to make it special, not just define its perimeter. We don’t like ‘left-over’ spaces.