Some practices have a ‘green’ section on their website. We don’t, because all our projects are conceived with sustainable design in mind from the outset. Materials, siting, orientation… a practical approach throughout – not ‘eco-baubles’. Our founding principle was to show that buildings can work with the environment to produce functional architecture with the ability to challenge and delight.
80% of us live in towns and cities, but it seems to us that towns and cities get more than 80% of the architectural profession’s creative thought. Planning and development thinking has hitherto been framed in ‘urban’ terms (eco-towns, urban design, ‘Towards an Urban Renaissance’) but we are also interested in the rural condition, in villages and landscapes. We think the time is right for a rural renaissance.
We believe there are times when a new building should stand out as a landmark, but there are other times when a building needs to talk more quietly. Preserving the integrity of a street-scene or the harmony of a landscape are valid objectives for an architectural project, but buildings that work on this level can still speak of their time and delight their users.
Respect for the Past…
Old buildings form a key part of our shared cultural heritage. When we work with historic and listed buildings, ‘re-cycling’ them for new uses, we take great care to preserve the qualities which make them special and important, balancing this against the requirements to improve their performance to modern standards. Sometimes it is appropriate for additions and enhancements to blend seamlessly into the historic fabric, elsewhere a new addition can take on its own character – creating a new chapter in the history of the building.
…Confidence in the Future.
Today’s new buildings are tomorrow’s architectural heritage. We believe it is possible – and often desirable – for new buildings to be sympathetic to their context, but they should do this without aping their historic neighbours. We believe new buildings should speak of their own place and time, for the enjoyment of future generations.