The goal of the practice is to construct architecture which is enduring and timeless in its use, appearance and experience. We create buildings of character and beauty, however this is only possible because our work is underpinned by a robust philosophy, a set of firmly held convictions, which are a necessary prerequisite for any meaningful architecture. The work is unified by a number of themes that marry both the philosophical and the technical dimensions of architecture, providing a foundation for designing and constructing buildings that make a permanent contribution to the lives of our clients and their communities.
Permanence is at the heart of all of the work of the practice. It is a quality that humankind longs for and admires in the buildings and cities that have endured. These places provide a buttress against the passing of time and the ephemerality of our media saturated lives. But the ambition to build permanently has nearly disappeared over the past century. While this shift has entailed a significant loss to human experience, it has also had dire environmental consequences. When one considers that by O.E.C.D. estimates, in first world countries, a full third of energy consumption and a third of waste produced comes from the construction and demolition of buildings, it is clear that to build sustainably we must build permanently. Our buildings attempt to fulfill this deep seated human desire for the eternal while delivering long-term sustainability.
Building permanently encompasses a wide range of knowledge, skill and expertise. Our buildings arise from durable construction and intelligent detailing, but it is equally important that our architecture is founded on abiding architectural principles and the ideas and traditions embodied in buildings which have themselves endured. The only way a building can survive is if it is valued by its users and its community, therefore we take the long view, and begin our designs with a deep understanding of local culture, building traditions and architectural history in order to achieve an aesthetic of timelessness which may be valued by users for generations.
We believe that the construction of buildings is fundamental to their form and experience, therefore a thorough understanding of the technical and material aspects of architecture is central to the practice. We enjoy architecture that expresses its structure and construction, so to us, good construction is good architecture. Our focus on achieving permanence in our buildings ensures our dedication to constantly expanding and consolidating our expertise in building durability and the associated quality assurance and maintenance strategies.
Structure is one of architecture’s ‘permanent conditions’, that which it must address in order to exist. Therefore, to us, structure is not simply the remit of the engineer, it is an opportunity to make an architecture with a character that speaks to us directly about the unchanging truth of the building. We are drawn to the experience of this truth and the potential for structure to impart a feeling of immediacy, timelessness and inevitability to our buildings and spaces.
When a clarity of structure is combined with an architecture that expresses its construction, the spaces have a rich dialogue between the singular and the many or the figure and a patterned ground. The character of our spaces is defined by this layered tectonic expression. We avoid empty form making by achieving legibility of what a building is made of, how it is made and stands, and how it looks as a direct result of these.
We seek a direct connection between structure, form and place. Structure, material, and environment are essential ‘permanent conditions’ unique to any landscape and it is the way our buildings address these conditions that connects them to the nature of place with its attendant material and constructional traditions. By exploring and building upon local material and structural strategies, our buildings are able to be unique and yet wholly of their place, contemporary yet timeless.