THOUGHTS ON ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN METHOD

The buildings all look different?


We believe in establishing an unique HOLDING IDEA for each project


That no two sites, clients or briefs are ever the same


Clearly, sites and contexts vary a great deal. But we cannot allow ourselves to ‘fall back’ on what we did before, to replicate strategies or responses


Needless to say, all clients are different

V + A Silo Precinct – 100 000 sqm masterplan. Set out of new

precinct around Cape Towns single largest Heritage structure

– 1920’s Grain Silo

the ‘tree house’ – private residence.300 sqm. First sketch

– from first site visit: a slope covered in umbrella pines

It is therefore essential to not only listen to what the client and users are saying, but to hear what they are saying


The collaboration begins here


We often refer to the ‘gees’, or ‘spirit’ of the site. Just gut feelings really. First impressions which we include at commencement, and see if they stay in or not through the process


Process then, is what holds the method together


‘planning model’, in which 3D idea and proverbial tracing

paper sketches (sometimes to scale), co exist in developing

the idea of the project

the ‘tree house’ – private space. note antique chest of drawers

in contemporary setting

What links the many projects of the studio, both past and present, is that each project is underpinned and guided by research. Doesn’t matter if it is site specific research – some sites demand more investigation than others, such as ‘Heritage Sites’ – or the clients themselves, or for that matter the ‘content’ of the brief – such as for a building housing technical processes, (for example – wine making). Either way, holistic research and understanding are critical to the process which follows


Whilst many requirements are familiar, and repetitive – for instance fire safety – there is no room for complacency. In fact, regarding fire safety, the design may have to rely on


smart and rational fire design to meet the specific needs of the project


Research extends also into the materials of the building, how it is constructed, and why. Decisions made endeavour to refer back, if not adapt, underpin and refresh, the original HOLDING IDEA


The same design method applies to all projects, irrespective of scale or scope. From a precinct wide masterplan, to a physically small re - adaptive insertion


The projects are intentionally unique

If you have any thoughts and would like to have a conversation, please engage with us by CLICKING HERE

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