Archive for the ‘Design Philosophy’ Category

Form Follows Force Part 2

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Here are the second batch of images on our new housing and apartment typologies. These images explore how a large scale settlement edge development can be sympathetically integrated into its setting, creating a humane settlement edge where people will love to live and impact is minimised. Let us know what you think….


Form Follows Force!

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

 

 

At Snug we endeavour to create humane homes where people ‘love where they live’. Our architecture seeks always to respond positively to the forces at work upon it. These forces are derived from the characteristics of the site, the ergonomics of inhabitation and of course the clients business plan. Form follows force!

Two quotes that have always influenced our work. The first, Jorn Utzon in The Innermost Being of Architecture;

‘The true innermost being of architecture can be compared to natures seed, and something of the inevitability of nature’s principle of growth ought to be a fundamental concept in architecture. If we think of the seeds that turn into plants or trees, everything within the same genus would develop the same way if the growth potential were not so different and if each growth possessed within itself the ability to grow without compromise. On account of different conditions, similar seeds turn into widely differing organisms.’

In other words, in nature, form follows force.

Our signature design process, shrink wrapped function and the stealthed form, is a design strategy for a humane architecture. We have been refining the use of this technique to produce efficient housing layouts that respond to the forces at work on the project.

Be it the macro scale of walking around a large development, embedding and sculpturing forms into their immediate physical context or the micro scale of manoeuvring around a bed in a bedroom, we are always thinking about the way our buildings mould to the forces at work upon them.

When these forces align with the emotional requirements of the human; lighting; materials; familiar domestic forms; the design becomes not just for the human, the functional, but is for the humane, the force.

The second quote is by Steven Holl, from Anchoring;

‘Architecture is bound to site…Building transcends physical and functional requirements by fusing with a place, by gathering the meaning of a situation architecture does not so much intrude on a landscape as it serves to explain it.’

The places in which we live should help us live and orientate ourselves in the world. They should speak of who we are and how we hope to be.

We have sought to develop these ideas in the context of a series of large scale housing development, to showcase its effectiveness. We approached standard housing typologies, and applied our principles, sculpting forms that echo an arts and crafts contextual style through the contemporary use of asymmetry, chamfering, jettying, gables and pitching. This was completed by lowering the perceived scale of the larger units through stealthed forms, using rhythm in street scenes, defining lynchian nodes and routes and celebrating the edge of the sites through its relationship to its natural context, increasing its surface area and pulling views deeper into the site. The result are places that we would love to call home.

We feel we have produced a new domestic design aesthetic that is contextual, familiar and loveable. We would welcome your thoughts?

Settlement Edge

The Flats

Detached House

Symbiotic design

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Snug are starting a national debate on the merits of Symbiotic Design. This is about thinking outside the silo, exploring how multiple functions can be added to a project without compromising the primary function. The result can be significant added value at little or no added cost. It is an inherently sustainable approach to design that creates additional outcomes from what were single function solutions.

Our first application of this approach was our proposal for adding wind turbines to lamp posts. The lamp post already provides the support, the wiring and all the prelim costs of installation. All the wind turbines need is to borrow the existing infrastructure supplied by the lighting columns. The result is symbiotic infrastructure, a net gain at little or no extra cost or impact.


Our most recent applications of this ground breaking approach is in the design of symbiotic sea defences, a prototype applied and now delivered at our Milford-on-sea beach hut project. The concept is simple. Take the costs of essential infrastructure, normally a sea wall, and add value by inhabiting it. In this case we inhabit the wall by adding multiple uses in and around the essential concrete sea defence. In this instance concrete c-sections laid on their sides achieve a robust 1 in 200 year sea defence whilst also providing new beach huts within, and a promenade on the roof.


Symbiotic Sea Defences

99% – Beach huts, promenade, inhabitation

1% – Sea defences

The result is a liability transformed into an asset. A government grant transformed into the seed funding for a major waterfront rejuvenation. Traditionally the money spent on sea defences achieves one thing and one thing only, defence from the sea. It often comes at a high price, cutting people off from the waterfront and destroying the everyday due to fears about the ‘one day’. Our approach ensures that the essential requirement of sea defence is not compromised. Instead it is added to with multiple additional uses being derived from the core ingredients of the project and at little additional cost. We believe this approach could create significant long term revenue for local authorities, leveraging government grants to create cultural and economic transformation of the seafront.

Symbiotic Design is all about thinking across silo’s. Our inhabited sea defences recognise the all important necessity for robust sea defences. Delivering sea defences is not, however, seen as the end but instead becomes the beginning, the seed funding for wider urban regeneration. Secondary uses leverage the primary use in the same way as symbiote’s do in nature.  The result is significant added value and a more holistic and multidisciplinary approach to infrastructure design. We believe it is this approach that will deliver truly sustainable solutions in the future. It is time for cross silo thinking, it is time for Symbiotic Design!

Elephant Cage – Part 2

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Following last November’s involvement with the ‘Elephant Cage’ symposium, #ECage17, Richard joined a number of talented Anglo-Dutch Architects and Engineers on an invigorating and inspirational trip to the Netherlands, to reflect on the conceptual proposals for the ongoing strategy for Sea Defence along Southsea seafront.

As part of this trip Richard was able to view and talk to the original designers and engineers responsible for world renowned infrastructure projects that seek to integrate within their environment to enhance as well as protect the urban context.
It was heartening to find so many parallels with these global leaders in design and innovation, sharing many of the values and strategies that Snug has been promoting in our own work and thinking.
And of course, no trip to the Netherlands would be complete without a tour of some of the most sublime and eccentric architecture our planet has to offer! Markethaal by MVRDV; De Rotterdam by OMA; Delft Railway Station by Mechanoo and the Cube Houses by Piet Bloom to name just a few!
Thanks to @ProjCompass @ArchLokaal @arch_port  with our media sponsors the Architects Journal @ArchitectsJrnal 

Collaborating with giants

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

At the heart of our philosophy is the idea that we are greater when we collaborate. We created this image to reflect and inspire the symbiotic collaboration we believe in. If you are a giant looking for a symbiont give us a call. Our experience to date suggests it can be great for the host and mutually beneficial.

Building in Context

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

 

This has got to be one of the best quotes I have ever heard on the reason for designing in context. Cllr Gottlieb, we love it.

Extract taken from the Hampshire Chronicle 2 February 2017.

The joys of tendering

Monday, December 12th, 2016

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We love the sentiment here….The bad old days of lowest price tendering may be mostly dead but the mindset is still very much alive. We all need to re-think tendering. How can we better achieve the client’s real objectives? They are rarely just cost, time and quality. The client’s objectives are generally highly nuanced and evolving, emerging out of the process. The right solution emerges from the team who are most committed and fairly remunerated for their efforts. What we should be saying is; “As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind…..i’m so glad the people who built this rocket were as committed to the exploration of space as I am.” The great tenders help values align. They draw out the team with the most commitment, most experience, most passion. No-one minds paying fairly for that.

Re-visiting the Petersfield Neighbourhood Plan

Monday, November 21st, 2016

public consultation event_petersfield neighbourhood plan_snug

Back in 2013, Snug Architects were commissioned by Petersfield Town Council to develop a conceptual masterplan for the future of the town as part of the Petersfield Neighbourhood Plan. This formed part of an exemplary programme of public engagement that would underpin the successful adoption of the Neighbourhood Plan. The Petersfield Neighbourhood Development Plan now forms part of the Local Plan policy used by the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA)when determining Planning Applications in Petersfield. It was formally adopted by the SDNPA on the 21st January 2016.

Snug Architects undertook a comprehensive review of the town and its context, located at the centre of the South Downs National Park ,as well as work previously prepared by the PNP Steering Group. We then helped to developed and deliver a public consultation strategy that engaged with both residents and landowners. Our approach was to clearly articulate the core issues and options in graphical form. Initially we prepared supporting material for an Option Weekend.

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This was the culmination of the previous 8 months of community engagement activities and marked a milestone in the PNP project. The intent was to present a number of aspects of the emerging plan to the public and gauge their opinion. The event was heavily promoted through the local press, an email distribution list, mail shot to all households (circa 6000) in Petersfield, banners at key locations around town and bus shelter branding was updated with “strap stickers”. Following the Options Weekend all of the information on display could also be viewed and comments submitted on the PNP website. Over 500 people visited the event and provided over 1500 comments.

public consultation_neighbourhood plan_snug

As a key part of this day we made a series of rolling presentations with space for questions and answers. This provided a critical opportunity for peoples opinions to be heard and validated and, importantly, for clear and specific responses to be articulated. This significantly improved the depth of public understanding for the proposals. Following this we worked in conjunction with Allies and Morrison to host a participatory Planning Design Event. We also developed more detailed proposals for key housing sites where visual impact was a specific concern. Petersfield was the first town in the South Downs National Park to have it’s own Neighbourhood Plan. It was a privilege to work with such an engaged and motivated community to help plan the future of their settlement. The people of Petersfield clearly know what it means to ‘love where live’ and it made all the difference.

 

 

Making concrete beautiful with Reckli

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

reckli_snug architects_milford-on-sea beach huts

Our design director, Paul Bulkeley, is just back from the Reckli factory in Herne, Germany where he was composing the artwork for the end panels to our 119 beach huts in Milford-on-sea. Here is a taste of what is soon to be caste in concrete.

Recoil end panels

milford-on-sea beach huts_snug architects

The design takes 119 objects found washed up on the beach and arranges them into a spiral taking the golden section geometry of a shell. By arranging the objects in height order and spiralling gently outwards from small to large, the shell form emerges.

paul bulkeley_snug architects

The artwork will now be turned into a reusable elastic formliner by Reckli. This will then be transported to the concrete fabricators for production and shipment to site in Milford-on-sea. The end panels will sit adjacent to each of the steps, providing a tactile and beautiful composition created from and informed by nature.

Cool, modern and vernacular – The new Mottisfont Visitor Centre

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Mottisfont visitor centre_snug architects_corten steel

Called in to see the new Mottisfont visitor centre on the way to work…. Stunning. This is a beautiful piece of carefully crafted modern architecture. It speaks equal of its setting and its era. Well done to Burd Haward Architects on a job well done. If you can’t visit the project you can find out more at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMxceOtKnl0

Mottisfont visitor centre_snug architects_hampshire vernacular

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