Archive for October, 2012

We won’t tread on your dreams

Monday, October 8th, 2012

In yesterday’s copy of The Sunday Telegraph, an interesting article on the latest Grand Designs series noted an important lesson Kevin McCloud has learn’t after 14 years of working with people building their dream home – ‘it is dangerous to tread on peoples dreams. Building one’s dream home, be it nest or castle, is to obey one of man’s most primitive instincts.’ At Snug Projects we would totally agree. The relationship between architect and client is not always an easy one but at the heart of it is a recognition that this is the clients project, it is their dream home and ultimately the client is always right. Our job is to help them make an informed decision. You will struggle to find a house style across our portfolio. That is because our work is as eclectic as our clients. We are proud of that variety. I hope it is evidence that we take listening to our clients seriously. We try hard not to step on their dreams.

Let there be a bit less light

Monday, October 8th, 2012

I was interested to read Kevin Mcloud’s article in the Sunday Telegraph this weekend suggesting that it was time to ease up on the ‘glass walls and big white boxes’. He made a very relevant and accurate observation – too much glass is a bad thing. Most clients these days ask for as much light as possible and the resulting glass certainly challenges a projects energy credentials. The reality is of course that you can have too much of any good thing, light included. What is important is not the quantity but the quality. Light should be treated like a precious resource to be used sparingly and intelligently so at not to spoil its priceless qualities through over use. Kevin called for more gloom. I would prefer to call for more atmosphere. Le Corbusier famously recognised that architecture was ‘the masterly and correct play of light on volumes’. He, like Louis Khan, certainly new a thing or too about the careful and considered manipulation of light, demonstrated in the image below of Ronchamp. Powerful gloom indeed.

BDTweetup Winchester

Friday, October 5th, 2012

The #bdtweetup in Winchester was a great evening and good opportunity to catch up with other architects in the city. Peter Murray’s talk, ‘So you want to be famous’ on being a successful architect was inspiring and is in aid of Article 25 and the Architects’ Benevolent Society.

Building for Life 12 launched

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

CABE/Design Council yesterday launched the new Building for Life 12. A copy can be downloaded from:

http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/Documents/Documents/OurWork/CABE/Building%20for%20Life/Building%20for%20Life%2012.pdf

The document is intended to reflect their vision of what new housing developments should be: attractive, functional and sustainable places. It is based on the new National Planning Policy Framework and the Government’s commitment to build more homes, better homes and involve local communities in planning. We feel this is a useful checklist for those new to the design of places. It is however no guarantor of good design and must not result in a tick box approach to design assessment or negate the possibility for new and innovative ways of creating great places emerging. There must alwys be a place for the unexpected and surprising. If documents like this can be used alongside Local Design Review Panels there is a good chance that the quality of placemaking in the UK will ultimately be improved. Above all though this will continue to rely on the quality of designers rather than the way in which they are assessed.

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