Home is the place where design gets intimate.
In shared and family households, complex rhythms of use and interpersonal tensions intensify the interaction between humans and the homes that contain them. Beyond the front door, the way in which a home relates to its neighbours contains potential for community-building but also for feuds. We know that flat roofs can become outdoor spaces that extend the home; that slightly generous places on a staircase can be a good place to meet people; that carefully designed rooms can be used for more than one purpose sequentially or simultaneously. Exploring different scenarios, it is our practice to scrutinise the minutiae of daily life, starting our examination always with the experience of the user.
We ask questions such as, can we orientate the architecture so rooms are drenched in light? From the door, can we achieve long diagonal views through a window? Is there one place where, by clearing some furniture, you can dance? How many people can simultaneously cook and chat? Are there places for children to hide or run in circles? Are there varying depths of storage to efficiently keep objects of different shapes? Can the house host people of differing capabilities? How easy is it to transform the spaces for a special occasion? Are there places built into the window ledges where you can display creative work or sprout seedlings? Does the lighting adapt to create different atmospheres? Can you come together easily as a household but also disappear into personal space?
When designing, we consider how do you arrive home with a sleeping child? How do you unload shopping from a laden bicycle? How do you accommodate and celebrate inevitable change - children coming and going, people getting older or becoming frail? All these things are just as interesting as some of the more ‘architectural’ issues - materials, joints, junctions, details - that often preoccupy designers.
Mixed tenure homes in a traditional seaside town.
26 new homes for the Clapton Park Estate in Hackney, east London
New homes and imaginative uses carefully wrapped around a stately home near Bratislava, Slovakia.
Inventing new futures for a canalside site in east London.
Bringing an aloof town hall to life as a place for people
Creating a convivial neighbourhood of streets and houses on a riverside site in Newcastle-upon-Tyne
A radical reappraisal of spatial priorities in a minimum-sized apartment.
Pushing for new elegant and groundbreaking ways to meet changing housing needs.
Spatial complexity in a tiny London mews.
Helping a Georgian house to connect with its garden.
Restoring a listed Georgian house to make a home and gallery for an art collector.
Low-carbon, zero-energy homes for social rent in Hampshire.