Creating Space for your Soul
Wellbeing is at the centre of what we design, how we design and why we design.
We design homes and workplaces that focus on the emotional wellbeing of people. They say that you won't remember what someone says or does, but you will remember how they made you feel. The same is true of buildings, interiors and our communal urban spaces. Architecture has an immensely powerful impact on our lives and our environment.
We are sculptors of form, colour, texture and light.
Buildings invoke feelings - they can be places of safety, refuge, calm, worship or learning; they can be places for innovation, creativity or celebration; they can be places for creating and maintaining deep connections with those you care about. Architecture is about people, in the present, but also mindful of our impact on the environment for future generations.
Wellbeing is at the centre of our design philosophy. Architects quote a mantra "Form follows Function". We take that one step further and say "Form follows Intent". By this we mean that while a kitchen may be a place to prepare food (functionally), it is primarily a place to connect with family and friends, often the heart of the home. We design spaces that are more than just functional - spaces that uplift the soul and set the stage for positive connections with others.
We select local materials and contractors wherever possible. Not all materials can be locally sourced in New Zealand unfortunately, but we will weigh up the options carefully before arriving at a solution. Sometimes it just requires a higher level of innovation to create an impact with a simple material. Supporting local builds our local economy and keeps suppliers in business.
While there is currently a lot of attention on the impact of buildings on the environment, we must also consider the impact of our buildings on our local communities. This may be physical in terms of being well mannered in our contextually appropriate designs, but it also means contributing wherever we can to our local community - we support local businesses before corporates, and run community workshops to share our knowledge.
Energy usage impacts every aspect of the life of a building: how we design the form and orientation of the building for maximising or minimising solar gain; materials and component selection (especially windows); embodied energy in materials we select; energy usage during construction and occupation; energy to demolish and/or re-use. There are many decisions to be made, right up front, as we start the design process.
There are so many building materials to select from, that the process of selection can be mind boggling. We select materials based on a number of criteria. Apart from how well materials perform, we also consider the impact of materials on the environment and on the health of the people using the building - during and post construction
While designing, our primary intent with regards to waste is to eliminate waste to landfill (or until recent times, polluting the seas of poorer nations). This can be achieved through the careful selection of materials, reduction of construction waste (off-cuts, packaging), and even through on site waste treatment for larger projects.