Most clients first thought is what will it look like? Often, they come to us with an idea of a size and style for a building, but these are usually the last aspects to be defined. Therefore, how do we design a project? Simple,
we get to know the client and their circumstances because these are the elements that lead the design process. This is often a scary notion for clients. They want a quickly defined product but the process often demands a lot of trust and time.
People also have fixations about what buildings ‘should be’ but Architecture has never been about buildings,
it’s all about people and creating spaces for things to happen. It can be defined by so many things, but we believe it should always be expressive. We are regularly asked what we consider a ‘good house’ to look like but this is something that needs to be constantly re-examined and re-defined to avoid habits forming but also to ensure that we continue to recognise how we use spaces.
There are of course, fundamentals to what we do and at the end of the day deliverables to be achieved. The key point is that these can be reached in so many different ways, we just need to remain open-minded. A favourite house of mine, ‘The Truffle’ by Ensamble studios, is a great example of this. They took a brief for a small holiday home on the coast of Spain but threw out any preconceptions as to what a house ‘should be’ and how it should be formed. Indeed, their main contractor was a cow called Paulina!
The idea was astoundingly simple, dig a hole in the ground, fill it with straw, pour concrete on top to create the truffle shape and send in Paulina to remove the formwork. Shell and core complete!
And this is what it looks like:
I am not sure I could convince many clients or the Edinburgh planners to build this project, but I’m glad somebody out there did. It reminds us that good things come from good ideas, sometimes you need to take risks, preconceptions about style only hamper that.
If we journey out to the woods there are truffles to be found......