Question the conventional, the
frivolous, the arbitrary, the ill-considered, and
A building is architecture when it
exhibits firmitatis utilitatis venustatis,
according to Vitruvius (c.15BC), or “firmness, commodity
and delight” as Sir Henry Wotton translated it in 1624.
Today, instead of commodity we
would say that the building must suit its use or
function, that it must be fit for purpose; instead of firmness
we would say that a building must be structurally sound,
be constructed of appropriate materials, and be built
well. Those two describe a well engineered
building. To give delight, the designer
must allow beauty to emerge from the necessities of
structure, construction and the functional brief.
Beauty is about meaning. Beauty
has little to do with prettiness, although beautiful
buildings can be pretty. Nor does it have much to do
with style – there are beautiful buildings in most
styles. A beautiful building expresses its place,
its time, its use, and its fabric. Slavish copying
of buildings from another place, another time, a
different use, or built from different materials to a
different structural system will not produce a
delightful, beautiful building.
Sustainability is about maintaining our
environmental, economic and social well-being long into
the future. Sustainable developments satisfy our
current needs without compromising our ability to meet
our future needs.
Buildings and urban spaces must be
comfortable places to be in. Well designed developments
achieve that comfort by using resources – space,
materials, energy and water – more carefully, more
efficiently, and so more sparingly. Any detriment
to the environment will be minimised. Often a
damaged environment can be improved by good, sustainable
design and construction. Sustainable urban
development enhances our quality of life without causing
contact Catherine Alexandra on 020 7148 3450 or 01933
788 500 or by using the contact form.