Our approach to design is that of contemporary contextualism. Design should ‘grow out of’ its context – in time and place – in order to fit in. Several themes run through the work we do and the way we work.

A Sense of Belonging

It is good to blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors; to treat the spaces of the city as rooms and passages in which the city-dweller can feel at home. To foster a sense of belonging is one of our aims; using the language of architecture and urban space to make connections between inner and outer; between past and present; to build on, and celebrate, what is familiar in terms of character, scale and grain.


For us design grows out of dialogue between people and places, between buildings (the spaces within and between buildings), and amongst clients, end-users and the team. The creative spark is found in the space between one thing and another.

On scale

We give equal importance to the macro language of urbanism and the micro language of buildings. To find the appropriate scale for cities, neighbourhoods, spaces within cities, and buildings; their forms, their facades and details, is one of our major goals.

To draw and explore

Our design process is one of exploration. For each project we seek to look, to listen and to learn from our surroundings. Intensive research is combined with an investigatory process of drawing and modelling by which our design response grows from a seed into a thriving plant.


Buildings speak; they carry narrative; they can be read. The language of buildings is both personal and collective but in all cases, we are seeking to make buildings, and urban spaces, legible. Buildings carry reference and by so doing can play their part in a wider vernacular of types and archetypes.

Simplicity, solidity, ornament

We pursue timeless simplicity in combination with moments of richness. Ornament, often involving pattern, is used in counter-point to an overriding sense of solidity. We explore the intrinsic nature of materials and seek to make the most of their textures and combinations, all within an architecture which is built to last.

A language of response

Our work is a balance between intellect and intuition. With a formal idea comes an intuitive response to the irregularities of context. With a foundation of rigorous analysis comes a language of informality, responsive geometry and a desire to humanise. In this way we seek to make our design something rooted; strongly connected to the ground but continually growing and changing in response to its environment.