Living. First and foremost, architecture is for living in. It is the world we inhabit.
It is for the activities that we act out in every day life. A dining table is not just a table – it is a place for the family to come together and be a family. A kitchen is a place for socialising, talking, along with teamwork and the preparation of food. A bathroom is a place to celebrate the act of bathing, a place for our daily rituals that prepare us for the day ahead. When you think like that, a room becomes more than just a box to fill with furniture. It is a setting. And it sets a mood.
Being connected. New architecture is an extension of the wider city or landscape. It connects us to the places in which we spend our lives. It connects us to the wider community and to the environment. It allows us to appreciate our surroundings, to feel the sun, hear the rain and smell the bush, to capture the long views to distant water or hills.
Atmospheres. It should create atmospheres, feelings, sensations: it should engage all of the senses, not just be something to look at.
A second skin. It is a second skin – it's something you live within. A skin that regulates temperature, light and sounds – that provides shelter, protection and privacy, but that can also be shed – opening up to allow engagement with the outside world. It should be adaptable and flexible.
Crafting. Architecture should be crafted. Quality is valued and treasured. Quality lasts. Quality is sustainable. If people love and treasure something, it will last forever.
Sustainability. Responsive – to climate, culture, people, place. Work with the climate – let it do the work, rather than electricity or air conditioning. Make comfortable buildings and it follows that they will be sustainable. We like to use renewable natural materials. Healthy materials.
Materials. We lean towards the use of natural materials imbued with character and richness.
Common sense. This is the foundation of all good architecture. Use logic, be pragmatic and invest time thinking about what you are building and how it will work.
Economy. Only build what you need to.
And it should all come together with a sense of poetry.