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Classical Form is Still the Starting Point for Luxury Residential Design

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How Can You Achieve Luxury Without Profligate Expense?

As a designers, we are often focused on problem solving. But when a special client asks for something more than just an intelligent solution for their practical needs, for a design that is personal to them and expressive of their personality, we embark on a subtly different process, and we ask ourselves “what does luxury mean for this client.”

If you read lifestyle magazines, which are driven by advertising, it can often seem that achieving an extraordinary home is about spending vast amounts of money on luxury brands and technologies. As architects it’s our job to see through the fog of marketing messages and help our clients achieve true design quality through sound architecture principles, and to choose the areas where additional expenditure will have the greatest effect.

Our Three Core Values for Luxury Design

In developing our design service for luxury residential projects we have conceptualised three core values:

  1. Use of proportional systems in plan and section
  2. Complete 3D visualization for client empowerment
  3. Appropriate use of specialist techniques and materials for maximum sculptural effect.

Proportional Systems- The Basis of All Simple Elegance

In these interiors, we express an organisational grid both overtly in the wall paneling, and implicitly in the proportions of the glazing and the placing of walls. This sets a clear register against which to appreciate the scale and architectural expression of the space. Many contemporary architects seek to replicate the high modernist design of the 1930’s by creating “white boxes”, and cladding or lining them with expensive materials and furniture. This is a facile approach.

Collaborating with your Architect and Visualising Shared Design Ideas

Using a combination of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and cloud rendering technology,  we can rapidly generate draft interior compositions. This process puts the client in control of the end product by ensuring they and all members of the construction team understand the design value of every move.

Considered Use of Luxury Materials and Special Construction Skills

Having achieved a well proportioned form, most projects benefit from some luxury materials. In these images, the glazing, glulam frame and ceramic flooring are typical of commercial office construction, and are not disproportionately expensive. The furniture is sourced from international designers and is mass produced, rather than made to order.

In contrast, we designed a wall paneling system which gives the interiors their characteristic rhythm, and which lends a cohesive feel to the architecture. This element will be entirely bespoke, and it’s construction will require a palette of timbers to be sourced and formed according to a completely original but rational technical design. This will incur expenditure in excess of normal rates for wall construction, but this extra effort adds poise and coherence to every space in the home.

This balance between conventional construction and special detailing determines the cost of a luxury building, but not it’s success. Great architects have always been defined by their ability to use the conventional crafts and manufacturing technologies of their era to their maximum affect. We aspire to this also.

In the houses of Frank Lloyd Wright there was a strong emphasis on the craft of building, which gave each of his homes a feeling of comfort and authenticity. The great neoclassical architect Andrea Palladio used immaterial forms, full of geometric clarity to achieve designs of transcendent beauty, but he used the cheapest brick and painted stucco.

We feel that this design sets a new standard for luxury design in our practice. We have drawn on the truisms of architectural theory to achieve this.

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