When we designed this house our experience of dealing with freestanding buildings had primarily been through competitions and speculative work. As a practice we survived on a diet of alterations and additions. In our speculative work we had started to manipulate carved volumes from simple geometries, explore landscape, topography and the inhabited roof and investigate the role decoration and collage could play in developing architectural surfaces. Our house took some of these ideas and tested them at a domestic scale.
As our house is next to the studio, CODA staff have been involved in this process, helping on site with various aspects of the construction. Our slowly evolving house has been a place where our family and our staff meet, and the culture that has grown as a result of this is an integral part of our practice.
There has been a sense of joy and light heartedness in this project for us. The richness of the interior has been built up through the layering of mismatching materials, pattern and finishes. We accept the imperfection of the recycled materials and the element of chance. Living with children is not all minimalism and Scandinavian wooden toys. It’s Lego and vomit, food and washing – everywhere. Our house needed to be robust enough to deal with this daily reality. Architecture is proven through inhabitation; designing and living in our house affirmed this view for us.
In the time it has taken for our house to evolve it’s stitched forms and collaged surfaces, the work of our practice has grown too. We are now dealing with larger scale housing and commercial projects. The carved out courtyards and balconies, patterned surfaces, inhabited roofs and architectural topography tested in our home have all made their way into these schemes. We have found these spaces to be really successful and we don’t mind sharing the love around!