Beautiful Unbuilt

Concepts and ideas

Among the many schemes that we have physically realised there is a small catalogue of special projects that we have laboured and loved but will likely never leave the drawing board. From competitions to client pitches, to development schemes sold on, the principles of the work we build, carry through into the work that sometimes, we don’t.

Competitions and client pitches give us an opportunity to stretch our wings. Free from the conventional constraints of a building project in its later stages, these idea projects allow us to assemble concepts and radical responses to early client briefs. The things we would do and the spaces we would create are assembled into beautiful images, both heroic and optimistic.

Often the transformation of a building happens only on paper. When we create a vision for a scheme for sale, our approach is as if we were building it today. The hope is that it will be built by a future owner as it was originally conceived. We apply rigorous structure and pragmatic insight into all the schemes we create. Sadly, the most successful schemes are sold and we have to let them go.

Rod's insight

In practice and in my teaching, I push precision and realism in everything we do. Every line on a page must mean something, even the simplest concept or thought needs to make sense and should be analysed with the same scrutiny we apply to a construction detail. In an age of digital information I feel that our architectural ideas may last longer than some of our buildings – they too must be as buildable as they are beautiful.