How we work

b. 1986, HK.

 
 
 The timelines of the three modes of architectural design; the ecological gardener mode is to the left – it grows the design organically in dialogue with the place; in the middle, the mechanical mode sets a fixed design that is realised and maintained as is; to the right, the conservative mode fixes the design in the past. Both mechanical and conservative block the ecological dynamics. We combine the three: the ecological benefits of the gardener mode, with the efficiency of the mechanical and the memory and knowledge of the conservative. 

The timelines of the three modes of architectural design; the ecological gardener mode is to the left – it grows the design organically in dialogue with the place; in the middle, the mechanical mode sets a fixed design that is realised and maintained as is; to the right, the conservative mode fixes the design in the past. Both mechanical and conservative block the ecological dynamics. We combine the three: the ecological benefits of the gardener mode, with the efficiency of the mechanical and the memory and knowledge of the conservative. 

 
 

Natural design process: Our ecological design process is in 6 stages. it is based on a constant dialogue with those who will inhabit the place, those that make, the ecosystem already on the site, as well as the surrounding landscapes. This regular exchange grows synergies between people and places.

1- Collective briefing: We start with a briefing process in dialogue with the community who will be using the building. We usually organise this around a meeting, or facilitated workshop, where all can express what they like about the place, what needs to change, and what is needed.  From this a brief is developed, which describes the needs and aspirations, which has the support, of the group. You can read more about this on the Repository of Stories page.

2- Site mapping: In parallel, in order to work with the ecology of the site, it is key to understand its processes and topography. We investigate and map the site carefully to find its potential and challenges.

3- Co-design: We then develop the design gradually and meet regularly with our clients so that they can react and influence the design. We find that this is particularly effective at creating synergies between people and place through the concept. This process leads to a scheme design with which planning can be achieved. You can read more about this on the Repository of Stories page.

4- Community approvals: During the design process, we also establish an early dialogue with the local planning department to gain approval; this is an exchange with the surrounding community. This process is especially useful for sites in sensitive contexts.

5- Technical development and detailing: We bring together a team of relevant consultants to finalise the technical resolution of the design and develop the coordinating details which will be used for tender.

6- Tendering and construction: We then produce a package of drawings and specifications, facilitate the tender process, and follow the construction on site to advise you on quality and progress until completion. 

Gardening landscapes and buildings: Our way of designing landscapes with the ecological processes means a gradual process of change overtime; as the ecosystems evolves, the way to care about it also does; new opportunities arise. We do this through annual visits to see how the ecosystem is behaving and discuss how to adjust the care. Together, we define the new gestures that will be performed on the site. We also can organise workshops to teach our method of landscape gardening.

We increasingly experience that this incremental mode of making is also useful  for the buildings, which may benefit from being phased according to needs and funding. We have done this with Two Houses around a Loggia