The full promise in the experimentation of the 20th century was not only ‘Modernism’ – but virtually infinite possibility. Technology continues to enable a vast range of imaginative possibilities, forms and materials, to respond to the incalculable range of building programs, cultural variations, environments and sites – worldwide. This has a potentially enormous benefit to any client today as it allows, with imagination and pragmatism, an ideal outcome in every way; each project’s unique story can be revealed and written with Architecture.
Connector and Non-Connector Spaces
There are many ways to categorizes spaces, but for us the most useful categorization comes from the duality of ‘connector space’ and ‘non-connector space’. For us, the space (or spaces) which connect the programmatic elements is as important as the elements themselves. One methodology we have developed uses the analogy of ‘Flowers in a Vase’, where the Vase is the ‘connector space’ and the Flowers are the elements: the Vase is custom-designed to control the flow, organization and feeling of the building. This concept applies to any scale or context: Urban Design, Architecture, and Interior Design.
Love and Care
At Julian Jacobs Architects, we believe that buildings and environments must be designed with love and care. An artifact designed in this way is substantially different, superior, its inner life is revealed; it does not seem inanimate. It has the sense of a living thing, and a sense of a ‘soul’.
For every project we seek a ‘conceptual DNA molecule’ – a central idea which imparts information to every aspect of the design, ensuring harmony, unity, and authenticity; as in an oak tree – the roots, trunk, branches and leaves are all harmonized and unified by its DNA. The central idea comes from asking, predesign, how one should begin to think about the project. Every project, whether it is residential, commercial or institutional, deserves a ‘tabula rasa’ – a blank slate.
Great Buildings & Pragmatism
The idea that superb, beautiful, buildings – exceptional works of architecture – are not also pragmatic, is wrong. Take functionality, a major criteria of pragmatism: the physical resolution of the programme (across one or many floors) in an excellent building is highly and even ideally functional, often advancing its conventional, unimaginative configuration. The same applies to value-design, low life-cycle costs, environmentally responsible design, et cetera.