Timeless Design

Design

What exactly is a timeless design? Why should we strive for it and why is it important?

Since earliest times, humans have sought to add a dimension beyond utility to the implements they used and the shelters that accommodate life’s daily activities. In the first century AD, Roman architect Vitruvius described three principles of Architecture: firmitatis, utilitatis, venustatis, or durability, utility, beauty: the Vitruvian Triad.

Fast-forward to this century, and buildings are ubiquitous in an age where urbanisation is accelerating at breakneck speed. In our cities, the built environment surrounds us and, occasionally, a building will strike a chord, uplift us and inspire. What is it about these places that make them important to us, long past their completion?

Bad Haircuts_Cropped

Once fashions change, buildings are difficult and expensive to transform. You can’t just re-style it with the latest trend and expect it to look great in twenty years, or even in five years. Unlike a bad haircut, it won’t grow back…

If we take one of Vitruvius’ principles, beauty, what is needed to achieve a resilient, long-lasting design? The following tenets underpin our approach to sustainable design, ensuring that we don’t give our clients a fashionable outcome, but a timeless one.

  • scale – Are the proportions of the building appropriate the context and function?
  • materials – Will they last? Do they age gracefully? Have they been well-crafted?
  • detail – Has the resolution of the design been well considered? Does it delight?

Renowned architect, Corbusier, once said,

“The Architect, by his arrangements of forms, realises an order which is a pure creation of his spirit; through forms and shapes he affects our senses to an acute degree and provokes plastic emotions; by the relationships which he creates he creates profound echoes in us, he gives us the measure of an order which we feel to be in accordance with that of our world, he determines the various movements of our heart and of our understanding; it is then we experience the sense of beauty.”

This sounds like a tall order but highlights the responsibility we carry as architects. While we work with our clients to identify the fundamental needs of their project, our collaborative approach seeks to design spaces that also enhance the lives of the occupants.


Leave a comment