Our Design Guidelines


We believe that the process of design, and the building that results from that process, must have purpose.  With each new project we seek to identify this purpose and develop the design around it.  

This incremental process we use to develop a building should also be expressed in every element of the final product and we strive to maintain a clear design thread from beginning to end of a project.

Only by establishing a building as part of a network of influences - from client and building code,to site and consultants - can that building take on a greater purpose and meaning to all stakeholders.


Every client is different in the same way every micro-climate and site is different.  It is important to respond to all these differences, and by doing so create a unique solution.  Only when each unique and unpredictable variable is resolved do we consider the design complete.


Physical and digital model building is a very important part of testing ideas and is often the first stage of turning a sketch or concept into an actual object.  Without physical models there is nothing to touch or hold.  It is extraordinarily difficult to imagine a complete building without already being somewhat familiar with it in the physical world.

The building site

Site features that lie within a property’s boundaries are the most influential to our design process, however the surrounding context has an influence too.  It is critical to observe and research history, transportation and mobility for the building site, and respect natural features such as vegetation and geology.

Building codes also affect every site in different and unique ways. We believe these constraints can enhance the creative process since their limitations often result in surprising and dramatic solutions.  Building should be considered as a careful insertion into place.

Efficiency & scale

While most of our projects do not focus deliberately on sustainability or green building, these two outcomes are often achieved in other ways, including by building to an ‘appropriate scale’.  This often means we work with our clients to re-think their check-list of features and focus on the useful, the practical and the everyday.  Sustainability is full utilization of an entire building.

Reducing the physical footprint of a building also preserves the habitat around a building, andappropriate scale also reduces foundation size and grading quantities.