Another quick post today I’m afraid, but I just had to put this house up that my mate Wong built with his own fair hands…
Alright a few other people helped him (including a day’s labour from me helping to strike the scaffold and tidy up) but I think he could quite rightly claim to have had the key role coaxing the materials into their final shape.
The house has received much (overwhelmingly positive) publicity over the last few weeks, including the front cover of the Architects Journal and this feature on Dezeen.
What all these articles have in common however is that they don’t get across (in fact barely mention) how much input into the project Modern Arc (Wong’s construction company) actually had. Key aspects of the build, including junctions, specifications, finishes & materials and specialist construction methods, were all finalised by Modern Arc, whose effort and skill were intrinsic in producing the rather excellent house that you see here and in the article (all photography is by Gareth Gardener)
This actually happens quite often in my profession, where the headline architect is not greatly involved in the actual realisation of a scheme. Two significant projects in London that I have personal knowledge of, Renzo Piano’s Central St. Giles and Peter Barber’s Donnybrook Quarter were both made to stand up and keep the rain out by other, less well known but equally able companies (namely PRP and bptw) whose detials never appear on the PR stuff at the end of a project, consigned as they are to effectively being a sub-contractor to the Main Design & Build Contractor.
There is however (and I know this from experience) a real skill to keeping the overall design intent at the forefront of a scheme, whilst managing the real life demands, expectations and practicalities of actually getting things built.