I am launching on a project to record little pleasures that I have from buildings. Little things like a sunny spot, a breeze going through a room, an extensive view.
In the times when the architectural world is increasingly obsessed with formal language, it is time to focus on simpler - and more important - aspects of architectural aesthetics. The little pleasures project aims to bring to the fore qualities which have been relegated to the background boxes of functionality and environmental control. They have been considered for decades by most architects as tick box exercises mostly done by other consultants. It is time that we engage and direct these and use them as the most powerful material we have as architects to affect people.
The project will be composed of descriptions of architectural moments.
I will start with a moment that happened last weekend whilst staying at my last completed project, a house on Chichester Harbour.
A perfect spot to read the papers & drink a cup of tea
I woke up before everyone else on Saturday morning, it was a bit windy and too fresh to sit outside to read the papers that had just been delivered.
I made a cup of tea, picked the paper and set myself in the new glazed entrance porch. I spend about two hours reading there.
What made this space fantastic is that it is just a slightly sheltered version of outside. The single glazing is only there to shelter from the often strong westerly wind and the rain. It even works with the door left open so that the lobby doesn't overheat.
As the glass is frameless, you feel completely outside.
As a typology it is halfway between a glazed porch and a bay window.
As it is an unheated space, the amount of glazing doesn't create large heat loss in the winter.
It is the most perfect spot to sit and stare.