In order to design with materials an Architect needs to know the material, its properties, its attributes and limitations, how it is worked and how it reacts to being worked, how it changes with seasons, humidity, age and maintenance. An Architect needs to know how a material can be handled, how it can be fixed, joined, supported and with what other materials it is compatible or not.
These are physical properties, there are aesthetic properties also. The office is usually littered with samples of various materials so that scale, texture and colour can all be considered first hand.
Alun encourages all staff to fully understand materials and processes; a recent project for example used a piled foundation because we were building over a couple of deep sewers (with permission from Severn Trent Water of course) so Alun made sure those staff who had never witnessed augered piles were on site to see what was done, how, the sequence and to appreciate often forgotten aspects such as the amount of arisings produced.
For the last few years Alun has had a casual ‘hobby’ on Saturdays and the occasional evening renovating a derelict house. Unafraid of a hands on and sleeves rolled role, much of the work has been undertaken by himself (often ably assisted by his elderly Mother who is now 86 going on 50! A willing volunteer I might add before you call social services; she describes it as ‘keeping her going’ and is equally a dab hand with an air chisel stripping plaster as she is with a paint brush glossing or pasting up wall paper for Alun to hang!).
The house has literally been stripped element by element to its bare brickwork; everything else is now new, though some elements such as original doors and floorboards have been retained, stripped, refinished and reinstalled.
This ‘theory into practice’ has been part of what Alun views as a lifelong learning process absolutely necessary to being a successful Architect; too many in the industry seem to be content to resort to complacency when a certain level has been achieved.
External Front & Side:
Internal Front Ground:
Internal Mid Ground:
Internal Rear Ground:
Internal Ground Kitchen:
Internal First Floor Bathroom:
Internal First Floor Front: One Room into Two:
First Floor Front:
Internal First Floor Rear: