Throughout history and leading up to the onset of the twentieth century, architectural classical styles were integrated into the fabric of society and central to daily life. The inclination to appropriateness remained strong. The expression of beauty and human proportion yielded timeless designs and was able to sustain an aesthetically pleasing experience. The exquisite variety of styles made it possible for architects to adapt and design each project without the burden of an architectural elite rallying behind a didactic international style, which in its own right proved to be inadequate ¬and insensitive. Most developers often mistook the cue from the international style to promote mediocrity in construction and aesthetic qualities of the built form – all occurring at the expense of the end user (the client).
We have opted to utilize a contemporary appropriation of the classical style to fit our clients’ needs and the circumstances of each project. We seek and desire to create forms and places that are balanced over forms and places that are broken and fragmented, and in contradiction to one another.
To start, our task is to serve our clients whose lives vary often dramatically in stylistic preferences and needs. Through a close relationship, we gradually uncover the hidden answers within the circumstances of their lives. Further, the location of each project is characteristically unique. Our design strategies focus on uncovering the clues embedded in the surrounding context. The spaces we create become harmonious and appropriate, and always enriched by the sheer complexity of our clients’ lives and of the physical characteristics of each project. The success lies within incorporating those givens and re-organizing them into a coherent, mature and balanced design. Throughout this experience we guide our clients and our builders alike into achieving the very complex goal at hand. Yet with a sense of passion and joy, the experience appears simple and seamless.
Equally important to the functionality and comfort of architecture is that, we architects and clients alike react emotionally to aesthetically riveting spaces. We sense and associate with powerful environments. Although architecture enters the realm of the sublime, it belongs to everyone. Through a common ground we strive to create spaces using a clear language of architecture understood by all.
The integration of architecture, landscape design and decoration within one project is central to avoiding contradictions and inconsistencies. Each part is given its due importance and acts as a backdrop to the other. Our clients’ specific lifestyles are expressed thoroughly through these parts.
Classical styles of architecture have evolved over the centuries and have been used by architects appropriately and as seen fit. We seek the same of our projects using strategies ranging from the simple to the complex. Yet in keeping with a classical language that we see best fit the context and the character of each individual project. We have adapted an English Renaissance style for our hotel in South America, a British Colonial for our Bahamas resort, a tropical vernacular for our Mexican Riviera resort, a regional mélange of Italian Renaissance and Mid-eastern vernacular for our heirloom atop the mountains of the Mediterranean, a shingle style for our Long Island cottage and a Soanian style for a residence in Mayfair, London. Each setting provides a unique context and a wealth of classical eclectic references to draw from.
To be sure, we revere classical language in architecture not as a reaction to the cold and impersonal international style. We see it as a continuum with our past and appreciation of the sublime qualities and that very sense of appropriateness and hierarchy. We feel it is essential to recognize and hold high the legacy of this architecture and have thus endeavored to build a career around it.