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28 March 2022

One of the nicest parts of an architect’s job is that I get to meet people in their own environment at the visit consultation. This is not so much to do with entering the private territory of the family home but entering the territory of the mind. Architecture in my experience is all to do with our client’s personality, her way of seeing the world and her idea of beauty and happiness.

How does this very abstract and personal concept of ‘happiness’ come into play? There have been many essays written about this fascinating subject. My favourite book on this topic The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Button dives deep into the need of belonging and how space, scale, texture and light affect our senses and the way we feel. More interestingly, it describes how even when space doesn’t exist the anticipation and the idea of the space can affect the way we feel. Looking at the past, the memory of spaces bring us a feeling that can feel real and present.

The best way I can explain this is… Have you ever heard a song that transported you right back to a time when you were doing something specific? Or, have you ever smelt the scent of flowers, your grandmother’s soup or the suntan lotion when on holiday and changed your day’s perspective? You suddenly connect with the way you felt in an instant. Architecture, either through the characteristics of the space that contains you, the light, or the views has exactly the same power.

‘What we seek, at the deepest level, is inwardly to resemble, rather than to physically possess, the objects and places that touch us through their beauty’ Alain de Button

My focus at our visit consultation is not only to help my clients figure out the ‘HOW  to go about their architecture project’ and ‘HOW they want to feel’ – which continues to be brought back during the project design – but the big WHY. I cannot emphasise more the importance of this first step. Once we build the emotional foundation of the project, all the elements fall into place gracefully. I have seen this happening time and time again. The design, the budget, the planning constraints, the construction process and the logistics become subservient to the project ‘raison d’être’  It is almost magical!

If this resonates with you, let’s set up a time to talk about your big WHY to start your project. You don’t have to figure it out on your own. I would love to hear more about your ideas and help you in this beautiful journey of discovery.