Ian Ritchie Architects

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Philosophy

Our design philosophy is informed by an investigative and creative approach. It is based upon our own and the client’s social, aesthetic, and ecological values, and the characteristics and requirements specific to that project.

Each potential project is recognised as unique, in its own context of time, place and culture within a wider landscape and environment.

We do not impose a ‘signature’ style on our projects. We serve our clients and the people who will occupy the spaces we design.

Our conceptual thinking integrates art, science, technology and economy with architecture and landscape.

We actively seek ways to reduce energy consumption and costs in every aspect of construction, including in-use maintenance costs and use of materials to achieve environmentally intelligent and sustainable buildings.

We seek to create and sustain an atmosphere of confidence and trust between the client, industry and design team. We believe this makes intelligent and effective dialogue more likely and results in more imaginative, resolved and beautiful projects. Our design philosophy has always embraced a holistic approach in this pluralistic society.

We try to achieve this by means of open, pan-disciplinary collaboration and the exchange of ideas and information beyond the normal frame of architecture. This participatory approach has been effective and fruitful with a wide range of clients.

We have been commissioned by government agencies and municipal councils in France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Italy and the UK on strategic urban regeneration, major cultural projects and monuments, housing, industrial product development and science research projects; by community groups in London on development initiatives, resource and play centres; by private sector companies on commercial developments and product evaluation; by individuals for private houses and business premises.

As a result of our overall philosophy and methodology, two of IRA’s most notable strengths have been its material-technical innovation and ability to find better and elegant solutions to each project’s challenges. Our architecture often side-steps conventional solutions, yet maintains essential characteristics of appropriateness, integrity, quality and beauty.

Our architecture aims to create – through space and surface defined by light and texture – buildings and environments designed to enhance long term health and mental well-being.

We are people-centred, and believe growth is not just about numbers – of jobs, people we employ or annual turnover. It is about improving the quality of life and of happiness within our studio, and in the ways our architecture helps sustain and nourish these qualities and meaningful human existence within cities and the underlying environment.

Ian Ritchie