We explore the aspect of place and context from both a theoretical position and with knowledge of the tradition of the European city. This is the basis from which we allow our speculation in design (not with repetition or historicism).
The character of a building can be instigated by an individual creative thought or process but is only delivered with a wider team. The client is central to this team, and we nurture close and collaborative working relationships with all.
We enjoy every scale of making – from a door handle to an urban masterplan. The design and execution is different for each, yet all require passion and commitment. We relish the urban milieu with its juxtapositions of scale, activity and real lived intensity.
Environmental, social and economic sustainability underpins everything we do as a practice and in every scheme we follow several principles of sustainable design. One is longevity and ensuring our buildings are built to last through attention to detail and the use of high-quality and durable materials. Another is creating buildings that consume less energy through low- and hi-tech technologies such as solar shading, maximising the use of natural light and ventilation, low-energy lighting and high-efficiency heat recovery systems. We also like to consider the embodied carbon of every project and are committed to circular economy principles and re-using and recycling materials as much as possible.
A very important principle for us, and one that has grown in significance over the years, is the health and well-being of building occupants. In all our schemes we ensure that factors such as appropriate occupant density, daylighting and lighting control, indoor air quality and adaptive thermal and acoustic comfort are prioritized and embedded into our design approach from the concept stages. Our buildings are also designed so there is a strong visual connection between internal and outdoor spaces. We maximise outdoor amenities and urban greening and our developments always feature one or more of the following: green roofs or gardens, living walls and extensive planting on podiums, terraces, pavements and internal courtyards. This biophilic approach to design not only enhances the biodiversity and ecology of the surrounding environment, it also makes for more liveable interior spaces and improves the building’s energy performance.
Architects and artists share similar preoccupations with craftsmanship, materials, methods and even structure. Yet art is often seen as an add-on in architecture, something decorative to be placed in a courtyard or a lobby once the project is completed, and if there is some extra funding available for it. If you’re lucky the art might reference the building, area or context in some way, but it won’t be part of it in any meaningful sense.
At Eric Parry Architects we believe in working with artists and sculptors from a project’s concept stages and view art as intrinsic to, and even necessary, in a building or urban scheme. We incorporate art into the very fabric of our buildings, ensuring art and architecture work in symbiosis and creating a layered narrative that melds together materiality and intention.
Some of the artists we have collaborated with include Turner Prize nominee Shirazeh Houshiary, who designed a striking stained glass window as part of the practice’s renewal of 18th century London church St Martin-in-the-Fields; Richard Deacon, who created a sculptural multi-chromatic ceramic cornice for a seminal building on Piccadilly; Joel Shapiro, who devised a suspended bronze sculpture for the façade of an office building on Saville Row; Vong Phaophanit & Claire Oboussier, who conceived two responsive ceramic printed glass installations for our Cambridge Assessment HQ project and an LED video piece with soundscape for our award-winning Fen Court development in the City of London, to mention a few.
“Eric Parry Architects has a reputation for resolving some of the most contested urban and architectural issues. The practice unfailingly demonstrates both their profound understanding of the specific contextual history and their grounding in the discourse of architecture.”Wilfred Wang