The work of Architectus spans more than 20 years of practice. It demonstrates a deep concern for making low-impact, environmentally sound buildings and applies this environmental approach to give both experiential and architectural expression to sense of place. The architects eschew digital formalism and seek out an aesthetic based on their readings of climate, the necessity of structure, and the pleasures they take in detailing ordinary materials to celebrate the slight imperfections and irregularities that distinguish the hand-crafted from the machine-finished.
In undertaking to write on Architectus, Beck and Cooper take the view that readers will have already formed a favorable impression of the work. They therefore set out to answer a question both readers and they themselves ask: “Why do we like the work?” They note: “What we like about the work of Architectus also reveals something about ourselves. As critics, it is our task to identify the intentions in the work, and to tease out and illuminate the many strands that shape them. It is up to the reader to speculate.”
More and more laypeople are taking an interest in how their homes are built and the kind of impact the buildings have on the world around them. Architectus, formed in 2001 by Patrick Clifford in Auckland and Lindsay and Kerry Clare in Sydney, has led the way in addressing the need for buildings that are environmentally sound while also giving both experiential and architectural expression to sense of place. The group avoids digital formalism, carving an aesthetic based on their readings of climate, the necessary of structure, and the pleasures of detailing ordinary materials to celebrate the slight imperfections and irregularities that distinguish the hand-crafting from the machine-finished. In Architectus, Haig Beck and Jackie Cooper explore what makes this work both appealing and important. The book profiles 25 buildings – from residences to public spaces to aviation and transport design – with photographs, plans, sections, and details.