At Sidell Pakravan Architects, we believe in the power of architecture to influence context, culture, and the individual experience. We are interested in the many ways that context can be defined—physical, social, cultural—and how these definitions change with the formal and spatial qualities of architecture. We believe that the built environment transforms the way people see and understand the space they move through every day. Our idea-driven approach creates spaces that are distinctive, bold, and resonant.
Research and Making
Our process begins with an inquisitive approach to context. Every site is uniquely defined by physical conditions, cultural identity, and social engagement. We research a range of conditions - site history, views, physical dimensions, code requirements - and document them with a site drawing. This project specific drawing engenders a set of questions or queries. We then investigate these conditions and questions through a series of models.
This process allows us to both exploit and blur distinctions between architecture and its context. This may be a physical relationship between built form and landscape or a cultural relationship between site and the city. The results are bold yet simple sculptural volumes that meet our client’s needs while reflecting an awareness of the specific time and context.
Not only is drawing an effective tool for presenting a design, but it is also an essential tool for developing a design. Whether we are working with a pen to quickly test ideas during a discussion with you or using rendering software to fine tune orientation to natural light, we choose the tool most attuned to the immediate question.
Understanding the experience of the space is critical. How does the light enter? Does the interior room convey an extended space to the exterior garden? Do shadows evoke the passing of time? Through rendering software, we explore conditions of light, color, and materiality.
Architectural resolution requires attention to scale - how big should the kitchen island be? how tall should a light well next to the entry be? Clear drawings guide the team through these decisions.
Throughout our work with you, we use a variety of drawings to communicate internally, with you, and with contractors.
Finally, we develop long term working relationships with contractors that allow us to get the best possible realization of our design. While we relish the creativity of the initial design process, we thrive on the collaboration of the execution.
During construction we work closely with fabricators and builders. In this final phase of a project, you will find us fine tuning paint colors, reviewing detailed mock-ups, and making frequent site visits to review progress.