Chris Godfrey, World Director distinctive and complex atmosphere for personal villas, penthouses and luxurious buildings.– a residential department of the highest hospitality design agency HBA – lately returned to the UK from Singapore to run the corporate’s new London workplace, which opened final yr. The third workplace is deliberate in New York by 2020. Right here Godfrey reveals his inspirations, profession and method to tasks that result in
Inform us about your profession earlier than HBA…
I initially skilled as an apprentice architect earlier than I went to structure Waterproof coat Faculty of Structure v Glasgow, graduated in 1997. I then moved to London, the place I labored solely within the residential sector for many of 20 years. till March 2014, when Hirsch Bedner Associates commissioned me to launch HBA Residential in Singapore. Instantly earlier than the founding of HBA Residential, I based Inventive Director at 1508 London, which has now grown into an internationally acknowledged high residential design studio. Beforehand, I ran my very own firm, SCAPE Architects.
How did you encounter “design” as a young person?
My father is an artist and an architect, an architectural draftsman who was additionally instrumental in shaping my artistic basis. We lived in an unusual terraced home in a small Yorkshire city, however he made the inside distinctive with residence avant-garde ornament. Over time, he rigorously reduce out lovely pictures from design magazines and Sunday newspaper inserts and glued the person items to the wall of every bed room. So I went to mattress surrounded by all these loopy issues – nudes, artwork, archeology and structure mixed together with his personal hand drawings.
What was the attraction of launching HBA Residential?
The invitation to launch HBA Residential was a novel alternative. already is the world’s largest hospitality design firm, cooperating worldwide with all five- and six-star manufacturers. Much less well-known is that this was the case the biggest designer of personal residences on the planet, however by no means printed it – the work got here orally due to the kind of purchasers who usually keep in lodges with HBA designs. I’ve lengthy been concerned with working globally and have been attracted by the prospect of growing an built-in design mannequin on his behalf.
The corporate lately opened an workplace in London. Why?
From the start, we at all times deliberate to have three epicenters that will permit us to be only a few hours flight to a undertaking wherever on the planet. In the long run, we could have three studios, however work as one group, which suggests we are able to simply cowl a variety of time zones and serve our globetrotting purchasers from wherever. Our imaginative and prescient is to remain small and focus intensively, which permits us to work with a particular variety of purchasers and be reactive however managed, ship every thing, and nonetheless handle every thing.
Inform us about a few of your latest residencies…
We’re designing new 4,000 m2 homes for a distinguished designer in Shanghai, an artwork collector in Mumbai and a Miesian-style farm in Delhi. We’re additionally designing a set of villas within the Center East and a newly constructed home in The Peak, an unique Hong Kong district. The interiors of the penthouse as a part of a super-luxury growth on the location of Beijing Olympic Park, which will probably be one of the crucial costly personal residences in Beijing, have simply been accomplished. We at the moment have a number of tasks for our Asian purchasers in London and we’ve got simply launched a brand new undertaking in Lagos.
You latterly designed a home in Mumbai round an artwork assortment, inform us about it…
The focus of the home – the guts – is a six-storey vertical gallery lit up, which unites and enlivens the varied parts of the home. All elements of household life, together with faith, tradition and artwork, have been rigorously thought-about and distilled into one thing completely different, but harmonized. This home will probably be a household heritage, a spot that should maintain nice capabilities and in addition be a non-public, safe residence. It’s actually a private response that fits the physicality and cityscape of Mumbai, whereas being attuned to a mosaic of faith and household.
How do you method the undertaking on the whole?
We method every undertaking in keeping with what I name “first rules” – what, who, the place, how and why design – in worldwide design for various purchasers there’s not a lot distinction. We method every undertaking in an open means and use our expertise to offer purchasers with what they need, in a means they by no means anticipated. An important factor is to pay attention and ask. Purchasers must be impressed and we’re in search of inspiration within the on a regular basis circumstances of the “residence”. That’s the foundation of the method.
What’s the “look” of HBA Residential?
I do not suppose we’ve got an “look” as such – the “type” of a undertaking is secondary and by no means predetermined. With the group of consultants we’ve got, we’ve got expertise and the power to create genuine stylistic options for our purchasers. Because of this our tasks will be decided by their robust sense of mixing clever architectural group and proportions with a excessive stage of residing consolation and class.
What makes you completely different in a world the place the time period “luxurious” is used a lot?
What units us aside is our innate understanding that the time period “luxurious” is private and subjective. As designers, we’ve got the chance to create one thing that’s inherently luxurious due to the truth that it meets the specifics of the transient in an clever and distinctive means. I say that we “produce luxurious” or create “luxurious by design” – we get it with our very private means of working. Our method is principled, process-driven and “much less is extra” – we attempt to present one thing tailor-made in one of the best sense of the phrase, designed and created only for you.
How a lot has Asia influenced you when it comes to design?
Very. Asia is extremely wealthy and numerous, each bodily and culturally. There’s a wealthy cultural heritage and in addition a need to just accept new ones; the local weather helps a sure lifestyle. This dynamic creates a tremendous context during which to design, and was a part of the draw for me. Apparently, my relocation to Asia and my subsequent return to London led me to take a deeper have a look at London. Britain and Europe are nonetheless setting the usual for high quality by way of heritage and royal seals, so we are able to leverage geography for the advantage of our purchasers by bringing one of the best of British crafts to Asia and one of the best of Asian supply to Europe.
What are your different design inspirations?
I’m impressed by the passions and concepts of others – whether or not from purchasers, friends, group members or college students. Good purchasers do good tasks and it’s at all times inspiring when the consumer is absolutely passionate and concerned within the course of. Touring is a continuing supply of inspiration, and though enterprise journey is comparatively difficult, I by no means get bored with continuously exposing myself to the brand new and ever-changing atmosphere during which we function.
Are there supplies, themes, or motifs that you simply return to every now and then?
Architecturally, we at all times contemplate type, order and proportions and the way the pure qualities of sunshine and house can evoke emotions of stability, consolation, private security and well-being, no matter adjustments in ornament. We additionally attempt to use supplies that match the context. Native stone and wooden predominate, however we wish to experiment with materiality in a managed means. My fundamental method to the design course of has not modified, however the potential to expertise fully completely different folks and locations, in addition to take a look at my understanding of the best way to work with many forms of people, has supplied a “wide-ranging” imaginative and prescient that continues. inform and develop work.