August 18, 2014

Context + Stewardship


We operate on the premise that architecture should always seek to protect the environment of which it is an integral part, and we constantly strive to better understand and respect that environment. We also believe that architecture is embedded with histories, ideas, and values, and that it can teach us about who we are individually and as a society. Through the lens of Context + Stewardship, architects are reframed as stewards with the power to celebrate place and to protect what is vulnerable – the poetic, the obscure, the local.

Context is complex, but worthy of study. By viewing the environment as a set of interwoven relationships and contingencies, architects are able to think more critically and imaginatively about the consequences of architecture. We are able to better explore a building’s potential for contributing to the meaning and identity of a site, both today and tomorrow. We can learn from its context and also teach through stewardship.

From this perspective, all acts of building are acts of continuation. The materials we choose, the volumes we sculpt, and the systems we implement connect to a space’s past and its future. For the users and visitors of our buildings, our choices augment their previous experiences of that space, with the potential effect of engendering future stewards.

In exploring Context + Stewardship, we will delve into questions like:
+ How can architecture protect and preserve while also develop and evolve?
+ What role can buildings have as the classroom for future stewards of the environment?
+ What are the limits of context?