Published: Monday, September 08, 2008
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For Garrison Architects, design is guided by the belief that a clear social purpose must be the first determinant of a successful architectural solution. Through design informed by invention, intuition, and the art of construction, architecture can make a vital contribution to contemporary culture.
At the same time, it is the architect's mission to work towards balancing human activity with the earth's ecology. Our understanding of this dynamic must be developed through an ethical and scientific assessment of architecture as it impacts the environment.
CONSTRUCTION: Construction is the medium of architecture. The mastery of that medium allows architecture to transcend pure form or style. Tectonics, or the art of building, illustrates and deepens the understanding of architectural ideas. Form, concept, structure, and material are inseparable elements in a complete work of architecture. The act of building in contemporary society is a complex one, requiring the collaboration of a broad coalition of specialists, builders, clients, and community representatives. The role of the architect is to create consensus among diverse voices.
SUSTAINABILITY: Sustainability must be considered as a matter of continuous evolution. Garrison Architects seeks to move away from notions such as planned obsolescence, machinery, and the control of nature. We are evolving new architectural techniques informed by the reality that human beings and their activities are part of and determined by their relationship to nature. In contrast to artificially tempered environments of the International Style which ignored climactic distinctions and thus required tremendous amounts of energy, Garrison Architects makes buildings that respond to environmental contexts, employing a range of sustainability strategies from the elimination of air conditioning to the conservation of water and natural resources.
The language of architecture must heed ecological realities as environmental criteria take precedence over market-driven or purely expressive concerns. Achieving sustainability is not a matter of simply adding technological devices to architecture - rather it is a joining of fundamental ecologically determined design strategies with state of the art control and analysis technologies. We have no interest in pursuing high-energy, technologically sophisticated solutions for their own sake. We believe that architecture is the art of designing buildings rather than the art of making machines. We begin with the ideal of making a building with the longest possible useful life span. In this regard sustainability is allied with preservation.
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