David Chipperfield at the residence of photographer Nick Knight:’ The whole street lobbied against it, writing to Prince Charles to try to have it stopped.’ Photograph: Michael Franke/ The Guardian
In 1990, when I was in my mid-3 0s and still fairly inexperienced, I was approached by the way photographer Nick Knight and his wife, Charlotte, to expand their London home. They is now in a postwar mansion that Nick’s father had built. Nick missed a studio upstairs and more opening for his young family. At the time, I had a small office of four or five people and we were working with the designer Issey Miyake on a number of store interiors in Japan. This was my firstly building.
I was stimulated about everything I was seeing in Japan at the time: they tend to treat the garden as part of the house. Most of Nick’s neighbours spent a lot of fund on their facades; we did the opposite. We focussing on how the house and garden could connect. We formed a large concrete frame that spread out from the side of the house, which had the effect of partially enclosing a courtyard garden. It likewise meant that the angle of the living room could be opened up, without a supporting line, framing a deem into the garden, creating an outside infinite that may seem like an indoor one.
We intent up with a fight on our hands. The whole street lobbied against it, writing to Prince Charles to try to have it stopped. The parties across the road impeded their curtains sucked for a couple of years in affirm. It was an introduction to conservative English taste, which was quite shocking. It wasn’t that the house was too big; it was that the figurehead didn’t look like the other houses in wall street. That was the worst part of the process for me. Once we started to build, it was easy by comparison.
Designing and structure rooms for parties is a delicate process, which is why I simply take on one or two at a time. Success depends very much on how you develop a style of being personal and professional: that relationship is critical.
This was the first time I had a center mind to my work- the idea of creating an expansive opinion in a suburban street- and it is a strategy I’ve lived by since. The residence has been part of Nick and Charlotte’s life for 30 times and I think it has helped them formulate a work-life balance. Nick’s work is incredibly intense and demanding, hitherto he is dedicated to his family. I like to think the house has played a role.
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