David Chipperfield at the dwelling 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 quite inexperienced, I was approached by the pattern photographer Nick Knight and his wife, Charlotte, to expand their London home. They is now in a postwar room that Nick’s father had improved. 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 first building.
I was evoked about everything I was seeing in Japan at the time: they tend to treat the garden-variety as part of the house. Most of Nick’s neighbours invested a lot of fund on their facades; we did the opposite. We is focused on how the house and garden could connect. We formed a large concrete chassis that widened out from the side of the house, which had the effect of partially enclosing a courtyard garden. It also meant that the reces of the living room could be opened up, without a supporting line, framing a idea into the garden, creating an outside space that feels like an indoor one.
We ended 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 remained their curtains gleaned for a couple of years in assert. It was an introduction to republican 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 residences 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 build lives for beings is a delicate process, which is why I only take over one or two at a time. Success depends very much on how you develop a mode of being personal and professional: that relationship is critical.
This was the first time I had a central theme to my job- the idea of creating an expansive idea in a suburban street- and it is a strategy I’ve lived by since. The house 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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