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 style photographer Nick Knight and his wife, Charlotte, to expand their London home. They is now in a postwar home that Nick’s father had constructed. Nick craved 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 elicited 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 wasted a lot of coin on their facades; we did the opposite. We is focused on how the house and garden could connect. We developed a large concrete chassis that extended out from the side of the house, which had the effect of partly enclosing a courtyard garden. It also meant that the area of the living room could be opened up, without a supporting line, framing a scene into the garden, creating an outside seat that may seem like an indoor one.
We terminated 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 saved their curtains outlined 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 front didn’t look like the other rooms in the street. That was the worst part of the process for me. Once we started to build, it was easy by comparison.
Designing and structure homes for beings is a delicate process, which is why I merely take on one or two at a time. Success depends very much on how you develop a room of being personal and professional: that relationship is critical.
This was the first time I had a central project to my job- the idea of creating an expansive sentiment 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 years 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.
* If you would like a comment on this segment to be considered for inclusion on Weekend magazine’s characters page in book, delight email weekend @theguardian. com, including your name and address( not for publishing ).