The office has substantial experience in a broad range of building types, including cultural, residential and commercial. This variety of work creates many useful advantages because it allows important lessons and techniques to be learned from several different fields and provides a cross-fertilization of ideas, which can be applied to other building types.
Cultural and institutional projects have allowed an opportunity to create significant public work that responds to civic and urban needs. Private houses allow a large degree of creative independence and provide an excellent environment for experimenting with new ideas. These ideas and new forms can then be used as inspiration on larger public buildings. Commercial projects have been an invaluable learning context for high-density public environments, where the need to create identifiable urban landmarks is combined with the requirements for handling large public spaces. The density and high-traffic requirements provide important experience with heavy pedestrian flow and the spaces and materials that can deal with it. In turn, this knowledge is directly relevant for civic and cultural buildings.
Creating signature houses has provided important experience with an extremely high level of detailing and careful attention to design. The close control of details is very important for any project and the office’s experience and knowledge allows them to complete their work both expeditiously and within budget. Mark Dziewulski personally leads all projects and the design team’s experience enables them to produce both the high quality of architecture required as well as meeting schedules and budgets. The office has developed a very successful team-approach system that includes all parties in the design process.
ENERGY CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
Mark Dziewulski has been committed to energy conservation and sustainable design since his time at Cambridge University, where he studied environmental control at the Leslie Martin Centre. This is considered a world leader for the conservation of energy in buildings and is the source of many of the books and design guidelines that have now become international practice.
The office makes a commitment on every building to incorporate integrated energy conservation and sustainable design features. Many of their projects use cutting-edge technology. A new loft building in London is designed with a hydraulic piping system cast into the deep concrete foundation piles, through which re-circulated liquid transfers the lower earth temperature to create a low energy cooling system. A house in California was built with a high-efficiency photo-voltaic panel roof that generates more power than the house consumes and the excess is sold back to the grid. In addition to utilizing the latest high-technology solutions, the office also stresses the importance of simple passive control methods, such as the careful use of orientation, shading devices and advanced insulation. The office applies its experience in energy reduction to all their projects to reduce life-cycle costs.