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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Aspects of Longevity of Design: How to Design Timeless Spaces

Aspects of Longevity of Design, by wobuilt.comImportance of Longevity of Design:
Bright and spacious top floor flat
with vaulted ceilings to the reception.
Two Bedrooms. Fitted Kitchen. Bathroom.
Credit: Zoopla

There are many physical, technical & operational aspects to great design and we believe longevity of design is an essential aspect of the architectural design.
Recently I found my old London flat (near Camden Town) for sale again on the Internet. Oh, first I cried when I saw the price (Maybe I should have held onto it?), but then I looked at the spaces and was amazed: it had not changed substantially within 20 years. Of course, the kitchen was updated with new cabinets and the bathroom had some alterations, but the overall design of the spaces and their modern feel did not change.

I realized, the reason I am so happy is that my ex husband Andrew and I designed and built the flat 20 odd years ago. It took us 3 years of tears, sweat, hard work, laughter, arguments and lots of stories to tell to convert it from a one bedroom place to a two bedroom one. We had no idea what we let ourselves in for and the scope of work got bigger by the minute. But we were so proud when we finally finished it.

At the time we did not think about longevity of design, we just designed it according to our own taste: the double height ceiling, the skylights, the glass shelves, the wardrobes with the blinds, the white walls and many more details I cannot see in the photos, but hope they are still there. We didn’t even think about resale value, but somehow, we managed to design spaces that proved to be timeless. It’s probably because we got the wow factor in the space design, not the finishes. We did not design it trendily, we designed it classically with twists.

This everlasting approach is also very much our philosophy at Wo-Built when designing for our clients. We try to provide spaces that play with levels, daylight, sight lines and other architectural means to achieve the timelessness of the design. The architectural composition serves as the canvass for the finishes. The finishes, such as paint, wood and tiles, often bring the trendy aspect of the space and can be changed according to tastes and with the times. But the 'bones' of the spaces will continue for a long time.

I am still so excited that the first place I ever owned still has some of Andrew’s and my ideas in it. For designers this is the best compliment.


Martina Ernst
President/CEO
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build


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