Author(s): Nigel Coates
Procter-Rihl is a multidisciplinary studio that navigates between the scales of architecture, furniture, product design, exhibition and landscape. In a world dominated by over-specialisation, there are few architects that inhabit these multiple areas consistently through their career. The studio proposes a new approach in architecture, Trans-Local, which brings together the familiar and the extraordinary, the local and the global. Unlike typical contextual approaches to place, this method creates tension between the familiar and the new. Architecture and Beyond surveys the work of the practice, revealing a design method based on linguistics fusing spatial verbs to local archetypes. The projects shown do not follow a chronological order but are clustered by four key design operations: fold, perforate, float and weave. They are firestarters to spatial investigations that are regularly revisited in different scales, programmes or disciplines. The method embraces a diagrammatic purity that is inevitably reflected in the projects.
Conditional design methods have been extensively explored by recent parametric and digital architecture delivering complex and extra-ordinary architecture as a non-contextual formal pursuit. What is new in Procter-Rihl's design method is the fusion of an operative system to a symbolic matrix creating an architecture that responds to locality but also is challenging and provocative. This book highlights 42 projects richly illustrated with more than 258 photos and 100 drawings.