Lucy Timmer

Why linking function, emotion and space is vital for a successful project

by 16th Sep, 2014

Communion’s mission statement is “Working closely with people to deliver exceptional projects that transform spaces and change lives.” Each of our architects draws on different philosophies to interpret this statement in different ways and deliver unique solutions.

For Lucy, one of the most important philosophies is the recognition that a successful building links function, emotion and space. In other words, our homes are reflections of our lives and the way we live them rather than simply a series of architectural calculations.

Taking this approach means she sees part of her role as being a translator. She listens to her clients’ descriptions of their routines, their interactions with their favourite spaces and the relationship they want to have with their homes. She then takes this list and translates it into a programme that considers factors such as light, space, flow, materials, colours, furniture and the relationship to the outside to create a functional, fulfilling building. In other words, she builds a house that meets her clients’ needs, wants and desires.

Lucy’s approach to architecture is inspired by the choreography of the every day. She also draws on two literary sources: Species of Spaces by Georges Perec and A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes.

Space and function inextricably linked

In Species of Spaces, Perec considers the everyday things we do (eating, sleeping, relaxing, for example) and how we interact with the spaces we do those things in. As part of this exercise, he tries to imagine a space without a function. He finds the very act of trying to describe such a space very difficult – spaces always acquire a purpose, even if it’s for something as seemingly unimportant as storing things you no longer want to see.

Space and emotion inextricably linked

In A Lover’s Discourse, Barthes considers love from a philosophical perspective. As part of this he looks at how the things that are important to us fit together as part of our lives and the spaces we live in.

Architects’ philosophies and why they matter

All architects have philosophies that inform their work.

These overarching ideas may not be at the forefront of our thinking about a project, but they do provide us with a framework that helps us to identify the central issues and keep us focused on them. They help us to marry up the dreams and aspirations of our clients with the practicalities by allowing us to focus on the essentials, order and prioritise ideas and cut out the distractions.