Designing For Our Time
Richard Horden (Richard Horden Associates)


Richard Horden, 1986

©Monica Pidgeon

I find myself talking particularly about two areas of architecture at the moment. One is the aspect of materials and the way we as architects are part of a family of all the builders in the world from the small ring that one might make, or the person who makes a ring, to the largest structure on earth - in a way we're part of that spectrum as designers and architects, we're builders. And that for me is essential, that we understand that we're part of that group, and perhaps a middle range of that group, we're not building the biggest structures in the world and we're not building the smallest. The other aspect is the architect as a person who controls space, and for me that's the second most critical thing. And if there are any two things that one has to distil together, it's those two. It's firstly the materials and secondly the space that one's creating with those materials.



©Richard Hordern

Here we have an image of some Tornado catamarans. I brought this slide particularly because, for the early part of my life I was involved in sailing and playing with boats. And the thing that it taught me was particularly that one could build elegant beautiful structures from the minimum use of materials. And one could also bring together a mix of materials. One could bring together cord in the form of stainless steel wire rope, one could bring aluminium, one could bring glass fibre, one could bring wood, and one could bring fabrics. This is something which only a yachtsman sees. He sees the beauty of the thing put together with all a range of different materials. For me it's always been a reference point, for the simplicity of building and a reminder that these things are put together very fast. It's a checking point, if you like, around how easy it is to put a boat together compared with how difficult it is to put a building together.

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