ARTS & CRAFTS ARCHITECTURE
“The Arts & Crafts exudes design in every detail. This does not mean great expense – more that design, positioning, proportion and material selection is carefully considered to provided visual appeal and stimulus in balance with function”
Witcher Crawford has a natural affinity to the Arts & Crafts as the practice share many of principles synonymous with the movement. Particular attention to detail and material selection are an important part of the company’s design approach. These principles are applied to all of the projects we design regardless of architectural style.
The Arts & Crafts movement was a reaction against the soullessness of the Industrial Revolution and mass production. It turned in favour to local craftsmen, traditional details and vernacular material use. The Arts & Crafts philosophy, regardless of style, is perfect for modern or traditional family living, with the way we want to interact with rooms and spaces influencing the external form of the building – as opposed to the ridged form of, say, a Classical house forcing the internal layout to suit the rigid exterior language.
As well as creating a number of new build houses in local vernacular materials – using Bargate stone and render in the central Surrey area, and render and tile hanging closer to London and in the West Hampshire and New Forest areas – we have been fortunate to work on two original properties by the renowned architect M. H. Baillie Scott. Billie Scott was a champion of the concept for creating larger, flexible living spaces. An idea at the heart of changes in house design reflecting the growing informality in society. It was a precursor to the Modernist open plan, a concept that is developing further into what is now being termed the ‘broken plan’.
“Designing for the way people want to live with the flexibility of architectural form is not just the reserve of contemporary architectural styles. Arts & Crafts architecture can be just as engaging at a human scale. Developing from the ‘Old English’ style in the UK and taking influence from medieval concepts the Movement spread internationally into the 1920’s, over 60 years after its beginnings. There after Modernism and numerous revival styles fell in and out of favour to create our current expansive field of influence.”
In our modern interpretations of the Arts & Crafts movement and its styles we are able to blend well detailed exteriors that utilise traditional materials with more modern interiors that impress with high quality detailing. Our most recent Arts & Crafts new build houses use SIP (Structurally Insulated Panel) construction with triple glazing to meet the ever increasing requirements of a building’s thermal performance. All of this is done without affecting the look or use of vernacular materials and detail.