Blog posts tagged Architecture

Goosebumpability

When songwriter & producer Brian Wilson played the rest of the Beach Boys the songs that would become the Pet Sounds album, they were distinctly underwhelmed. Brian plugged away at the piano presenting the sketches for each song that would become their classic album – but the Boys were not impressed. They thought he’d flipped (which indeed he did, but not until a whole while later). Right now he was at the top of his game, so what was the problem? As he played, Brian (and only Brian) could hear what wasn’t there: where the percussion would sit, how the… READ MORE

The Big Easy

On Wednesday 17th May, Michael Eavis CBE officially opened The Mendip School, a special school for 120 pupils aged 4 to 19 located on the Bath and West Showground near Shepton Mallet. Mendip School is an easy building; easy to build, easy to navigate, easy to use. It is not frivolous. It is functional, practical and works very well. It’s mainly about putting rooms in the right place. The primary school classrooms face south so the sun warms the external teaching space where the children spend so much of their time whereas the secondary school classrooms face north, enjoying daylight… READ MORE

DKA refurbishment

For those of you who follow us on social media, have been to the studio in the past 6 months, or have called up for a chat and heard the echoes of a building site in the background will know we’ve been undergoing a studio refurbishment. We’re so close to the finish line we can almost taste it! We’ve been planning this for some time now and over the last year we felt we were in the right place to bite the bullet and go for it. We’ve still got a few loose ends to tie up but the majority… READ MORE

Ecobuild 2016

I am becoming something of an Ecobuild veteran having made the journey to Excel over the past four or five years. It is often a barometer for the industry or trends – remember when PV suppliers took up half of the south hall? The most apparent difference in 2016 is the size – only one of the halls was used. Perhaps this was a desire for quality rather than quantity or simply to make the visitor experience more manageable. Getting around that much area in one day became practically impossible for the average desk jockey. I needed to visit a… READ MORE

Keep on ‘in keeping’ on

‘But is it in keeping?’ Ask any architect – their most hated phrase is probably ‘in keeping’. Two horrid little words customarily trotted out as a reaction to anything new. It implies, why spoil what is here with THAT? To the designer it is an illogical rejection, inferring that whatever has gone before has reached such a zenith of design and social engineering that nothing in our wildest imaginations could hope to improve the local environment other than more of exactly the bloody same. If we tell a child that each drawing must be ‘in keeping’ with their last then… READ MORE

Every day’s a school day | working at DKA

‘You learn something new everyday’ I love that phrase, it’s so true. Everyday’s a school day. You may have worked with architects before, but I have compiled a list of things I’ve learnt from working with them at DKA for 3.5 years, lessons and top tips which are applicable to many a workplace I’m sure!   Be neat There was a time (I’m embarrassed to admit this) when I didn’t line things up. I was haphazard, slapdash, preferred speed over consideration and this is clearly visible in my old work and portfolio. While doing my stint as an ‘Architectural Assistant’ I had… READ MORE

Acceptable in the 80’s

On the occasion of DKA’s inaugural blog posting, I can’t help but reflect on some of the changes to the office and working practices that have happened since we set ourselves up in 1993. Without a doubt digital technology has had the biggest single impact on the way we work. I can remember the first fax machine being brought into an office where I worked in the 1980’s; we all panicked at the thought of no longer being able to use the excuse ‘the drawing’s in the post’; little did we know that soon enough the very idea of printing… READ MORE

Midfield Dynamo – Advice for recent graduates

Creative people have good ideas, but it takes a team of creative people to achieve great things. Neil Armstrong didn’t get to the Moon on his own, and Damien Hirst doesn’t always pickle his own cows. For some people, recognition is their reward. For others it is enough knowing they were there and getting their hands dirty. For most, I imagine, the design process is where they find enjoyment, solving problems elegantly and learning new things. Within a creative team everyone can flourish. Together the team is greater than the sum of its parts with each person bringing different skills,… READ MORE

Designing for Special Needs

Special needs is a subject with bucket loads of emotion for all involved; frustration, triumph, loneliness, friendship, anger, appreciation, pride and respect; but for me the emotion is joy. I am privileged to design schools for pupils with special needs, and there are many reasons I should be happy about it. For a start I am designing for people who are passionate about what they do, and care about what I can do for them. Secondly the brief is developed through close consultation, gradually getting to understand the school’s vision, the approach to teaching and learning; welfare and socialisation; safety… READ MORE