Architecture without (too much) ego: answering the retrofit challenge

EdWilliams - FAVOURITE

Pragmatism, agility and flexibility are vital qualities when working on a building that requires updating, says Ed Williams of Fletcher Priest Architects

Approaching a retrofit project tests an architect in many ways. There is no blank canvas to work on, since the building is already there. Being agile, being flexible enough to respond to both the unexpected issues that may arise from a building along with its qualities and quirks, is crucial.

Working on a retrofit project often means adopting a “light touch”; in many ways it is better to preserve and enhance the existing assets of a building than impose one’s own architectural will. This has an obvious environmental benefit too: retaining as many of the original features as possible reduces the amount of material, cost and energy used.

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