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What makes a design great?

Discover our design philosophy.

11 July 2016
By Peddle Thorp

Every one of us is affected by good and bad design. Poorly designed spaces often evoke unpleasant emotions: we may feel cramped, fatigued, overwhelmed, or unnerved.

What is great design? We believe it exists somewhere between art and utility. There must be tension between the two–imagine a pendulum that swings between beauty and functionality.

Design built on understanding

When you engage us on a project, we begin a quest to gain a full understanding of your business, service and ethos. We seek to identify the drivers that will deliver a successful project, from both a client viewpoint and a wider perspective that is based on our experience and knowledge.

An example of great design: Caboolture Hub

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- 2012 RAIA Queensland Architecture Awards - FDG Stanley Award for Public Buildings Architecture

- 2012 RAIA Regional Architecture Awards – Gabriel Poole Award for Building of the Year Sunshine Coast Region

What the judges said:

A centre for local culture, art, history, learning and social interaction, the building creatively earns its title ‘hub’. The planning is legible yet fluid, the building connects multiply to the city, and the spaces facilitate both defined and adaptive uses.

 

Knowing what to value

Through our training, architects come to intuitively understand qualitative aspects of design, and their practical application. We have a clear sense of the way shapes, light, materials and textures work together to deliver emotional resonance, as well as attractive, functional spaces.

Experienced architects can draw out qualities during the build that are hard to describe and hard to measure – yet tangibly make a building more pleasant to experience.

An example of great design: QUT Library Kelvin Grove

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- 2012 Queensland Architecture Awards - State Award for Interior Architecture

What the judges said:

A sympathetic and appropriately restrained addition to a classic John Andrews / John Simpson University building with a surprising interior that creates multiple student study and social spaces.

 

Control and creativity

We strive to bring originality to every project. That requires both creative talent, diligence and the ability to manage complexity and ambiguity. Peddle Thorp are able guides when it comes to shaping the design process: we remain open, curious and flexible.

We’re conscientious when it comes to resolving your brief, and developing designs that are not just unique, but are developed with precision and clarity.

An example of great design: State Library of Queensland Redevelopment

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- 2007 RAIA National Architecture Awards - The Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture

- 2007 RAIA National Architecture Awards - The Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture

- 2007 RAIA Queensland Architecture Awards - Brisbane Building of the Year

- 2007 RAIA Queensland Architecture Awards - FDG Stanley Award for Public Buildings Architecture

What the judges said:

Jury Chair Associate Professor Peter Skinner said the State Library of Queensland by Peddle Thorp, in collaboration with Donovan Hill, was an “extraordinary project” that opened up the facility to a “new generation of users.”

Associate Professor Skinner said: “Cultural institutions, if not vigilant, can easily retreat behind institutional cultures. By imbedding thousands of settings for planned and spontaneous, personal and collective engagement with this building, this project can never be other than truly public architecture. The jury commends the enormous undertaking of the architectural firms in researching, testing, designing, detailing, debating, arguing, pushing and hanging in; and hanging on to architectural design.”

By imbedding thousands of settings for planned and spontaneous, personal and collective engagement with this building, this project can never be other than truly public architecture.