You start with nothing.
Of course there is a need, or the idea of a need. Perhaps a site, unburdened save for the boundaries of planners and the constraints of place and budget. The page in front of you is nearly electric with anticipation, packed with potential, full of roads and routes and options. But it too is blank.
Leave it that way. It is hard to turn away from the pull of the pen, but the first step in any project is one of reflection.
Our approach to architecture is anchored in understanding and responding to context, a holistic element that is at once vague and fundamental. The notion of context is often limited to physical or visible attributes - the topography of the site, the surrounding buildings or nature, the climate of the region. But context also includes the invisible and intangible forces that truly make a place - the history, the...