At the heart of residential architecture is the passion to create aesthetically pleasing and exciting spaces that flow seamlessly into one another, according to Andrew Long, Director of Iconic AD. Since childhood, he has always been fascinated by buildings and the landscape in which they sit. Here Andrew shares his story with us…..
Q: When did you discover your passion for architecture?
A: During my childhood, my parents would take my sister and I on walking holidays in Switzerland. I remember how much I loved drawing the Swiss chalets. They were so perfectly set into the landscape, never distracting from the stunning views around them.
Q: How determined were you to become an architect?
A: I’ve always been fascinated by houses and Range Rovers. During my secondary school years, I toyed with the idea of becoming an architect or a farmer, but I eventually set my heart on architecture. I have dyslexia and my school career advisor tried to send me on a different career path, suggesting I wasn’t up to the job, so I was determined to prove them wrong!
Q: How did you become a renowned architect?
A: I successfully work around my dyslexia and I have always been able to visualise and draw any objects in 3D. I have a photographic memory when it comes to pictures, and I love working with images rather than words. I took my skills and studied architecture for seven years at university, making some fantastic connections through networking along the way. It’s those connections that have benefited me throughout my career.
Q: Which architectural designers really stand out to you?
A: This is a hard question as I do admire so many architects, all with very different approaches to design. My top three have to be: Frank Lloyd Wright who created Falling water in the USA, Bart Prince, who designed Hight Residence in the USA, and Christian Müller Architects, for designing the stunning Villa Vals in Switzerland. I would love to bring a touch of Villa Vals to the UK.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about your work?
A: I really enjoy working on the detailed design, creating intricate hand drawn plans. For me it is all about seeing the smile on a clients face when I bring their vision to life. I also enjoy connecting with my clients and sharing some good humour – it makes the whole design process a pleasurable experience.
Q: How has architecture evolved in recent years?
A: There is so much coverage in the media about the future of architecture and how it is changing shape, but the reality isn’t quite the same. Of course, there’s lots of positive discussion around green living and eco homes, but due to costs and delivery times, there’s currently so many factors holding the growth of this market back.
Q: Why do you think that classical design is still so popular today?
A: It’s the romantic notion that it would be wonderful to live in an Englishman’s castles. People love the proportions and homeliness. Some people find modern homes a bit sterile, although the spaces and light are often much better. I also think that some people are a little frightened to be different.
Q: What exciting projects are you currently working on?
A: I am busy designing a 10,000sqft contemporary eco house overlooking the London skyline in the Surrey Hills. Another project is the design of a 20,000sqft classical home, so I have a nice mixture of projects on the go.
If you are ready to embark on a refurb or new build project, Andrew would love to hear from you. Just click here.