WHICH PROJECT MADE YOU HAPPIEST?
It is the body of work that makes me happiest, and the idea that the ideas and preoccupations in this work have a trajectory. Each year I feel like I get to know a little more about myself and what is important to me in architecture.
The practice is dedicated to the production of architecture that is highly responsive to its context and seeks to form a strong relationship with landscape.
WHICH ARCHITECT OR PERSON DO YOU ADMIRE AS AN INSPIRATION?
My inspirations change all the time but there are some constants – I am continually inspired by the rigorous yet poetic planning and refined aesthetics of Guilford Bell. In contemporary work I am hugely impressed by the subtlety and poise of English Architects Caruso St John and the exquisite playfulness and imagination of Thomas Heatherwick. I have a strong affinity for the work of CFA Voysey and the Arts and Crafts period in general and I am continually surprised and envious of the pure creativity of Le Corbusier. I’m also constantly inspired by my business partner Rachel, and indeed all my colleagues at Kennedy Nolan.
WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A CLIENT?
Imagination. Architecture is most exciting when it is inventive and this requires a Client to take risks and enter into the excitement of the process which ultimately provides a result which though imperfect, can be joyous and wonderful and unique. If an Architect is limited to tried and proven precedents or proving stolid accomplishment the results can be proficient and practical, but some imagination means a building can be so much more.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST UNDERRATED THING THAT ARCHITECTS DO?
Architects must understand every other discipline they interact with and synthesise the competing constraints and possibilities into a complete and singular thing. When it’s done well it’s almost like alchemy, but even on a very mundane level, Architecture is a feat of co-ordination.
NAME ONE ARCHITECTURAL DESTINATION THAT NON ARCHITECTS SHOULD SEE?
I love the Casa Malaparte on Capri – it is a building in perfect poise with its landscape and it is so poetic that it has the qualities of an imaginary building.
TELL US ONE (SECRET) THING ABOUT HOW YOU DESIGN?
I honestly can’t think of anything which would be interesting or particular about the way I design. The secrets wouldn’t be secrets if I tell you.
What inspires you, what gives you inspiration to do better?
Inspiration to do better comes increasingly from understanding about how buildings and landscapes make you feel – about how memory can be engaged and amplified through the senses. This often comes from highly designed spaces, but also from places that have no design at all – just a sense of place.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
The culture in the practice that Rachel and I have established is my greatest achievement. Good architecture can come from a Stalinist gulag, but it is very satisfying to me that we can produce quality architecture in a supportive and nurturing environment.
WE HAVE AN IMAGE OF YOUR PROJECT, ‘CARLTON WAREHOUSE’. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS PROJECT THAT MAKES IT SPECIAL AND WHAT ARE SOME OF ITS HIDDEN QUALITIES?
What distinguishes this project is the way that it resolves the seemingly incompatible requirements of a living room in the sky and a close connection to garden. This is achieved through a spiralling spatial arrangement which mediates the vertical distance between the living room eyrie and the gardens and terraces below. We were also inspired by the real and imagined history of this site, alluding the architectural expression of twentieth century industrial buildings through massive brickwork, oculus windows, glass blocks and muscular steel elements.
For further information on Patrick Kennedy and his projects, please visit:
Liam is an award-winning architect and designer.
As architects, we believe in the transformative potential of good design.
Kennedy Nolan was established in 1999 and has since developed a reputation as a design focused practice with a distinctive approach to built form.