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Haptic Architects Ltd, London, United Kingdom

Monday 12 Mar 2012

Haptical design

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Haptic's approach is to develop a design that responds to the conditions of the site and its context 

Haptic is a London and Oslo-based architectural studio with an international outlook, established in 2008 by Scott Grady, Timo Haedrich, Tomas Stokke and Nikki Butenschøn.

Haptic's approach is to develop a design that responds specifically to the physical and environmental conditions of the site and its context. The resulting designs are striking, efficient and reflect the character of the place. As a design based practice they believe that the shift away from the ‘optical' to the ‘haptical' is a move that benefits the users of the buildings they design. The team is concerned that they should have a light touch on the planet, by making buildings as sustainable and resource-light as possible.

The firm fortunate to be working in areas of outstanding natural beauty, from the island of Hanimaadhoo in the Maldives, the Acacus Mountains in North Africa to Sognefjorden in Norway. They treat such sensitive and very different contexts with respect and individuality, with no set outcome. Designs are developed through exploration of different formal solutions and materiality, striving for a design that is totally in tune with its environment. This approach is independent of the projects' scale or complexity, whether a 16 room hunting lodge or international airport.

Haptic believe in design where sustainability is fully integrated, from the outset of the project and not a last minute addition, with an emphasis on passive design measures. The clamshell roof of Hanimaadhoo airport for example, provides shade to the glazed elevations, works to harvest rainwater, channels natural daylight from the north facing roof lights, while photovoltaics on the south facing roof slopes provide energy.

In a market that is increasingly international and where design ideas spread instantly with little regard for the local context, they believe that the ‘Haptical' approach is relevant. To create an appropriate response, they must fully understand the physical, topographical, political, social and climatic context and design buildings that are original, appropriate and economical.

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Haptic Architects Ltd

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