Much of Duggan Morris Architect's work is located in the urban fabric which has become an influence on the evolution of their architectural approach and language; thus the ‘context' within which their work sits, is the thing which defines it. However, processing context requires careful and skilful management. The firm needs to recognise and decipher what information is relevant in any given situation. This very act, of acknowledgment and understanding, creates the specificity which they believe to be so important for each project.
Consider their project for a new office building in Curtain Road, Shoreditch. The locality is pure Georgian grain interspersed with Victorian Bravura. The buildings are of a bygone industrial age, with a noble expression of detail. As such, local planning policy dictates a reverence in treatment, which you might think would result in a polite building of brick piers, concrete lintels, and a regular displacement of windows. The response is a project in which the idioms of the Georgian and the Contemporary sit in clearly defined contrast to one another. In this respect the influence of the specific conditions of context have resulted in a design which ‘preserves and enhances' these unique qualities by communicating clearly the intervention.
Context may, thus, refer to the conditions in which something exists as well as something which existed, or has passed. This is an important consideration, for it implies that context may not be a physical consideration, but a cultural one.
Duggan Morris Architects are acutely aware of their responsibilities to the city(s) within which we live, to be part of the cycle of growth and regeneration; part of a continuum, creating relevance where perhaps there was none, and enhancing areas where there is.
The studio is fascinated as much by the cultures of contemporary 'global' and 'local' society as they are by the historical teachings of architecture and art. As such their work illustrates an interest in the rapid evolution of information technology and modern methods of construction, as well as the qualities of 'craft' and 'tradition'.