Coffey Architects are part of the Lonely Planet generation, having experienced diverse cultures and environments. After seeing people and places at risk from climate change, they undertook a photographic project called 'Outside'. Images are categorised into Life and Landscape.
Life showcases images of delicate ecosystems and biodiversity; of people's relationship to place. Landscape features the context of changing landscapes and climates; the sensitivity of our most vulnerable geographies. These images are constantly referred back to by Coffey Architects as reminders of the global responsibility architects have in making buildings.
Qualities of life and landscape resonate in their work through the concern with empathy and context. Attempt to balance comfort requirements with their immediate and global consequences is apparent in their projects. Materials, space, circulation, ventilation and heat requirements are given due consideration to create a greater empathy between how we live and the places and planet we inhabit. A truly contextual architecture must respond to the wider global situation as well as the immediate environmental/social setting. It is this often tense relationship that can lead to a complex architecture, responsive with form to place/times. Such preoccupations suggest a 'less is more' approach.
For all their projects, an essence can be condensed and expressed in clear formal and material solutions. Architectural forms respond with simple, direct moves to deliver passive/active environmental design. For this practice, quality buildings in construction equate with sustainability. A building's fabric respects its locale, and uses recyclable/local materials that need low-maintenance and improve with age.
Coffey Architects consider their work as part of the evolving tradition of Modern architecture, seeking to address the demands of building programmes. This architecture responds directly to the issues of the 21st century.