Hugh Strange Architects are based in London and have developed a reputation for producing practical and cost effective buildings that marry an attention to material and structure with precise, contextually considerate responses to sensitive urban and rural sites. Prior to establishing his practice in 2011, Hugh Strange studied at Edinburgh University, graduating in 1994, and worked for practices in London, Vienna and Berlin.
Our design approach starts with a detailed understanding of the client’s brief, and carefully looking at the surrounding context, so that our buildings are wholly situated, embodying a thoughtful capacity to understand place. We work with models throughout the design process, tend towards simple floor plans and eschew formal excess. The qualities of our buildings come instead from an interest in articulating the structural necessities of a project, from an enjoyment of the visual and tactile qualities of materials, and from an interest in direct, but delicately realised construction.
The Strange House, constructed on a backland site in South-East London was the practice’s first completed new-build project and won a RIBA Award 2011, AIA UK Award 2011 (Best Small Project) and the Wood Award 2011(Best Small Project).
The practices’ interest in working in rural environments is reflected in a series of commissions in Somerset at the Shatwell farm, including the Architecture Archive, which houses a significant collection of architectural drawings and was nominated for the 2015 European Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award and won RIBA National and Regional Awards.
Recently completed projects include a timber cabin for staff and visiting school groups, set within a new nature reserve in the Avon Gorge for the Avon Wildlife Trust, and winner of the 2016 AJ Small Projects Award.
The practice is currently collaborating with the renowned Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza on a project adjacent to the Architecture Archive, a white concrete sculpted canopy that will link two agricultural silos that we are converting into a private library and a store for architectural models.
The role of applied research is fundamental to the practice's work. The practice has a particular interest in timber construction, with a developing expertise in cross-laminated timber. Hugh combines his work in practice with a role as editor of the technical section of Building Design magazine, where he has produced a series of pieces exploring the poetics of construction through the works of emerging European architects.
Authored TRADA introduction to CLT
Hugh was approached by TRADA to write an outline of the properties and uses of Cross-Laminated Timber. The text is currently available from TRADA as a downloadable pdf (£) and will be available in book form during 2016.
Contribution to Eurban structural timber book
A text discussing Cross-Laminated Timber, and the historic relationship between technical innovation and the development, and continuities, of architectural language.
Post-occupancy CLT environmental monitoring
An ongoing monitoring project to assess the effectiveness of the Architecture Archive in passively moderating the thermal and hygroscopic environment for the storage of the drawings held inside.