It’s what’s on the inside that counts


Architect Cymon Allfrey shares his thoughts on why we should be looking inward when it comes to architecture.

Architecture is not simply about being shiny and new, it is about well-crafted, well-organised spaces that enhance living, not limit it. For many however, architecture is only considered as an external benefit, as a tool that has been utilised to craft a well orientated, well dressed ‘shell’ of a structure on a site. And it is often not until you step inside the ‘shell’ and are able to appreciate the space within, that the true value of an architect is realized.

As biological beings we essentially all live and function the same way, meaning the basic needs for our homes – bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living – are the same, but how these spaces interact and connect influences how we experience and live in our homes. Both positively and negatively.

Understanding this, has a tremendous influence and relevance to the way we, as architects, design.

Dressing the space is about aesthetics, yet the success of your interior comes down to the relationships that exist between these spaces. A concept many will be familiar with in architecture, yet only considered externally. As the manner in which we clad and position our homes is intrinsically linked to the way it interacts with the site, the neighbouring sites and the local environment. To be deemed a success the exterior must first interact positively with its space, before it can be dressed. The same applies inside.

Where interior design provides the finishing touches, interior architecture provides the canvas on which these touches can be applied. The interface of our spaces is vital to the notion of creating a well-crafted interior that will stand the test of time; an interior that allows for installations into the space, such as the kitchen, to be changed and replaced as fashions change. Existing in a particular part of the house the kitchen, while decorative in the big picture, needs to be well considered in terms of its positioning and connection to other spaces to ensure it is maximising its function within the home.

The manner in which we envision different activities in our home, and how we want our interior environments to perform, is all part of the dream that is presented at the beginning of the project. Be it a new build or an alteration, where we envision having our morning coffee, eating our lunch, entertaining, and so forth, is influenced by the internal spaces we have available. Translating this vision for living is not a simple task of ticking the boxes around required spaces, but ensuring your interior has been approached holistically.

Interior architecture allows the provision of a cohesive and coordinated design from the inside out. One cannot exist without the other, yet the success of one – inside – is intrinsically linked to the success of the other.

Published in Metropol Magazine

Published on Thursday, June 16th, 2016