Complementary Architecture is rooted in comprehensive understanding of local conditions and context. It aims to contribute to the environment in a way that improves or emphasises its pre-existing qualities. It occurs at the intersection of local pattern and design languages.
Complementary Architecture is not a rigorous methodology or production system but rather a set of overarching, intertwined, indispensable ideals and principles, including sustainability, altruism, selflessness, beauty, contextualism, endemism, continuity of existing regional design language.
Prior to the 20th century built environment was produced in a continuous, evolutionary fashion rather than as singular revolutionary events. By the beginning of the 21st century, the 20th century’s abandonment of this continuity in favour of radical contrast with nature and context, often poorly justified as “innovation”, has been sufficiently discredited as expedient and destructive, yet it continues to retain momentum.
Truly context-sensitive design weaves facades and building fragments into edges, paths, streets, and squares. It knits individual buildings together to form districts, neighbourhoods, and communities. It makes the boundaries fuzzy and irrelevant between the work of one architect and the work of another or between works done at various points in time. It emphasizes environmental experience over demonstrative design bravado. It is a longstanding and thoroughly tested design attitude which has contributed to the making of some of our finest cities and towns. (Speck, 1982)
The word complement has roots in the Latin complementum, from complēre to fill up, complete and remains true to that origin in its meanings that have to do with completing or fulfilment.
Complementary Architecture is not a rigorous methodology or production system but rather a set of overarching, intertwined, indispensable ideals and principles. Complementary Architecture is each and all
We uphold the vitruvian triad for contemporary use, understanding durability (firmitas) as broader sustainability, utility (utilitas) to investor’s purpose as altruism and service to society and beauty (venustas) as contributor and subject to the overarching regional identity and character of a place, which was inherent historically, but must be carefully guarded in the contemporary world