Q: Describe your home and its style.
A: It’s a work in progress. The house is 12 years old and a blank canvas. We plan to extend in the next few years to create an open-plan
living space. So far we have installed a two-sided, contemporary Dru gas fire set into a bespoke shelving unit we designed ourselves. We’ve put down oak flooring and used a Farrow and Ball colour on a feature wall in the sitting room.
Q:What is on your interiors wish list?
A: I’ve always wanted a Le Corbusier chaise longue. When we eventually replace the kitchen we are hoping to use Wood & Wire in Hebden Bridge. They have installed kitchens in two of our recent projects. Their designs are totally bespoke and unlike anything else available.
Q: Which household items could you not live without?
A: I work from home quite often and recently purchased a Jake Dyson csys desk lamp which looks very architectural and is brilliant for providing task lighting whilst drawing. We also have a bright red Francis Francis espresso machine. It makes good coffee and looks great.
Q: Which architects/designers do you most admire?
A: There are so many. I love Arts and Crafts architecture and the one-off houses, such as Broad Leys by Lake Windermere by CFA Voysey. I also like the modern movement architects including Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Lois Kahn and Alvar Aalto.
Among contemporary architects, I admire David Adjaye, John Pawson, David Chipperfield - architect of the Hepworth gallery in Wakefield, and Feilden Clegg Bradley
Q: What is your favourite building?
A: It’s a bit of a cliché but it’s the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe, built as the German pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition.
The building still looks like it was designed yesterday despite being almost ninety years old. It is a master class in minimalism.
Q: Is there anything exciting you in terms of building design and construction?
A: It always surprises me how little innovation there has been in building construction. Most houses are still built in traditional masonry despite this taking much longer than other methods that use prefabricated elements. I’m sure this will change as prefabrication becomes more commonplace and less expensive.
Most of the homes we design incorporate large areas of glazing and this is one area where the range of products has expanded over the last decade. I look forward to seeing how glazing technology develops further in the future.
Q: What and where is your ideal home?
A: I think it is every architect’s dream to design and build their own home and I am no exception. I love living close to the Yorkshire Dales as I am a keen cyclist, so a house within the Dales National Park or close to the North Yorkshire coast would be a dream.
I’d like spectacular views and would like to fuse contemporary architecture with traditional materials.
Q: Who would you must like to invite to dinner?
A: Kevin McCloud. I’m a fan of the C4 programme “Grand Designs” and think it has been hugely beneficial to architects. It has brought good domestic architecture to the public’s attention and, as a result, people have become much more accepting of contemporary design.
I also admire HAB, his development company, which stands for Happiness Architecture Beauty and is a reaction against volume builders.
**Niche Design Architects was founded by Chris and Cathy Hunt, www.nichedesignarchitects.com