Profile of Tony Owen Partners, headquartered in Australia. Eleven projects submitted by Tony Owen Partners have been published on Architecture News Plus (ANP).
Elastic Approaches to Design:
Tony Owen Partners is a firm of architects taking a new approach to the issues of visualising the built environment. This approach recognises that we are increasingly dealing with a new and unprecedented set of realities and responding to a new set of imperatives. These impertives include increasing population and densities, limited resources and space, changing climate and the new realities of the global information and financial network. At the same time, technology is delivering new digital tools and capabilities which are impacting the means which architecture is realised. This includes new software, new thinking about network strategies and new means of fabrication. This is resulting in new approaches to design to deal with these issues. The result is an architecture which is ‘future focused’ in thinking, open and responsive in approach, and experimental in nature. This is an architecture which is supple and responsive, reactive to changing variables and assited by new technology.
As a result of these tools, we are exploring an architecture which is more responsive to the environment, We refer to this as ‘Elastic Design’. This is anchitecture that is pliant, yet has an inherent structure and ordering principle. Elastic Architecture is an architecture that is capable of responding to all manner of changing variables. This includes spatial, programatic, environmental and structural issues. We are designing spaces which expand to allow greater connectivity to the exterior environment to maximise light, air and movement flows, or retract for greater privacy and differentiation of uses. These are spaces which respond not just to program and uses, but to patterns of behaviour which change through time. We are envisioning dynamic buildings which repond to variations in inputs and relationships.
The net result of this convergence of changing conditions and evolving technology is an acceptance that old models and old thinking is insufficient, and what is required is an architecture which is future looking and forward in thinking.
We make extensive use of digital design tools at the earliest stages of the project. We have a close relationship to the faculty of Digital Design at UTS University in Sydney. We generally deal with 3-D computer visualisation within the first week of a design. The computer is a tool for testing forms early on and exploring the spatial potential of an idea. We foster a process based culture whereby we move through a series of formal steps arising out of the site and environmental issues, to go down a path that is beyond the ability to imagine without the computer. Above all we are focused on an approach to design based on a progression whereby every design builds on the lessons learned and the developments in technology from the last project. The cumulative result is the fostering of a design culture based on pragmatic experimentation whose field of exploration is the real world of practice. The following projects demonstrate this approach.