University of Amsterdam
© Tim Soar
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris makes buildings that are satisfying and enjoyable to use, beautiful to look at and easy to understand. We design very different buildings for very different people to use in very different ways. We believe in making places as well as buildings, that work over time and have lasting qualities intrinsic to their architecture.
For us, a project begins with a strategy, not a design solution. This strategy arises from understanding the fundamental drivers of a brief and the parameters, problems and opportunities it represents. It includes a richer definition of context as political, economic or social as well as architectural. We search for the chances to create good architecture in every site, budget and programme. And whilst this might involve a complexity of thought, it yields a simple, legible proposal that can flex in response to change but still remain true to the core of the brief. Only then does a design idea emerge, an idea that will be robust enough to survive the pressures that can be expected on the way to the finished building. Its execution may involve us drawing on previous projects, but always testing against the overall framework for the new.
We pursue a pragmatic, analytical and open working method that produces responsive, intelligent architecture. This clarity with which we work facilitates discussion between all parties, including clients, users, planners and contractors, and results in an aesthetic approach that is clear and logical. We innovate because we know that innovation is as much about finding simpler ways of doing things better as it is about finding new things to do.
For over twenty years, this way of seeing has allowed us to make architecture which resonates with clients and critics and responds to changing construction techniques. We design houses and housing, schools and sports buildings, exhibition spaces and offices and healthcare facilities, as well as the odd bus station and art gallery; interestingly, we are now building hybrids of many of the above.
Our work is also international, with overseas projects currently underway in Amsterdam, Ghana and Oklahoma City that feature commercial, retail, residential, amenity and educational elements.
We are part of a team, but most importantly we enjoy working with anybody who shares our belief that architecture can make a positive, inspirational but never overbearing contribution to the world around us.