The Juliette Interviews: Gregory Phillips of Gregory Phillips Architects
JH: How did you get started in architecture?
GP: As a boy I remember drawing houses from my imagination. At school I studied the sciences but always painted from my imagination in my spare time. I was a talented student in mathematics and could have carried on studying mathematics at university. Instead I opted for architecture. It was not an obvious decision and if I had pursued the mathematics I could have gone into finance or technology. Then after a while I appreciated the depths of spatial creativity involved in architecture and the complexity of each project and knew I had made the right decision.
JH: You have a beautiful aesthetic and a contemporary style. What architect inspired you the most?
GP: As a student I was fascinated by the early modern movement architects in Europe. Le Corbusier, Mies Van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto. I also greatly admired Frank Lloyd Wright and the more contemporary architects Scarlo Scarpa and Tado Ando. However I aim to bring the contemporary and luxury and comfort all together. I aim to make the architecture, the interior design and the landscape all part of a holistic solution. Really taking care of the creative design and client requirements individually to make unique solutions.
JH: What is your process, in the simplest way you can share it with us?
GP: Architecture is in part like a jigsaw puzzle. One needs to understand the components, the brief, the site, the context, the culture, the building traditions, the available technology, the local skills. I take a holistic approach, looking at the bigger picture and then aiming to exceed expectations of my clients. Each project is unique and bespoke for the client. I hope my clients love what I have already done, knowing that their project will have the ambition of being even more special and extraordinary.
We were one of the first to pioneer a full service residential design and over decades we have accrued unparalleled knowledge of the sector, as well as a reputation for open, light-filled spaces, rich materiality, precise detailing, incredible craftsmanship and a strong connection between inside and outside living. Commanding the respect and trust of many high profile clients who want not only the very best but unique too.
JH: You are established in the UK, but how often do you design homes in other countries and what are some of those countries?
GP: Most of our work is in the UK. We have worked on projects in Ireland and France as well as the UK. At present we are working on projects in Malibu and the Hollywood Hills. I am fascinated to build in different landscapes, by the ocean on the beach, on a cliff, on a mountain, by a lake, in a desert, in the countryside, in a suburban lot, in city locations. I enjoy that LA can offer so many of these opportunities
JH: Have you won any awards you’d like to tell us about?
GP: We have designed homes that have won awards including Royal Institute of British Architects Awards and “Best House in Europe’ awards. As well as several other awards. It is always gratifying when your piers give you an award and also very reassuring with the awards we have won when the public have voted for us.
JH: Who is your typical client?
GP: We design mainly for individuals but also for developers. The typical individual is highly successful, often an entrepreneur, we have also worked for city financiers, technology clients, sports people, entertainment industry clients and designers.
JH: What is your philosophy behind each home you design?
GP: Each home is special. Each client should have all their needs met and exceeded. A home is many things, a sanctuary, a place for family, a place to entertain. We make our houses fully work. My clients should enjoy the best life they can and their house is part of that story.
JH: You clearly love this work, but, if you had to quit architecture today, what would be the next thing you would love to do?
GP: I guess it is inspired by my many trips to LA. I am fascinated by the creativity of recent tv series. I would enjoy being involved. If I had started earlier, being a director would have been a dream career. Now my skill set is very particular and I am an expert in designing homes and curating the entire process. Putting the team together to create an amazing result, maybe that makes me more an ideas person or producer in an alternative life.
JH: What advice would you give to anyone starting out in this field?
GP: My advise is to always associate yourself with the best of the best. Do whatever it takes and work hard to study with the best and work with the best. In the early years sacrifice money for experience if you have too. It’s a marathon not a sprint. It takes a while to become a good architect and designer. I am now just beginning to create what I hope will be my best projects. I am always optimistic and aim that the current work is our best.
If you would like to lean more about Gregory Phillips Architects you can find his work at www.gregoryphillips.com
You can also email Gregory at [email protected] or visit his Instagram: @gregoryphillipsarchitects