Design affordable housing solutions for Toronto
We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our “RE-Stock London Housing” competition – Jamal Badrashi, Patrick Inglis and Kim Loddo from the United Kingdom!
IBLA team from the United Kingdom
Our company is IBLA, and it is made up of three directors, Patrick Inglis, Jamal Badrashi and Kim Loddo, and one employee – Joe Dent. We met while studying architecture at Cambridge University, and started IBLA in 2000.
We have taken on a broad range of different projects, including a cultural centre and chambers for a law firm, but the bulk of our work is residential – a mix of private domestic projects and larger work for small-scale developers. Extending and refurbishing houses make up over half of our workload at the moment. We try and use them as incubators/testing beds for ideas that we can then feed into our bigger projects.
We understand our cities and the spaces that make them up as inherited works in progress, and see the role of an architect as that of a steward or custodian of the built environment – with a duty to look after it, use it, carry it on, and pass it on to future generations.
In our opinion, small projects are particularly challenging and demand a careful judgement, firstly to find an architectural idea that coincides with the project’s scope and limits, and then to realise this idea within the constraints of limited budgets and the vagaries of small-scale contractors with their differing areas of expertise. Getting to know your builders and what they are comfortable with is especially important when trying to make a success of projects of this scale.
Architecture vision competitions, in contrast, provide us with the opportunity to challenge ourselves with thinking about architectural issues at the scale of the city, in a more speculative and idealistic way, and unfettered by process-driven constraints. We believe that there is an unquestionable need to be sustainable and appropriate in one’s response to any given brief or design problem, and this holds true regardless of whether one is working on a competition or a live project.
We would say, “Try it!” because we think that the benefits will become obvious as soon as anyone starts to engage with it.