Wilkinson King Architects was formed in 1997 by Chantal Wilkinson and Julian King. The partnership was created to practice imaginative and contemporary architecture through innovative design and an informed use of structure and materials.
Wilkinson King Architects is a design based practice that seeks to maximise each opportunity to build, and to develop a portfolio of work covering a broad range of project types. This now includes work for schools, business, arts organisations, local authorities and private clients.
Excellent and progressive architecture can only be achieved when the architect and client engage in a dialogue, which establishes an atmosphere of collaboration and common purpose. The theoretical ideas and philosophy that Wilkinson King apply to all projects can be briefly summarised as follows:
Programme, conflict and connections
Our approach to architecture is always conceptual and begins with the understanding of the harmonies and conflicts within the brief, before they become entwined within the architectural solution. We live within a world where chaos, uncertainty and complexity are routine.
The constant evolution and conflict within artistic, political and economic programmes represent the truest manifestation of contemporary culture. Linking, binding and juxtaposing these programmes is a continuous and evolving thread to our work.
Process and context
We are interested in the physical context of a project and the forces that influence it. In particular we are interested in the way spaces exist, fragment and dislocate over time, and the way they are used, and perceived to be used, within a changing cultural context. Special attention is always given to the placing of the project within the city and the creation of opportunities to assist with urban regeneration.
Research and synthesis
Wilkinson King seek to maintain a broad base of architectural projects to create an on going programme of “research” across different building types. Our intention is to learn from and synthesise these projects into an architecture which is sensitive and responsive to current issues effecting the built environment and look to create the special out of the ordinary.
Material and the process of construction
The architectural statement is strengthened by its manifestation as built form. This can only be achieved through the understanding of the process of building and the cultural and economic forces that govern it. The connection between the material, the process of construction and the architectural ‘idea’ is fundamental to our work.
Wilkinson King are interested in finding a form that responds to and then transcends the brief, to create an architectural simplicity concerned with spatial experience. Our projects are often about extending the limits of the built enclosure to ‘take in’ external space. This can be vertical as well as horizontal. Connections are made across all planes and to the sky.
The use of natural light is an important element of our work allowing spaces to be carefully animated and bright. This gives the work a tonal and sculptural quality we enjoy. The use of glass is often integral to achieving this.
The use of natural light through highly sophisticated glazing allows our projects to require the minimum of artificial light. Conservation of energy is achieved through design, building orientation and the careful balance between glazing and highly insulated elements.
Wilkinson King have researched many areas of energy efficiency including solar power, heat sink, heat exchange and zero energy solutions.
Wilkinson King is actively committed to the development of architectural ideas as an essential part of their work through the medium of competitions.