George Holt & Andrew Gould


When Vitruvius wrote about the art of building in the first century BC, he described it in terms of Firmness, Commodity, and Delight.

It is clear to us and our clients that the experience of firmness is more than just considerations of structure. We choose to build out of solid, traditional materials; they last for hundreds of years, and you can feel the difference between a thick wall and a thin one. Our buildings don't just look like old buildings - they are built in the same ways. We prefer solid masonry construction and massive wooden beams because they feel good, and we refuse to use plywood structurally inside our houses, because it doesn't seem to stand the test of time, and we don't like the smell.

Commodity means more than just function. We think houses ought to feel like home, neighborhoods ought to seem neighborly, and churches ought to feel holy. The visual and tactile experience of function is just as important as mere convenience - perhaps more important. We strive to make our buildings commodious in the old sense of the word, because nowadays more than ever people respond to the joy of feeling well-housed.

Too often art is judged according to philosophies and aesthetics, and the importance of simple delight is forgotten. People like our buildings. They can see the geometry and order in our designs, and feel the hand-made textures and natural materials. This kind of beauty is timeless.