architect

We’re recruiting RIBA Part 2s or 3s by James Whitaker

IMG_7635.JPG

Whitaker Studio is on the hunt for an excellent new team member.

We have a bunch of projects scattered around the world, and as the number of projects grows our team needs to grow. We need people to help us turn these projects into reality. Sometimes we’ll need you to come up with great, bold ideas, and sometimes we’ll need you to be able to critique ideas and say it as you see it in a clear and articulate way. Other times we will need you to just knuckle down and get the work done; no questions. Sadly, great work isn’t easily done, and we have no appetite for the average. We work really hard every day to create the best possible designs we can. We want our work to be site-specific and original. We want to create work that people haven’t seen before. If you’re happy drawing up the status quo read no further.

But working hard doesn’t mean that we’re keen to work late every night. Sometimes we need to burn the midnight oil but rarely is great work done when tired and worn out. We’ve got friends and family too. If you need to arrange your day around childcare we can make that work. Or if you’d really like to start late on a Wednesday so you can go to yoga that can work too. We will measure you on the work you produce, not the hours you sit at your desk. But this means we need someone with good time management skills. If you always handed your work in late at uni we probably aren’t the right place for you.

So down to the specifics. We are looking for a RIBA Part 2 or Part 3 to join our team.

Applicants must:

  • be good at managing their own time

  • be eligible to work in the UK

  • be fluent in English, both spoken and written

  • have strong Adobe Illustrator skills

  • be quick and proficient in AutoCAD

  • have good 3D modelling skills. 3DS Max proficiency is desirable but a good level in Rhino would also be considered

The role will start during April and salary will be in the range of £25,000 – £30,000 depending on experience.

Please include examples of detailed design work in your portfolio and limit the portfolio to three pages. Send CVs and portfolios to jobs@whitakerstudio.co.uk

Joshua Tree Residence by James Whitaker

There have been lots of articles written about my design for a house in Joshua Tree, and thousands of comments about it online. However, I realised that I haven't actually written anything about the design myself. So here's a little bit about it, direct from the horse's mouth.

Earlier this year two girls were over in LA visiting friends and while there they called in to see the producer of the last film they worked on, my client. Having some time to spare, they all went on a road trip together out to Joshua Tree to visit my client's site - about a 3 hour drive from west LA. While there one of the girls said, "you know what would look amazing here" before opening up her laptop and showing everyone one of my images of Hechingen Studio.

Back in 2010 a friend was looking to start an advertising agency in southern Germany and commissioned me to design them an office for their new startup. Sadly their startup stopped before it started and the office was never built, but since then I've been looking for the right client and site to take the concept forward. My client and their site in Joshua Tree are perfect.

The plan of the house has been designed to nestle into the rocks and topography of the site, with the containers orientated to frame views or to gain privacy from the land. For example, the kitchen is orientated to view an east-facing hillside bathed in morning sunlight, framed by a glancing view of a small hill in the foreground and a larger hill in the mid-distance. The ensuite bathrooms are generally orientated to have a rock-strewn hillside right outside, providing privacy to the occupants.

Joshua Tree Residence Site Plan with View Lines

In 3D the location of the containers that reach towards the sky vary between primarily being concerned with drawing light deeper into the plan, and sometimes being concerned with lowering the wall between one space and another. An example of this is using a sky-bound container to lower the wall between the kitchen and the living room, so that while they're separate spaces there's a sense of them being part of the same room.

The plan was carefully composed, so that when you first arrive at the house and all the doors are open, you can stand in the middle of the building and look down all of the spokes of the building. When the bedrooms are occupied large pivoted doors swing across to line through with the walls of the living room making a clean space.

In terms of the climate of the site, the temperature range isn't as great as you might expect. However, one little frustration for residents in Joshua Tree is that the wind can constantly fill your home with dust. The decked area is situated between the northernly containers to reduce this problem and gain some protection from the building and landscape, creating a comfortable, usable space.

You can see more of the project here.

Australian National Maritime Museum by James Whitaker

The Australian National Maritime Museum's latest exhibition - Container: The Box That Changed The World - has just opened and Hechingen Studio is part of the show.

The photograph above is by Andrew Frolows/Australian National Maritime Museum and the model was made for the exhibition by Make Models, Marrickville, New South Wales. I believe an image of the Joshua Tree Residence is being used as well.

If you're in Sydney the exhibition is open daily 9.30am - 5pm.

Manor Avenue by James Whitaker

I've been looking forward to sharing these photographs ever since I took them. David Eland, a good friend from university has just finished this magnificent job, renovating a 5 storey town house in south London. The largest element of the design was to lower the basement by 1m to create a cavernous lower ground floor that houses kitchen and dining.

I think this is possibly the first house that I've photographed with an original Damien Hirst in it. The Hirst piece hangs above an exquisite steel and oak staircase fabricated by R E Cooke. It turns out that their main business is making specialist buckets for diggers, but they make a pretty awesome staircase.

Photograph of Kitchen by James Whitaker

The kitchen was crafted by Sebastian Cox and you can find out more about David's work on his website Ozkurt & Eland.

Photograph of Living Room by James Whitaker
Photograph of Living Room by James Whitaker
Photograph of lower ground floor by Architectural Photographer James Whitaker
A cavernous living room photographed by architectural photographer James Whitaker

Inner Working by James Whitaker

This visualisation is of a proposed 8 storey office building, with retail and coffee shop at ground floor. You can compare the final image with the computer model below to see what we did in 3D. I prefer to create as much of the image as possible in the 3D model and keep photoshop work to a minimum. Partly that's just how I like to work, but it has the giant benefit that it increases our ability to adopt client changes as late into the process as possible, and minimise the impact of that one final tweak to the design.

Folding House by James Whitaker

I recently photographed this rather nice extension by Thomas & Spiers Architects in south west London. I believe the budget for the construction was relatively modest, yet they've crafted a really lovely space with a calm quality of light in it. I would happily move in!

For more information about the architects visit their website here.

Penthouse by James Whitaker

tumblr_ntj2wgL52F1qa32ezo3_1280.jpg
tumblr_ntj2wgL52F1qa32ezo1_1280.jpg
tumblr_ntj2wgL52F1qa32ezo2_1280.jpg
tumblr_ntj2wgL52F1qa32ezo4_1280.jpg
tumblr_ntj2wgL52F1qa32ezo5_1280.jpg
tumblr_ntj2wgL52F1qa32ezo6_1280.jpg
tumblr_ntj2wgL52F1qa32ezo7_1280.jpg

The High Life

A new series of images of a Tokyo penthouse.

The model has been built in 3DS Max with the towers in the foreground being created using Itoo Software’s railclone and forest pack. You can see a tutorial for populating the floors of the towers here.

Furniture and props have come from a variety of sources. The books are nearly all from model+model and distributed using their excellent Bookmanager plugin. The rug in the living space is Paul Smith Carnival created with Vray Hair.

The Tokyo skyline is from photographs taken from CGTextures and applied as a VRay Light material with the sky masked out. The scene is then illuminated with Peter Guthrie’s 0707 sky.