Telling stories.

“Architecture domesticates limitless space…it should likewise domesticate limitless time and allow us to inhabit it.”

‘The Eyes of the Skin’  Juhani Pallasmaa

The narrative quality of architecture – the associations and stories connected to buildings and locations – often excites our imagination as much as the physical traces, remnants and built form.

Through working on or living in existing buildings, we become part of their timeline. In turn, this gives both a connection to past-inhabitants and a sense of being involved in something greater than ourselves. 

From an early age, through the shared experience of weekends spent touring National Trust houses and historical sites with over-eager parents, both Tobias and I were introduced to the multi-faceted nature of architecture – as domesticator of both space and time. 

Many of the properties we have worked on at Tonic have existed for hundreds of years. They have been home to a Knight who fought at Agincourt, romantic poets and international cricketers, have witnessed Civil War skirmishes and survived fires and near dereliction.

Wherever possible through our involvement, we aim to enhance these connections through a careful process of revealing or layering – creating a rich collage particular to a specific place. 

When we create a new building, we are enabling a unique story to be written. Learning from our experience of working on traditional properties, we draw our inspiration from the way natural materials invite the traces and marks of human life, amplify a sense of place and give us a feeling of interrelatedness.

Our aim, driven by our passions for the continuity of tradition and preservation of the environment, is to enhance or create beautiful, responsible buildings that are rooted in their locations and will go on allowing the creation of stories for generations to come.