Jonathan Hagos, director at Freehaus architects, gives three of his specification favourites
Terrazzo has had a huge resurgence in popularity and we love it for its inherent customisation potential. We’ve come back to it, in part due to our great relationship with London terrazzo specialist, Diespeker, having completed complex and bespoke pieces together. As well as flooring and counters we have designed some more unconventional pieces including a four tier terrazzo water fountain built around a column in a central London restaurant. The finish is a rich Lapiz Lazuli background and a mix of brass and blue glass chippings – not quite the traditional terrazzo of old!
When facing a tight budget we often use everyday materials in an unfamiliar way. For the RIBA’s temporary bookshop we used just ROCKWOOL products, lining the space with deeply buttoned quilt insulation to help ‘uplift’ the material. The café at Topshop’s flagship store is frequently reconfigured and refurbished to align with changes to the shop floor and fashion trends. We used everyday construction materials, often concealed, to provide a platform for change, which included materials such as Wedi-board tile backer and a wall system of exposed plasterboard and metal ‘C’ studs – a detail we return to time and again.
Brass also seems to be very on trend but for us it conjures memories of playing brass instruments at school and the smell of Brasso! With that in mind we’ve had fun designing a bespoke range of brass ironmongery with industrial designer Felix de Pass. Ironmonger Trapex helped the piece to fabrication. The range is based on the pure limitations of the material, cast, solid rod and tubular, which directly informed the size and functionality of the piece and the ability to customise handles to align with a project. Our handle featured recently at the Aram Gallery and we want to specify it on our projects.