Architecture by Hand


Inspired by Nature by Spencer Fung

Spencer Fung is never without a sketchbook or a pencil. Inspiration and ideas can strike at any moment, and often the smallest thing that catches his eye impels him to capture it on paper. Whether it is designing private houses, restaurants, hotels, furniture or lighting, he starts by hand, creating miniature works of art, which he then develops into scale perspective drawings, exploring space, structure and detail.

His designs have always drawn their inspiration from nature and the environment, from the rugged mountains of the Pyrenees to the quiet meadows of a country farm; from the beams of a medieval tythe barn to the patterns of a drystone wall. Passionately committed to the organic recycling of natural materials, the book is structured into chapters on wood, stone, metal, glass and organic materials in which over 40 of his projects are showcased.

Spencer prefers to commission small artisanal firms who have retained a high degree of skill, as a result many dying and forgotten crafts have been revitalized new forms – the use of drystone walling inside a bathroom, or coppiced ash branches being used as a hanging rail for clothes – are examples that are not just deeply inspiring but sympathetic to the environment as well. This book will appeal to anyone interested in design, recycling, upcycling, the environment, organic and mindful living but in a style conscious and glamorous way.

Don’t miss Spencer Fung ‘in conversation’ with Katie Law, the Design News columnist for Homes and Property and the Deputy Literary Editor of the London Evening Standard, at Hatchards in Piccadilly at 6.30pm on Thursday 23rd March.  Click here for further details.

With the rapid spread of urbanisation, more and more designers are working to bring nature into our lives, and one architect is Spencer Fung.  From handmade furniture to interiors using materials such as carved wood and hewn stone, his projects are fuelled by a commitment to the British countryside and the artisans whose craft it fosters.  We ask him to tell us more about the materials and makers that inspire him.

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An interview by Nell Card.

I recently dropped in on London architect Spencer Fung, the under-the-radar designer best known for his work with the Daylesford organic farm shops and spas (since 2001, he’s worked in partnership with Carole Bamford to develop the brand).

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