Name: Gregory Phillips
Company: Gregory Phillips Architects
Position within company: Director
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
Gregory Phillips, trained at Bristol University and the Mackintosh School of Architecture. During his studies he was inspired by Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, Carlo Scarpa. He gained extensive experience in residential and office projects, restaurants and galleries working for David Chipperfield and Julyan Wickham. Today he creates refined modernist buildings which are striking for their modern but personalized formula.
In 1991 he established Gregory Phillips Architects. In all projects he considers the clients’ lifestyle, the architecture, the interior design and the landscape/garden design. This approach has produced many award-winning projects for both architecture and interior design. Gregory’s work is modern, elegant and comfortable to live with. In many projects traditional materials such as stone, wood and leather are used in a contemporary way with a high degree of craftsmanship. At present projects include new build contemporary houses, basement excavation, substantial residential extension projects, new swimming pools and apartment interiors. Gregory is happy to work internationally to design wonderful houses in exotic locations.
An award-winning interior designer and a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, London-based Gregory Phillips has been running his own architecture and design company Gregory Phillips Architects for over 25 years. Many of his clients are leaders in their field in the arts, design, fashion, film industry and in the business world. His global clientele is a reflection of his work and achievements. He has a unique angle on designing houses, rather like a renaissance man, he is happy to design everything, the architecture, the interiors, furniture and landscape.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
We create contemporary classic designs tailored to each client’s requirements. “On a personal level designing houses allows the architect to be the lead consultant and point of contact for the client,” Gregory states. “So, I set up situations where we take care of all the needs within the project of our clients. We design the building, the interiors and the landscape or garden. We organise all the consultants and administrate the projects, looking after the client until they have moved in and beyond.
“I really enjoy this aspect of making sure our clients get the best result from their projects. It is perhaps a traditional role of an architect that is less common in today’s world of specialisation in specific processes where often the architect is not the lead consultant and is not the person that the client works with and trusts from inception to completion of the project.” For Gregory, a house is a home and should provide a sanctuary for the owners. It must be totally practical and provide a support for their lifestyle.It should also provide luxury and beauty.
“I love working on houses that are designed to have a fantastic relationship between the interior space and the exterior. If you have a room with a view, you should be able to enjoy it. In England, we are blessed with changing weather and modern glazing technology allows you to sit inside in the warmth whilst experiencing the view of the elements,be it sunshine, rain, wind or snow.” Gregory wants his houses to look beautiful and to provide a scenario where his clients enjoy their beautiful and practical houses. “I found that the best way to achieve this was for me to design the interiors to the houses and the gardens. Keeping this level of control allows me to obtain a fantastic result and makes it easy for our clients to have a successful project. It is a holistic response that truly works for clients.”
All his projects are designed with some fundamental ideas namely that they should be totally practical; the relationships between spaces must work, and must be elegant. “Each project will have an idea or series of ideas related to the context. If an existing building or site has inherent qualities then we prefer to work with these. Certain ideas are taken as truths…. The beauty of the way light enters a space, appreciation of the texture of materials, views, relationships between experiences, these are tools of being an architect that we use to elevate our designs.”
Where does your design inspiration come from?
All Gregory Phillips projects are designed with some fundamental ideas namely that they should be totally practical; the relationships between spaces must work, must be elegant and have beauty. Each project will have an idea or series of ideas related to the context. If an existing building or site has inherent qualities then we prefer to work with these. Certain ideas are taken as truths. The beauty of the way light enters a space, appreciation of the texture of materials, views, relationships between experiences, these are tools of being an architect that we use to elevate our designs.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I believe it is possible to create contemporary buildings and spaces that fit well in the context of historic buildings, conservation areas and areas of outstanding natural beauty. We also aim to create luxurious and practical designs.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond.
-The relationship of the interior and exterior
-A house as a sanctuary
-A place to entertain
-Energy efficiency and sustainability
-Luxury and practicality
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to interior design schemes, what would it be?
Its all about exceeding expectations and creating the lifestyle our clients aspire to.
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
“I enjoy everything about the experience of completing a house, the excitement of the spaces, the unveiling of the craftsmanship, even the smell of new paint.” However, for Gregory, projects must be perfect, so at the end the focus is largely on making sure each smallest aspect is correct. “So the time at which we can reflect on a project is after that. The winning of awards has provided a level of endorsement and occasions for recognition of ‘a job well done’.
“The most successful projects have had clients that embrace and love what I do. There are so many decisions to be made in a construction project, it is too difficult for clients to get a fantastic result without this trust and empathy. I am easy to work with, so I can accommodate different ideas and agendas, however I always want my clients’ expectations to be met and ideally surpassed.”
What projects are you currently working on?
-New build houses in London and in the English countryside
-New basement excavations and extensions in London
-Remodelling of houses and apartments
-A substantial new build country residence outside Moscow
-Extensions to houses in England
-Apartment interior design in London
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
“We work with some extraordinary craftsmen and contractors. So the challenge is for clients that want a glamorous, fantastic, contemporary house to find us, as we know how to produce award winning homes,” he adds. For the future, Gregory expects to continue with the range of houses that he has currently undertaken but it will mainly revolve working on substantial renovations/extensions and new houses. “I would like to build more houses near water, including by the sea in a hot climate. I will always enjoy building in London and appreciate the challenge of designing new spaces within historic buildings as well as new houses in beautiful locations.” Gregory accepts commissions both within England and overseas.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
Your favourite holiday destination?
Paraty in Brazil
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Sunset Marquis hotel in West Hollywood
Your favourite book / film / song?
Great Gatsby/ Terminator 2/ One by U2
Your favourite food and drink?
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
I enjoy designing and I appreciate that I am fortunate to have my office in Savile Row in Mayfair. From my office I can walk to the Royal Academy of Art and see a world class exhibition, perhaps have a coffee at the Café Royal or lunch at Nobu. Stroll around Green Park and go to local galleries.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Anything else interesting?
I paint portraits and abstracts