Name: Alireza Sagharchi
Company: Stanhope Gate Architecture Ltd
Position within company: Principal
Tell us a little about your background.
I graduated from the University of Westminster and have been a Chartered Architect since 1986. During my professional career, I have been responsible for major master planning and building projects in the UK, Europe, North America and the Middle East.
I have lectured at schools of Architecture in the UK and the US. I am the co-author of the recently published book by Rizzoli, New York, titled ‘Traditional Architecture’ which carries a foreword by the Prince of Wales, and have previously published a book titled ‘New Palladians’. I Chair the Traditional Architecture Group at the R.I.B.A., and am a trustee of the International Network for Traditional Building Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU), and a member of the Prince’s Foundation.
How would you describe your own personal style?
I would say eclectic, but always guided by a sense of propriety and tradition. My work has been described as Modern Classicism.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from the tradition of a ‘place’. The richer the tradition, the more inspiring the project. I would like to immerse myself in the context, we often work in far flung corners of the world where we strive to be in harmony with the local vernacular and culture.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
There is a definite movement towards a more inclusive and pluralistic approach to design whilst maintaining individuality. The ‘international style’ and ‘one size fits all’ or novelty alone is no longer an option. Every place and Client deserves its own special approach, this together with the use of sustainable materials is the only way forward.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching property development in 2014 and beyond.
1. A strong design ethos.
2. Use of good materials, with longevity in mind.
3. Crafting instead of just building.
4. Do not overdevelop.
5. Understand the end user.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to development projects, what would it be?
Do not compromise on design and good materials, it always shows in the end result.
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
I think Awards are essential to highlight the art of the possible and recognise the talent that creates something exceptional.
What projects are you currently working on?
We have projects in the Spanish mountains, the Scottish Islands and the Caribbean. At the same time we are working on some of the largest most beautiful houses and a new build apartment in London.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To continue to win quality projects for our office.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
Your favourite holiday destination?
Somewhere on the Cote d’azure between Antibes and Cap d’Ail.
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
I couldn’t possibly say, it’s a well-kept secret.
Your favourite book / film / song?
Book: The Architectural Capriccio, Memory, Fantasy and Invention by my co-author Lucien Steil
Music: Any chart topper from of the late 70’s.
Your favourite food and drink?
Most Italian or Persian, with Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva.
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Relaxing with my family at a terrace of a restaurant smoking a cigar.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?