Houses 1965 -2009
This site shows a selection of houses and projects I have designed since qualifying as an architect in 1959, and emigrating to England in 1962. Most of the houses I designed then were low-energy solar or 'bioclimatic' houses. Four of them were houses I built for my family, doing a lot of the work myself. Many of them are fully or partially timber framed and clad. Nearly all of them incorporate greenhouses (often referred to as conservatories) as essential elements in one way or another, to contribute passive solar gain to the heating of the house in winter, and function throughout the rest of the year as an extension to living space.
In Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) I worked in the office of Tom King, in Mutare (then Umtali), where I was his only assistant and given a totally free hand in the design of about 3 commercial buildings and Tom King's own house. For a year, I taught in a Mission school, and during this this period designed a 'folly' for Lady Virginia Courtauld in Penhalonga (see Zimbabwe pavilion). After emigrating to Britain in 1962, I worked for Chamberlain, Powell and Bon in Chelsea, and went to night school as an art student, then moved to Suffolk to make sculpture. There I met John Penn and went to work with him. I was the only assistant he ever had, and found that we had a great deal in common. Later I worked in the office of Peter Barefoot in Ipswich, then for some years in the East Suffolk County Planning Dept. as head of the Design Section.
Five of the houses I designed during this period are now included in the Pevsner Guide to the buildings of Suffolk.
From 1970 to 1985 I taught in the schools of architecture in Cheltenham and Sheffield University (UK) and did research into solar energy in architecture. I spent a period as visiting professor in in Lausanne (Switzerland) at the school of architecture and LESO, the solar laboratory at EPFL. Two projects illustrated were done with students at schools of architecture as live building projects. One formed the basis for an international competition entry in which I won a prize. During my periods as a lecturer, I maintained an architectural practice, called Ecotech Design, specialising in low energy architecture. The Paxton Court housing is included in the Pevsner Guide to the Buildings of Sheffield.
From 1985 much of the income of the office came from EU and UK Government contracts to develop thermal modelling programs (SPIEL). I also developed a 3-D CAD system for Apple and IBM PCs (SCRIBE), sales of which helped to support the architectural practice. While working in Lausanne, I created a program link between SCRIBE Modeller and Radiance, a daylighting program forming part of the Adeline System, a collaboration beteen Lawrence Berkely Laboratories and LESO. After moving to France in 1990, I changed course and made prints, paintings and sculpture. Concerned about the health effects of toxic chemicals and solvents, I researched healthier alternatives to traditional techniches in etching, particularly elctrolytic etching, and copper sulphate as an etching solution for metal plates. All this work is described in the book "Green Prints" and the related website.
During this period I kept in touch with developments in architecture and designed a number of houses and alternations. Starting in 2005, I designed and built an ecological house and studio in the Dordogne in France where I now live(see Maison Verte).