“What makes our buildings and projects both original and notable is, we think, the absence of a statement, the lack of an ego, the way they fit into their culture, the economy and attention to detail of their design.” Gianni Botsford – director and head of design of Gianni Botsford Architects.
Gianni Botsford was born in Venice, Italy in 1960. He originally studied Interior Design at Kingston University and worked for a number of practices in London. He completed his education at the Architectural Association, London with Professor John Frazer, before setting up Gianni Botsford Architects in 1996 which he continues to direct. The recipient of numerous awards, he has also lectured in the UK, India, the USA, and Mexico on the work of the practice. His research work at the AA and subsequently with Arup into the optimisation of the control of natural light has been used throughout the projects the studio has built and developed.
The GBA ethos is to work closely with a client to make sure the project fits into its surroundings and tallies with the client’s needs and desires. If an art gallery, the contents must be visible. If a house, the rooms must be liveable. If a school, it must be enjoyable as an environment. If a whole village, it should be where people would want to live.
GBA’s success is built on its individuality. It is not a mammoth practice in which teams of draftsmen work and execute someone else’s bidding. It is a small, private firm – extremely flexible – able to design and supervise construction anywhere in the world: from the prize-winning Light House in Notting Hill to the Lubetkin Prize winner for Casa KiKé in Costa Rica, from a whole village in the hills of Taiwan to ingenious solutions for a New York skyscraper, a museum in Estonia or a telephone center in Haiti.
There is an unity, or unities, among so much variety. All GBA projects are original solutions to particular problems of the surroundings, materials, and local traditions. They are all based on a thorough thinking-through of the available light, the weather, the disposition of their elements, of how to make the most out of any site, and for any purpose. We have worked alone or in partnerships, and as we look forward and expand our practice, we think increasingly of larger-scale public building projects: how they can be made to fit in their context while meeting our clients’ needs, how they can be local and humane while still being original, beautiful and apt.