Since its foundation in 1990, Caruso St John has been pursuing an architecture that is rooted in place. The practice resists the thin-skinned abstraction that characterises much global architecture in favour of buildings that are perceived slowly over time and that have an emotional content.
Its work is enriched by an on-going dialogue with the European city and with history – that of architecture, art, and culture more widely – traditions that bring an accumulated richness of expression to the work. Ideas are elaborated in a manner akin to art practices that engage directly with the built environment and embrace the ‘found’ space. Caruso St John intervenes in sites carefully, valuing the humble and everyday as well as the more celebrated products of the architectural canon. It is the context that is the starting point for generating form rather than allowing the programme to dictate the architecture.
Sophistication is achieved by the careful refinement of details and a distillation of ideas to create a particular atmosphere. Exteriors have a sensitivity to sometimes fragile settings whose character has evolved over time, while interiors have a specific and particular atmosphere appropriate to their purpose.