Architects and Interior Designers were traditionally somewhat territorial when working together on projects. The Architects were nervous that the ‘decorators’ would want to add frills and furbelows to their pristine architectural interiors. The Interior Designers felt that Architects thought they were there to only pick colours and furniture. Nothing could be further from the truth in the Parkin office. We believe that, while we might each have specialized knowledge, the best way to work together is to share the design role. Interior Designers prepare the space planning for some departments; Architects do the same for other departments. And yes, the Architects design the exterior but they comment on the interior design as freely as the Interior Designers comment on the exterior materials palette and how it is deployed.
The reason we believe these roles are connected and inextricably intertwined is rather simple; the exterior design and massing of a building cannot be separated from that of its interior. In our firm, we design from the inside out based on the user’s needs. This not to say that we ignore architectural form, but we don’t create pretty containers into which to force the interiors. Architects and Interior Designers working closely together is a symbiotic relationship.
Our practice is primarily focused on institutional projects, such as healthcare, which are highly programmatic and technically complex, and face complex challenges of infection control and prevention, security, occupational health, and safety. Therefore, it’s absolutely vital that our interior designers with their specialized knowledge of ergonomics, furniture, materials and finishes be involved from the start. Integrating interior designers with their architect colleagues encourages exchange of ideas and allows us as a team to create buildings that work for clients and users.