Materic Architecture by Jonathan Ashmore
Meet Jonathan Ashmore, founder of Anarchitect, multiple award-winning architecture and interior design practice based in Dubai and London. Multi-cultural nature and strong passion for detail, craft and materiality: these are Anarchitect's keystones where every building, space and object created is beautifully balanced in form, function and detail.
How did you first become involved in the world of design? Tell us your story.
From as early as I can remember, I have always had the passion and vision to become an architect.
As an Architecture, Interior and Design studio, we do not consciously follow trends, but rather believe in an architectural approach to our projects that draws upon the context, client, program and scale to create projects that are individual and responsive to the place and purpose. There are continuums in our work that focus detail, craft and materials, the relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces and the use of natural daylight to transform interior spaces through architecture.
As part of a sustainable approach, we also see a resurgence and interest in redevelopment and conversion through contemporary interventions into existing spaces; to create modern, unique, liveable homes as we also strongly believe in the necessity of repurposing and refurbishment which our practice has passionately pursued in the past years, particularly in the Middle East through our projects; repurposing abandoned commercial buildings into high-end hotels, notably the award-winning Al Faya Desert Retreat & Spa.
The Al Faya Desert Retreat and Spa in the UAE is one of my favourite projects because it offered Anarchitect the opportunity to bring back-to-life two historic and abandoned structures set in the middle of the desert at the foot of a prehistoric mountain range. A unique context and landscape in itself, the studio was commissioned by the client to create a new destination that would draw visitors and guest to an area of the UAE that was not previously well known but had outstanding natural beauty. We oversaw the master-plan, Architecture, Interiors and bespoke designed furniture collection for the project which also gave us the opportunity to design and deliver a truly holistic design and experience that has since completion, resonated with the global design press and guests alike.
Being based in Dubai and London, we are fortunate as a studio to have worked on projects in many exciting contexts, from the Sri Lankan tropics, UAE desert landscapes, rural European vineyards to the heart of metropolitan cities like London. Our new adventure is also our next dream project; working on the design of a Spa & Wellness Retreat set atop a mountain range in an unspoilt part of Eastern Europe. This is both a new context for Anarchitect and a new region which we have just begun to explore with our first collection of recent exciting project commissions.
Since the early years at Architecture school I have long admired and loved the work of the late