Based in Melbourne, Australia the architectural firm BILD has as its key team, Ben Milbourne and Ross Langdon, two architects who have but a common vision, which is to provide unique sustainable solutions for their clients.
With significant experience across a very broad spectrum – from master planning of institutional buildings, new and renovation residential projects, interiors and product design, the firm practices within Australia and internationally.
Ben Milbourne and Ross Langdon wholeheartedly believe that they have a responsibility both to their clients and to the community to minimise the environmental impact of all their projects. There are two other things that the firm believes in and that is to ensure the successful delivery of every project on time and within the stated budget.
Excited to have won the Melbourne Design Award recently for their Un-Waste Bookcase built in collaboration with Eco Innovators, this duo along with its like-minded team believes that design thinking should be non-linear.
The firm’s key skill and the real value of its services is its inherent ability to take on competing interests (budget, scope, council or heritage restrictions) and generate a solution that not only addresses these requirements but transcends them.
See what these two Earth-caring architects think about everything between the client’s vision and an ultimate end that treads lightly on the planet’s fast depleting resources.
How would you classify the architecture you practise?
Bild Architecture is a problem solver, providing one-of-a-kind sustainable solutions for our clients. We believe that good design is not about fashion, or a surface treatment, but about deeply investigating any given task; using the unique convergence of client, site and brief as a springboard for design innovation. Our process is interactive and consultative; we believe that to meet the needs of a client with innovation requires diligence and consultation.
We don’t have a ‘style’; we think that every project deserves fresh eyes, and a dedicated approach. We don’t have a formula or standardised aesthetic. Our work is not about us, it is about the distinctive qualities of each project speaking through the finished project.
Are people (clients) these days ready to experiment with their personal spaces if it means being environment friendly and getting houses that are more energy efficient?
Yes, we find our clients are generally very responsive to promoting the environmental performance of their homes.
We wholeheartedly believe that sustainability is integral to any project and is not a mere add-on and that we have a responsibility both to our clients and to the community to minimise the environmental impact of all our projects.
We approach sustainability from the onset of every project to integrate simple, economic and yet effective design strategies to minimise environmental impact both during construction/manufacture and the whole life of our projects.
What recent technology trends have become important to your firm?
We are very interested in Life Cycle Assessment as a holistic methodology for quantifying the environmental impacts of our projects, and to fine-tune our designs to minimise impact and maximise the amenity for our clients.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), also known as “cradle-to-grave analysis”, is the investigation and evaluation of the social and environmental impacts of a given product or service caused or necessitated by its existence.
The theory of this assessment is that it empowers us to make an informed choice as to the least harmful product or service. LCA goes beyond typical parameters of “sustainability” and considers the full gamut of effect, from emissions to habitat destruction.
We are currently involved in research investigating and adapting Life Cycle Thinking techniques to urban scale design.
When creating green buildings, what do you feel is the most important aspect: planning, design or implementation and why?
All of the above, design provides the vision for a project, good planning allows it to happen (or at least happen in a cost effective and timely manner) and implementation proves the vision; the proof is in the pudding.. so to speak, without implementation the vision is meaningless, and without vision, implementation is impossible.
What was the most complex project in which you assumed a leadership role? What challenges did you face?
In my previous role as an architect at LAB Architecture Studio, I led the design team for a very large eco-tourism development in an extremely remote site in the Cape Verde Islands. The site had no infrastructure, extremely limited rainfall, and no vegetation.
The project required an in-depth analysis of the site and potential of zero-carbon and low impact technologies for power generation, desalination, waste management and re-vegetation of the site.
What advice would you give a budding architect?
Our profession is complex and evolving rapidly; yet some things remain constant, design should be about deeply investigating any given task; using the unique convergence of the client, site and the brief as a springboard for design innovation. A process that is interactive and consultative in order to meet the needs of a client with true innovation should be the choice, every time.