J+A Philippou architects engineers is a multidisciplinary practice not only in the sense of its approach but also in terms of a series of diversely qualified professionals working in concert. This is important in precisely avoiding the more conventional slippage between an approach that is indifferent to disciplinary density and autonomy and a disposition that recognizes the latter and pursuits their rigorous and productive interdependence.
In this sense the studio casts an alternative light to the traditional bipolar antagonism supposedly underlying an architect’s or an engineer’s career. According to the latter, a service professional and a consultant with an experimental agenda designate diametrically opposite categories, with the former usually associated with ‘practice’ and the latter with ‘academia’. This is due to the fact that the service professional seeks to proficiently address the requirements of a client, while experimental consultants seek to contribute and transform their relevant fields of knowledge. Yet the aforementioned disposition and a more thoughtful problematization of ‘practice’ – affiliated with reflectful praxis and active thinking – allows J+A Philippou to see the disparity of these two as merely demarcating a spectrum of propensities, enabling many possible responses to any given client and their respective set of needs and ambitions.
In other words, J+A Philippou always seeks to expertly provide professional services, while aiming to do so without the submission to a particular prevalent style or a specific aesthetic predilection. We consider professional services to include not only issues of design, but also of budget and procedural (legal and technical) administration, the delineation or requirements and handling of programme, comprehensive project management, in the service and pursuit of architectural merit. On the other hand, a plurality of material and formal practices is seen as desirable within the studio, and is not understood to act at the expense of design excellence, since the studio’s diversity extends to the varying architectural approaches of its key staff.