Stott Architecture
Hamptons Architect Puts Modern Spin on Traditional
Originally published in Hamptons Contemporary
Interview with Richard Stott of Stott Architecture
Read it online here
What is your favorite type of space?

My favorite spaces are bold ones, with lots of volume and light. If a bold space is large enough, it can be broken down into a smaller space. An intimate space that is part of a larger space can create magic. A good space should make you smile, wonder or pause at its beauty.

The best spaces tell a story. Great spaces relate to outside shapes and can bring in something from the outside to create a multiplicity of meaning such as drama or tension. My favorite spaces are evocative and complex. They can guide us, both physically and mentally, and lift our spirit.

How would you describe your personal style??

I’m more of a modern traditionalist than a traditional modernist. I use the most advance materials and methods possible, but I enjoy the forms of traditional architecture. Volume and daylight make my day, but I revel in the details, the connections. A clean and simple concept will carry through to every detail.

I believe that modern buildings should look like they belong in their time. I don’t mind borrowing shapes and proportions and I believe there is a place for restoration and historic preservation, but my new designs will never be Georgian, Victorian, Craftsman or Modernist. Rather, I may use some features from one of those styles and weave my new materials into a hint or a likeness.

If there was one trend you could erase from the collective conscious, what would it be??

Gambrel Roofs. It is a boring fad that is usually poorly executed.

Whose work guides your creative process?

I believe that Shigaru Ban, Renzo Piano, and Santiago Calatrava are all brilliant and thoughtful designers. My past inspirations include Frank Lloyd Wright, the Greene Brothers, the Europeans, Macintosh and Voysey.

What trend is inspiring you right now?

New materials and new ways to construct buildings inspire my latest designs. Translucent light walls like Kalwall, and new symbiotic systems like Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) and Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS). I am also inspired by the new porcelain tiles and glass in huge formats like 6’x8’.

What is your morning routine?

Morning is my favorite time of day. I almost always wake before sunrise. A cup of coffee and I’m off for some exercise, either a walk or jog over the Ponquogue Bridge or a stand-up paddle on Shinnecock Bay. During the winter, I get on my indoor bike trainer or treadmill. In the summer, I prefer the road or the water. When I return, my beautiful wife Diana usually makes me breakfast or a protein shake, then a quick shower and I’m in the office by 8:30am. But sometimes, if I feel lazy, I sip my coffee and simply watch the sky change color and the day begin.

1970s or 1770s?

Well, I got to live through the 1970s and although I enjoyed that time of my life, it was a terrible time for design in general. From architecture to fashion to industrial design to automobiles (especially American), it was a design disaster. That being said, the 1790s life must have been simple compared to today. The energy of the evolution was fresh. America offered new ways of life and new opportunities. But, this reply would have taken longer with a quill pen and ink bottle, perhaps by candlelight. And the delivery, well, it might have taken a horseback ride or a long walk instead of email. Ultimately, I can’t say which century was more exciting, but I happy to be alive today and practicing architecture in yet another new world of opportunity.