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DOLL & Co. Architects Logo
DOLL & Co. Architects Logo
DOLL & Co. Architects Logo
DOLL & Co. Architects Logo
DOLL & Co. Architects Logo
Dunskey, Scotland, 2017, Agatha Savage


When art and architecture collide

For a recent project, DOLL & Co. looked for inspiration at the Victorian studio-home Sambourne House. But why do architects need to flex their creative muscles? We speak to our team to find out…

Planning success on Stafford Terrace

As many of you know from our June newsletter, we recently visited Sambourne House at 18 Stafford Terrace – once the home of Punch illustrator Edward Linley Sambourne. Decorated like a cabinet of curiosities, this mid 19th-century Kensington townhouse stands as a testament to Victorian art and architecture. 

The interior details provided ample inspiration for our team, who have integrated period features into their designs for a contemporary refurbishment and extension on a project just opposite. Similar to Sambourne, the property is Grade-II listed and our plans to maximise on space for this family home are already underway. For example, the external brick vaults in the cellar, historically used for keeping coal, have been renovated to make the internal space larger, while remaining in-keeping with the character of the building. DOLL & Co. was one of the first on this street to get consent approved, which paves the way for other properties looking to add value and do the same.

Why art and architecture are interwined

Historically, architects were seen as being at the pinnacle of artistry, teasing out watercolours, line drawings and free-hand maps as blueprints for houses or entire towns. Old masters were known for paintings as much as construction plans – take Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s art nouveau and art deco watercolours, posters and interiors. So too are many contemporary architects. Peter Zumthor designs buildings like dramatic, monumental sculptures. He’s so involved with the art world that he’s a Royal Academician and has collaborated with artists such as Louise Bourgeois. 

There’s no denying, though, that the industry is getting continually more dominated by computing programmes. Architectural schools focus less on canvas and more on AutoCAD. Yet, the blurred lines between art and architecture remain. A painting affects emotions and taps into the psyche, much in the same way that a building’s dimension, texture and space does too. And there is a shared creativity between the creators of both. 

At DOLL & Co., our team continue to flex their artistic skills, both at work and at home, painting, sketching and drawing by hand. How important is art to them?

Hand Sketch of Wasp, pen on watercolour paper, 2020, Ian Dollamore
“Architecture without art will always fall into the category of ‘design’ which primarily focuses on the functional requirements of the end user. Artistic application introduces personality – of the client as well as the architect/designer; this creates something truly unique, and with emotional resonance.” 

Ian Dollamore, Director

Imaginary Town, oil on board, 2007, Agatha Savage 

“Art and architecture are intertwined and integral to each other. Utilising the pencil case and bringing out the paints trains the eye, be it colour, shadow, form, space…” 

Agatha Savage, Architect

Canterbury Cathedral, wood burning, Sam Dale

“Art is sensory. It generates emotion. So, when creating a space, 
it’s important to practice how.”

Sam Dale, Architectural Assistant

Bolton Abbey, Nick Smith

“Architecture is a form of art that entwines function and aesthetics through an iterative creative process. The ability to master technical skills inherent to this is not just a means to an end, it is a fundamental part of the artistic resolution of an architectural commission.” 

Nick Smith, Director

DOLL & Co. find eclectic expression at London Design Festival  

Last week, the DOLL & Co. team explored the variety of human creativity at London Design Festival. The first stop was the Mayfair Design District, where we caught a glimpse of the Bryan O’Sullivan Collection, a playful assortment of sophisticated and irreverent furniture and lighting from the Irish designer. Next up, the new Apparatus space from Gabriel Hendifar, exploring familial Persian influences, making it less gallery and more fantasy home. Then there was BDDW, a Philadelphian craft story by Tyler Hays, merging his role as painter across ceramics, furniture and clothing. Finally, the team took expression into their own hands, alongside the Munro interior design studio, at Studio Pottery London, to find their own forms of expression – with all forms of success!

What do you think? Join in the conversation on social media or get in touch with us by email.


Ian Dollamore, Director at Doll & Co
Ian Dollamore, Director at Doll & Co
Ian Dollamore

DOLL & Co.

Ian is a leading architect and designer with extensive experience across the luxury real estate sector.


15 March 2022

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