Manifesto (Part Two)

Many would argue that Ikea offers a straightforward, affordable solution for furnishing a home or office to those who cannot afford to do it any other way. Firstly it should be stated that whilst not as convenient a "one-stop" solution, local second hand furniture shops often sell well made items for a similar price. Secondly, in the same way that it's entirely wrong for Delia Smith to have stated that every household should be able to afford a roast chicken every week, it's healthier for us to spend a little more on high quality products that will last rather than settle for a cheap temporary fix. There is no beauty in a battery-fed world where practicality and cost are the primary influences on the way we live.

Unfortunately this way of thinking has been allowed to transcend all forms of design and everyday practice over the last 50 years. It is disgraceful that so many of our buildings have had their original windows and doors replaced with cheap, visually anachronistic, mass-produced solutions. It is rare nowadays to see a Victorian terrace intact. B&Q "Victorian Style" (if you're lucky) doors in their putrid orange stains now punctuate streets. Sash windows whose proportions had been designed to be sympathetic with the building and the people who dwell within have been replaced with UPVC monstrosities. Whilst there's no doubting these new windows will score higher in the Energy Efficiency report, and in their insignificant way might help save the planet, they are the eyesores that now litter our environment. Unfortunately plastic does not rot.

What is of concern is that such warts are only the surface proof of a deeper, inner cancer that's rapidly spreading.

Berdoulat does not merely stand for the preservation of architectural and design heritage. We like to embrace new materials and methods, and take delight in the solutions they offer. We enjoy dissecting buildings and objects to reveal their constituent "ingredients" and the beauty in their construction. Our work places an emphasis on re-inventing and recycling: a form of restoration that results in a space or object being thought about in a fresh, modern and exciting way. Thus we are able to give it a new lease of life in a manner that's always sympathetic to its surroundings and truthful to its origin.