Skywood House

Skywood House

And the Architecture of Graham Phillips

  1. Phyllis Richardson
  2. With additional texts by Kenneth Powell
  • ISBN 9780500342923
  • 28.00 x 26.00 cm
  • Hardback
  • 288pp
  • 690 Illustrations, 487 in colour
  • First published 2014

As Chief Executive at Foster & Partners, Graham Phillips has had responsibility for the design and construction of some of the world’s most iconic buildings. But after more than 20 years creating massive skyscrapers and transportation hubs, it was the design of a small house in the green fields of Buckinghamshire that sent him back to the drawing board, and to his investigations as a student into ‘A Search for Form’.

‘This 272-page love letter document Skywood’s life from sketch to build along with its impact on modern design and popular culture. Definitive coverage of a definitive building’ – Gay Times
‘Lavish … exquisitely documents every detail of its design’– The Daily Telegraph

Skywood House

Skywood has been called ‘a house that turns lifestyle into a work of art’ and one that ‘offers a masterclass in architecture’s power to excite and inspire’. As a structure, it reflects rigour and attention to detail, attributes that Phillips credits both to his time at Foster’s practice, and to his experiences of buildings he loves, from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion and Luis Barragán’s house in Mexico City, to the serene composition of Japanese gardens.

Skywood House

Skywood House garnered immediate acclaim from the architectural and popular press. It also became a favoured setting for television and film producers, who found in its pure form and exquisite geometries the perfect backdrop for an array of dramatic scenarios. Known as the ‘Va Va Voom’ house for its appearance in the 2005 Renault Clio television advert featuring French football star Thierry Henry, Skywood continues to attract a popular and critical audience. And Phillips’s further projects, carried out as an independent architect, resonate with the same sense of precision and elegance.

As well as informative texts by Phyllis Richardson, Kenneth Powell and Graham Phillips, specially commissioned photography by RIBA fellow Dennis Gilbert, previously unpublished drawings and detailed plans make this, the first collection of Graham Phillips’s work to date, a detailed and absorbing examination of the journey towards form.

Graham Phillips is an architect of forty years’ experience, having worked at both Arup Associates and Foster & Partners, where he was Chief Executive. He designed Skywood House, completed in 1999, to be a family home. The building itself was agreed to be a masterpiece, and won accolades including a Royal Institute of British Architects award for architecture. Skywood has also been used as the setting for numerous films and photo shoots. Since his retirement from Foster’s practice in 2008, Phillips has completed several independent projects and become a design mentor for London architects Astudio.

Kenneth Powell is an architectural historian, critic and consultant based in London. He has written extensively on 20th-century and contemporary British architecture, and is the author of books on the work of Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and other major British architects. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and has served on the Council of the Architectural Association.

Phyllis Richardson is an architecture and design writer who has published numerous books, including the XS Series, Designed for Kids and the recent bestselling Nano House. She is also the author of the London, Barcelona and Paris editions of the StyleCity® travel series and blogs on Archetcetera.blogspot.com