Our view is that the best Architecture and Urban Design comes from looking at a brief and a location from first principles rather than pre-conceived formulas. This sounds staightfowrward but most buildings would fail this test. Often the best evidence of whether we've achieved this is the comments that "..this is the obvious solution..". To us this means that it has the whiff of authenticity and has avoided contrived or forced outcomes - it just feels right. Making it look easy, however, requires all our experience and ingenuity.
Many Architects look at buildings primarily as objects with little real regard for context. At add architects we believe that Architecture should delight in places but sometimes just quietly enclose a space. Individual buildings are an intrinsic part of our urban geography, creating memorable landmarks, but the shape, sizes, configuration, use- patterns, orientation and connectivity of the spaces they belong to are sometimes more important.
For example: we place restaurants in the sunny corner of a square with the right degree of separation from pedestrians; there is space for entertainers, seasonal events and art installations that don't look empty when not in use; the evening economy of cafes, restaurants and entertainment spatially overlaps with retail, workplace and residential streets and squares, changing the mood over the day and the seasons. Ultimately the real measure of success, whatever the scale, is that the end-users should emotionally bond with a new development and value it as an integral part of their daily lives.