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Details that Make a Difference

With all our advances in technology, as architects, we still rely strongly on our sketching ability to convey ideas or explain details to clients or contractors on site.

Therefore, the most traditional tool of them all, the pencil, retains its significance in any architect’s office. The computer still cannot process as fast and the brain and a pencil.

Traditional detailing and their contemporary use are still as important today as they were in yesteryear. With all buildings, success or failure often comes down to the smallest details, but it is incredibly difficult to describe these in words alone, therefore, we fall back to our skill of drawing to communicate these details which, although small, are thoroughly important to the outcome of every project. These details make all the difference to the longevity of materials, appearance of elements and the holistic composition of a building’s aesthetic.

A glimpse into architect Thor Downing's process. Sketch by Thor Downing.

Roger Downing and Partner Ltd. believe the BVI could also support a national industry that revolved around the production of these details, specifically the production of precast concrete elements for a building's cladding. The imported stone cladding of the exterior of the Supreme Court could very easily have been manufactured here in the BVI through stained and precast concrete quoins, blocks, lintels and door/window surrounds. The building industry could utilize the boating industry’s expertise with fiberglass moulds which could give the concrete incredibly smooth and easily polishable sides. We at RDP would be very keen to open a dialogue with any party interested in evolving this industry.

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