Nick Chapple: My Blog


Welcome to my blog.

At the moment it’s all about up-loading my images and adding text to my work. I guess I wanted others around the world to see what I do and think rather than me just filing and forget about work that leaves my drawing board, so best way to get this thing started I reckon is Q&A style page.

Q: What are your interests ? A: green architecture, sustainable living, passive design, alternative energy solutions, product finding, building science and vernacular architecture.

Q: So what is it you want? A: I’m looking to expand my contacts and network with others. I want to get connected with others on the world stage regarding sustainable projects.

Q: What type of assignments do you envision working on? A: So far jobs have taken me from the design office to working “hands on” through the building industry. I’m keen to see change in the future particularly in cost effective sustainable living in the low Income housing sector. So involvement in sustainable private housing projects, sustainable government projects, proposed eco-development projects, sustainability sector development, sustainable temporary structures, sustainable event design, green industry R & D and green home design.

Q: What have you got going on at the moment? A: I’m currently working on a low-energy town house conversion in Chamonix, a sustainable family house in Germany and a design proposal for 12 houses around a lake…oh and finishing my pond, which Is a lot more than just digging a hole in the garden!

Q:  What are your favourite Architectural projects? A: Sean Godsell: Peninsula HouseSassenroth & Reitermann: Chapel of Reconciliation, Kendrick Bangs Kellogg: High Desert home, Frank Lloyd Wright’s: falling waterTadao Ando: Koshino house.

Q: What’s your favourite Public Sector Building? A: Renzo Piano; Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Noumea, New Caledonia, Nicholas Grimshaw’s: Eden Project, Cornwall, UK, Tadao Ando: Komyo-ji Temple, Japan.

Q: Who’s the most inspiring Architect at present? A: At the moment it has to be the Australian Architect Sean Godsell

Q: Who’s the most inspiring in the celebrity world? A: Brad Pitt’s work in New Orleans: make it right project.

Q: Do you have a favourite artist? A: American Minimalist Sculptor Richard Serra. His work is so powerful, rather daunting! Quite intimidating stuff to walk in. I guess currently the tattooist Luke Atkinson. Met him last year and his work blew me away.

Q: Who’s your biggest influence / roll model in today’s world? A: That’s easy Dale Vince.

Q: Why? A: Because he’s been there. A bus loving new-age traveller who made it. He’s comfortable with who he is and that’s good to see in people today. I admire his stance against the greedy oil industry and car industry for that matter. Well proud of the bloke. Would love to meet him for a good chat.

Q: Favourite magazine, websites and news channel? A: DETAIL magazine. Websites would have to be and both brilliant and refreshed regularly with interesting articles. Unlike most people I don’t have a TV. Maybe it came from my van dwelling days. I never went back to wanting one, there’s no desire what so ever, its just another invention to entertain the masses of sheep in the system. Rude to say I know. I’m up to date with current affairs headlines with the BBC and the for in-depth articles .The Guardian is where it’s at.

Q: Do you see movement in a green building scene? A: The European building standards are really making big energy efficient steps. I live close to the city of Freiburg and the city of Tubingen where I live are making bold moves. There’s still along way to go. In my eyes we have to let go of the rude ugly domestic housing scene of the 70’s and 80’s. You know the ones, over spill style housing developments. The sad thing is people today in the know with regards to energy efficient housing are still supplying the public with housing that resembles something out of Privet Drive in the Harry Potter films. Ordinary soulless boxes.

Q: Do you have a favourite Style or Period? A: Traditional Japanese Architecture and the Japanese garden, as a unit is where it’s at for me. Every floor plan, creative influence, vision has a Japanese theme running through it. Its not literal its just a element of Japanese design in what would normally be a European box.

Q: Does anything annoy you in the new “eco” movement? A: Probably over use of the word “eco”, Everyone seems to be using the word “eco” as a part of their corporate branding from the car industry to bloody washing-up liquid. How can a car company with a Diesel engine really have the front to put an eco badge on it? This is why I’m really trying to not use the term “ecohouse”. The building sector I’m currently involved in frown at the word ecohouse these days as it’s got to the stage that new efficient houses we develop are just “normal”

Q: Whom would you invite to a dinner party? A: Dale Vince, Guy Ritchie, My mate Carl Doherty, Luke Atkinson, Sean Godsell, Sharonah Luderitz, Brad Pitt, Vince Vaughan and Ricky Gervais.

Q: So what’s your Favourite movie? A: Guy Ritchie’s: Snatch.

Q: What are your top reference books?


Ecohouse2 – A design guide – Sue Roath

Space – Japanese design solutions for compact living – Michael Freeman

Earth Architecture – Ronald Rael

Living in small spaces – Susanne Tamborini

In the oriental style – Michael Freeman

Thai style – William Warren

Living in China – Angelika Taschen

The Japanese house – Atsushi Ueda

In detail – Japan – Christian Schittich

In detail – Solar architecture – Christian Schittich

In detail – Building simply – Christian Schittich

Detail magazine – 1998 – present

Japanese detail – Sadao Hibi

The modern Japanese garden –  Mitchell Beazley

Tadao Ando – Philip Jodidio

Hip hotels – budget – Herbert Ypma

Small house Tokyo – Nashisa Kuryama

Natural architecture – Alessandro Rocca

Living in the countryside – Barbara & Rene Stoeltie

The sand dollar and the slide rule – Delta Willis

drawing blue prints from nature

The Gardeners year – Alan Titchmarsh

The complete gardener – Alan Titchmarsh

Q: Where has travelling taken you? A: Asia: Thailand, Malaysia. Australia: Northern Territory, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and Queensland. Europe: Austria, France, Monaco, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, England, Wales, Scotland, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Andorra, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Greece, Turkey. USA: California, Oregon, Arizona, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, New York, Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina.

To sit, study, watch and learn cultural understanding. Goes along way having an open eye to the world and living in vans goes even further.

Q: Where next? A: Japan. I fancy a real budget trip island hoping across the country. Really need to put some homework in before and log all the places of interest I want to see.

Thank you



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