One of Box's idols is the architect and design theorist Christopher Alexander, who coined the term ‘Architect-Builder’ over 30 years ago, echoing the function of the traditional master builder.
“The backbone of the process of production we envisage is a new kind of professional who takes responsibility for the functions which we now attribute to the architect, and also, for the functions which we now attribute to the builder," says Alexander.
"The system of construction, which is the key to the possibility of his work, is under his control and is being continuously changed and improved by him – and he is responsible for the process of construction itself.
"He is, in a nutshell, a modern equivalent of the traditional master builder”
Like Christopher Alexander, Box believes the divergence of architect and builder roles, and the adversarial environment this creates, is damaging to the quality and cost of buildings and not in the best long term interests of the homeowner.
According to Alexander, the need for an architect-builder is increasingly self-evident:
“The most fundamental reason for the architect-builder lies in the great complexity of buildings that must be produced in any human building process."
Given today’s regulatory, supply chain and material inflation challenges, this has never been more accurate.
Building pragmatism meets the owner’s wishes
The team at Box understands this complexity and has worked over the years to create a process where design flair is balanced with building pragmatism and the owner’s wishes.
Every member of the team is vested in the outcome of the house, working more intensely with owners at each step of the journey and working with other consultants and trades in a collaborative, not adversarial manner – so there is only ever one person to point the finger at!
It is also the company's inclusive way of working that leads the architect-builder to limit the number of projects that Box works on in a year.