3stones architecture + design is a metaphor for its design philosophy. We believe that the best designs are those, which create a harmonious balance between the three states of the physical natural world, the cultural world of human inhabitation and the spiritual wellbeing of humankind.

The number ‘3’ is a recurring number around the world in many cultures, religions and philosophies. It usually relates in one form or another to the three states we have identified. We have drawn on two significant inspirations to our firm, the Celtic and Japanese cultures, to demonstrate how this relationship has been expressed in physical design form.

The Celtic world recognized this relationship and represented it with three intersecting spirals as the symbol for the universe comprised of these three components. The Celtic stone circle is an image known around the world linking spirituality with the natural world. The most famous stone circle, Stonehenge, is an arrangement of 3 stone circles within one another in an axial relationship with the earth and three key stones, the Heel Stone, the Slaughter Stone, and the Alter Stone at the centre.

Ancient Japanese philosophy expressed this relationship with the three stones in the Japanese Garden. This cluster was made up of a low stone symbolic of the world, a middle stone symbolic of the human realm and a tall stone symbolic of the spiritual world. This formation acted as the focal point of the garden around which all the other elements revolved.

The stone is very significant as the simplest, oldest and most enduring of all building materials. Whether a stone is used in a design as it is pulled from the ground or whether it is shaped and carved, it is a symbol of endurance and has a sense of permanence. It speaks to a belief that the things we create have a life and an impact, which extends beyond ourselves.

The three states of the world, the human and the spiritual find physical manifestation by the manipulation of the four elements; fire, water, earth and air. The intertwining or weaving of these elements and these states is what gives rise to design. Whether it is an object, a tool, a building or a city, these same forces are always coming into play.

It is the ultimate expression of this balance of these components that is the driving force behind 3stones architecture + design.

Photography By: Mark Bedlam and Elena Ray