Derived from the term for “master carpenter”, the primary role of an architect is to come up with a vision. For me, designing a space is about articulating people’s needs and desires within the physical constraints of the actual terrain. It is the architect’s job to reveal potential. As an architect, I reject all off-the-shelf plans and preconceived models. My work consists in incorporating the client’s demands into an ongoing dialogue to arrive at a shared understanding, resulting in a fully customised project. I always pay attention to the quality of the light and the materials, and I take pains to ensure that the volumes are simple and comprehensible. I listen to the client, to the place and its history, and I consider how the project will integrate with its surroundings.
Urban development ?
As architects, we perceive space dynamically: “Architects used to be obsessed with cubes and spheres; now they are obsessed with clouds, flocks, traffic jams, the growing of trees, the substance and surface of water… They have stopped modelling form from the outside and generate it from the inside instead.” (Lars Spuybroek, “The Motorization of Reality”). We never see urban spaces in isolation – they are always part of a continuum. Our vision of the continuum transforms the urban order and its traditional hierarchies… while the work of the urban planner is not always visible, it is key to the well-being of city dwellers. Accordingly, a scaled land survey plan is a strategic challenge, in terms of both time and space.
In imitation of all living biological ecosystems, I try to design systems that develop organically, generating liveable spaces. I refer to potential spaces which people can make their own, such as gardens, parks, public spaces and the boundary spaces between different areas of land. Also, I ensure that all of my projects have the ability to evolve. The quality of the environment is one of my main concerns, because I don’t see the plant world merely as an ornamental pastiche: it is a space to inhabit, a space to live in, in its own right. These days, a globally coherent approach to our surrounding environment is essential to be able to develop land in a harmonious way.