I’ve been designing houses and building scale models since I was a child. Even as a trainee architect, my focus was on the buildings themselves. But slowly the conviction grew that, whether it’s a primary dwelling or a second home, the house itself is not the first but last concern.
reading time: 2 min
May 29, 2017
I strongly believe that housing is, first and foremost, about the space between the buildings, about the designs, about creating an attractive habitable area or landscape, about how we make use of public space. Only when that step has been taken the houses themselves are carefully integrated. Of course, I want to design splendid homes in which to live. I don’t want to detract from that. But, for me, that order of the process is vital.
The first thing I do is examine the location’s surroundings and history, its natural and cultural landscapes. Then I consider how the development can be embedded into all this. I always ask myself how I would want to live there myself. What would I want to see, feel and experience? Which impressions are important, what links the present with the past and future, what feelings must the location evoke within me and what qualities can be added to the space?
All these questions and more lead me to discover how the location will be shaped in which the houses will then be given their place. Only then do I arrive at the stage which I enjoyed so much in my youth: designing houses.
For me, a project is successful if it marvels and pleases, if it’s become a place where locals, visitors and users enjoy spending their time as they find their way and let themselves be surprised.
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