How would you de­scribe your jour­ney?

The Ideal Home and Garden - - Architect Speak -

Stu­pen­dous growth has never been my goal. I never wanted to have an of­fice with more than 30 peo­ple; some of my col­leagues have 300. But there has been con­sis­tent and ex­po­nen­tial growth in the de­vel­op­ment of my ideas and con­cepts and our abil­ity, as an of­fice, to re­alise them.

If you could tell our read­ers about some of your award win­ning de­signs?

The Parc de la Vil­lette was my very first com­pe­ti­tion, and I had never built be­fore. I won it ahead of 463 com­peti­tors, and it took 15 years and five dif­fer­ent prime min­is­ters to com­plete it. It is still con­sid­ered as a ma­jor mo­ment in the ar­chi­tec­tural his­tory of our time. The other project worth men­tion­ing is the Acrop­o­lis Museum. Above all, it was lo­cated right be­low the Parthenon.

The chal­lenge was enor­mous: how to be con­tem­po­rary and respectful at the same time. I be­lieve, I suc­ceeded.

How ac­cord­ing to you has ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign evolved in the last few years?

One of the main dif­fer­ences is that to­day, ev­ery­one uses the same type of pho­to­graphic ren­der­ings made pos­si­ble by new com­puter soft­ware. Many young ar­chi­tects are fi­nally re­belling against it be­cause it em­pha­sises im­ages and ne­glects ideas.

What is your take on en­vi­ron­men­tally sound and sus­tain­able ar­chi­tec­tural de­signs?

Through­out his­tory, ar­chi­tects were al­ways sup­posed to de­sign in an en­vi­ron­men­tally sound and sus­tain­able man­ner. Look at build­ings from the 12th or 19th cen­turies or even the early days of mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture. Most of these build­ings took ad­van­tage of ori­en­ta­tion, to­pog­ra­phy, and cli­mate by us­ing proper ma­te­ri­als, nat­u­ral ven­ti­la­tion, ap­pro­pri­ate open­ing sizes, etc. Ar­chi­tects for­got this in the 50s with the in­ven­tion of air con­di­tion­ing and with the in­tense com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion of land in cities. It’s re­ally not dif­fi­cult to be respectful of the con­straints of na­ture and be con­tem­po­rary at the same time.

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