Sunday, 12 August 2007

Soul provider

Tom Kundig of Olson Sundberg Allen Architects knows what people want and he knows how to translate that into beautiful and inspired buildings. Kundig, who was recently awarded an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, sees his work as collaborative, giving physical form to the ideas of his clients. He spoke with Open for Design about delivering on desires.

Open for Design interviewed him; asked him:

You have a reputation for being a listener when it comes to clients, craftspeople and fabricators. How do you deal with these different desires?

Tom Kundig: In a perfect world, I would say that my job as an architects is to make architecture out of what the client and the landscape wants, whereas my dad's generation was probably more like. "I'm the architect and I will make you architecture."

My desire is to pull from the landscape and pull from the client and create something that reflects all of these different things. So it's more of a collaboration.

So how do clients fir into your collaborative process?

The good clients understand that you are going to engage them and make decisions from there. You\re not going to let them design it or let the craftspeople build it; it's trying to orchestrate things into this rich, soulful building, if you're lucky.
I do feel uncomfortable with clients who just want me to make all of the decisions, because it's not my building - it's theirs. It's important for them to be present in the process.

Connecting to the environment is very important in your projects. How far do you take that?

The connection happens from the interior of the building all the way through the envelope of the building to the exterior and vice verse. There is clearly a thoughtfulness about how the interior works with the skin of the building and how the skin of the building works with the exterior of the building.

1 comment:

Michelle Almond said...

I really love these house designs but I can't image an estate of them. For me, they work better in an open environment e.g. in forestry or by a lake or beach so that the house can become part of the environment. The simplicity and innocence of them would be lost if there were many next to each other. It almost feels like you are living outside with the wood and glass merging into the surroundings. Could this be the new contemporary living?