WAN interviews CREUSeCARRASCO arquitectos as part of 21 for 21 profile series
Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration means changing the ways of perception and discovering that these changes are necessaries. Architecture relates to built qualities. Being meticulous about that and thinking about the origin and the energy that transforms everything is what helps. However, behind this need that explains the construction of something new, you will find the suggestion of an interesting idea. Interests are the best form of inspiration.
What made you want to be an architect?
We wanted to find out our space living guidelines and to know our territory well, realising that it can be tampered in order to make people live better. Architects must make things right to let people feel good and also develop their skills.
Which of your projects are you most proud of and why?
Malpica is a project that has attracted much attention because of its unique direct response, its simple definition and the clear development of its construction, but itself has also found a new place that people use and enjoy without even realizing it. We remember our earliest work too, a rehabilitation of a small 15 sq m house. There, we placed a central piece of furniture which, like if it were a tree with its branches, occupied the whole space letting double and triple height platforms free, with all full-house uses. These projects contain ideas that we are still exploring and that have been the origin of other works.
What does design mean to you?
Design means just a response to needs. It has a formal component adapted to one or more functions to be solved, but it also provides a response, a value that is in its precision and in how it summarizes these needs and saves the answer.
Where in the world would you most like to work that you haven’t yet?
We have not worked in many places far from our close territory. We think that, to work on a place, it is good to know its landscape well and this means knowing their culture, as a regional manifestation over time. This does not mean that you are not able to intervene in a place you do not know in depth. We believe that in that case, you approach the place from the generic and from your own experience and that may be just what the place needs. It is very helpful to understand this way round that architecture can open between a local and a generic problem.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
We are interested in every architect or artist able to be sensitive with nature of things, and also able to deepen their value without imposing a spatial control. We believe that order is an important issue in architecture, but this is achieved not only by form, there is also time and habit that determined it by admission or destroying it. We like to work without previous formulas, but also without erasing the tracks that reference work in time and allow it to be more strongly born.
What characteristics are most important for an architect?
Paying attention to your time, to moves and changes, in order to know how the structure of things changes. It is a form of knowledge involved in experimentation and rigor of the laws of order and logic. Having ability to work with this and balancing is the most difficult thing, because attention is easily diverted to any of these fields and then, any intensity dominates the other allowing work to drift to form or to an impersonal work or even suffocation the place.
Which established architects do you look up to?
We are interested in architects who can connect with the space they touch, but do not let their work fold to the context or circumstances. The architect must propose something to improve the place from his critical review of its status. This does not necessarily mean building more. Cleaning, picking and recognizing the existing forces (construction, people, nature...) are also ways of making interesting architecture, having no fear of creating a new space or finding another architecture.
What does being recognised by the WAN 21 for 21 Award mean to you?
It is an important recognition given by a jury and a prestigious institution. In our country, we follow Wan Awards and World Architecture News. It had an impact at the ETSA of A Coruña and in some national architecture blogs. Our projects have been also developed by engineers and companies and, for them, sponsors like ARUP are a very important international reference.
What do you think of your fellow 21 for 21 winning architecture studios?
Without deep-knowing our colleagues ´s works, we believe the jury has chosen a number of projects and works that surely show different ways of thinking and working but have, unwittingly, aspects that approach them, mainly in its intention of interpreting and creating open spaces. Despite the different ways of entering the place, by small cracks or holes, or voids cuts or circulating air between existing forms of support, the external environment ends defining and configuring all these works.
Click here to view a similar interview with Rintala Eggertsson Architects