‘begin at the beginning, go on till you come to an end: then stop’ are the directions given by the king in carroll’s ‘alice in wonderland’.
when designing, this isn’t at all that simple. you might have an idea but the route to the final projects isn’t at all that linear. you might go for a while into one direction then turn round on your heels to go back, try a different route, struggle there, find a way ahead, go on until you realise that this one sketch you dismissed for so long actually holds does exactly what you wanted all along. while on route obstacles have to be overcome, dragons fought and gravity has to be defied more than once. all what is true in the kings statement is that there is a beginning and that there will be a finished project/product in the end. everything in-between is in constant flux- is being stretched and bend constantly until it almost reaches breaking point.
we understand ourselves as an architectural practice actually trying to create spaces/buildings/environments for people to live in and to live with. if it is a house or an interior or a piece of furniture or a shop or an exhibition space – there are always the same things we are obsessed with: space – light – colour – atmosphere. and every project sets a new challenge for us.
after founding our office partnership 1997 we never actively looked a client, they find us. how this happens is a constant mystery to us. they are always embarking with us onto a the journey through the rabbit hole. the briefs they give us are always wired. some of them, like a transformation of a small ‘one bedroom flat’ into a ‘three bedroom flat’, seem impossible to fulfil. so far we took on every challenge and we like to be challenged. conventions of living are questioned, the client gets measured to make sure that he/she fits into the space and the budget gets stretched in order to meet the demands of the client. emotions are running high, we all fight for it because we are passionate about it.
teaching architecture is for both of us the recipe to prevent us from ‘stopping to think’. as a teacher you are (at least sometimes) in the role of the client. not understanding what this guy in front of you is talking about, desperately trying to get a grasp on what this illegible scribble in front of you is. misunderstandings, misreads and misinterpretation are inevitable. they lead actually often into a new and innovative way of seeing it from another side – they are truly an innovation.
there is already a new windmill for don quichote and sancho pansa to fight.
(unless otherwise credited all projects were solely designed, developed and realised by sabine storp and patrick weber.)