The Studio

Project

The project is the renovation of a 500 sq. ft. two-bedroom Brooklyn apartment into a one-bedroom with larger spaces. In order to maximize space and natural light, rationalize the layout, numerous of the original walls were removed. The result it a new large studio, composed of a small entrance hall, bathroom, kitchen, and an open living area.

Interview

How do you approach the representation of a project?

Each project is different. Therefore, each one of them requires a different approach. On my personal experience, I try to understand first what are the needs of the client, what is the goal of the project, and how can we as architects contribute to the resolution of a problem. The representation itself comes from the natural creative process and as result of exploration and expression of a concept. Visuals help us communicating ideas, expressing what the vision for a specific project is. And that is what I try to achieve in my work, find ways to express what defines the space, what materials are used, and how the space can be appropriated by the users.

What defined the shift from an approach as per projects as published in 'The Power of an Image' to your contemporary work?

I believe it has been an organic evolution during the past few years. And I’m still discovering myself as and architect and artist. I like to think about ourselves, architects, as creative beings that are constantly challenging and recreating themselves in order to respond to their surroundings.

How important is the sketch as means through which to explore and develop the project? What was your work process for this apartment?

A writer uses words and phrases to express his ideas and thoughts; for an architect, sketching is the way to process ideas and communicate them.
Most of the times, you find yourself doodling while talking, and both actions seamlessly come together without even questioning it.
For this apartment, sketching over the plan, trying to redefine and organize the spaces was the first instinct. Followed by sketching how the interior spaces would look like – what would go where, what would be the color and material palette, and so on. Ultimately leading to the production of the final drawings and collages that were used to present the project to the client.

What are for you the strongest means of dialogue with a client in terms of drawings?

It is definitely a challenge. Other people’s perception is different from architects. And it’s pretty easy to fall into an over-complex process if you are not aware that the final goal is to actually present it to someone else that doesn’t necessarily has the same visual culture. Finding a language that is friendly and can be understood by the client is fundamental. With that being said, it’s a continuous process and a learning curve of how you create this dialogue between yourself and the client. If it doesn’t work, just try something different.

What role does the silhouette hold within the architectural space?

If we are talking about the human silhouette, that is definitely important to create a scale reference to the space. Introducing other elements that are familiar to our day to day life also helps us making it more relatable and transport ourselves into the space that’s being created.

What parameters affect how do you choose to frame and reveal a specific space?

In this specific project, the main space has a base geometry of a pure square. Keeping all the views at the same height, and framed into a square helps emphasizing the concept.
The yellow bar at the center of the image also creates a continuous element that connects all four images.

What software & programs do you use?

I feel comfortable sketching ideas by hand, and later on in the process find the best way to communicate them digitally as well.
Collages are quick, attractive and easy to communicate a project on an early stage.
For that I mainly use Rhinoceros as my modeling tool, Vray for base renderings and Photoshop for post-editing.

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