Disk 56

We are here to discuss our work among colleagues who understand both the immense pleasure as well as the frustration of realizing the architectural project.

From the first idea to the final product, many dreams have to be put aside or compromised when confronted with the realities of everyday life. The final result must be judged within this context.

The compromise is inevitable and the final question to ourselves should be: ‘was the compromise as minimal as possible … this time”.

This is difficult question to answer. We are judged ultimately by the end product and any justification to explain ours or others’ mistakes tend to sound like excuses, in this context the only thing remains is really, our conscience. Talking to professionals like ourselves has the advantage that we all understand the shortcomings in the complicated process that constitutes to build a building.

The obsession that lives within ourselves, the dream that we pursue does not belong only to us. It belongs to us, to our clients, to those who for different reasons are involved in the process of developing and building the project.

While students we tend to imagine that only our ideas matter, slowly, professional life teaches us that we are only one piece of a complex puzzle.

Our ideas develop with the years and our language changes adapting to the different circumstances of each project. Slowly, certain concepts become clearer and our aim begins to take shape within the context of who and what we are and, of the place we live. A step at the time with each project a personal directory develops, or so we hope and it is this development that we are now interested in.

It is because of this that CSL is not putting forward one single project this year, but a group click here of them. It is our development that we want to comment upon. Our buildings are increasing in scale. From the individual family house which lives in a semi-suburban context, surrounded by garden and looking only into itself or opens up to the view of the city-scape; to the bigger hotel resort, fragmented but still one building, there has been a leap.

However, the hotel resort still remains very much a building that lives within its natural surroundings, drawing its inspiration from the landscape. Is there an alternative for a tropical, large-scale building? A tropical urban context rooted within our tradition… or are we going to continue simulating models that belong to other climates, to other cultures, and are other people’s dreams. These are the questions that we want to put forward for discussion here, today.

From the early days, our houses have tried to develop a contemporary approach to the traditional values of a tropical culture, trying to marry modern life demands with climatic conditions and cultural traditions of a specific nature.
Their design is based on a careful analysis of the site conditions, making both,
advantages as well as apparent disadvantages work for the improvement of the scheme. Without wasting all the site elements are slowly infiltrated by the Client’s personal requirements, needs and preferences; it is both an intuitive as well as a rational approach. (Precima House, Rolf Schneider house and Salinger House)

These principles are taken a step further both in terms of complexity of function and scale in the hotels, Awana in Tioman and Impiana in Kuantan. What have we gained and what have we lost in the process…? Have we succeeded, within our principles, to take the ideas a step further…? Among colleagues, among friends. We open this question to all of you.