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Pay Off?!

- by Matej Gašperič

… or why best architects’ work comes for free?

I am often amazed how much time some people are prepared to invest into a buying process of a 20.000€ car. A car that, eventually, in 5-10 year time they would replace with a new one. While on the other hand, when it comes to build a house, with a price tag of the investment ten times higher at least, a house where they would live their dream life, raise their children and spend – maybe – the rest of their time in, that is not always the case.

When with a client it comes to the point, to discuss the price, I often say that to them my service actually comes for free.

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Well not free in a way, you do not pay me money for my work. Yes, it is true, I love… No! … I…

 
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Liechtenstein & Vorarlberg

- by Matej Gašperič

Beautiful architecture, fantastic construction details, pleasant people…

Just returned from the study trip to Liechtenstein and Austria’s Vorarlberg and I am still felling overwhelmed by everything we have seen. Trip was organized by CIPRA (International Commission for the Protection of the Alps) to, through exemplary cases, popularize sustainable buildings approach.

Austrians, probably due to their forest rich land and long tradition are true masters in wooden constructions. But there are quite some of us in Slovenia, architects, constructors and builders alike, that have committed ourselves to sustainable building. And we are prepared to study, to learn,… and to work hard. And I’d say we are catching up.

Since I recon, that photos I made, would tell the story much better than me, I opted for a photo blog this time, share with you some highlights of the trip.

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Amazing, ultra modern, Liechtenstein parliament, completely mad of…

 
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Good Enough

- by Matej Gašperič

“… even when everyone around you tells you that it is fine. You know, deep down inside you, when something is not good enough. And there is only one solution… go back to your drawing board and do it better!”

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Sometimes, I have the feeling that Glenn Murcutt cursed me with this sentence. It would have been so easy to give up. So comfortable. So releasing. Let the clients allow to let me off the hook.
But it just doesn’t work.
And so sheets of trace paper are pilling, models are endlessly multiplying…

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It must be that I am cursed!
Cursed with a curse so strong… but yet so fulfilling!
Thank you Glenn!

 
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You Asked for an Proposal

- by Matej Gašperič

Dear Mr. / Ms. / Mrs.

I am very glad and would like to thank you for considering me to be your architect of  choice. There are many architects around, some of them really fine ones, so even that invitation alone, is a great honor and means a great deal to me.

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“Reading the land” with the client. 

Also, I’d like to emphasize that, based on sparse data you have provided, the project sounds very appealing.

Regarding your request to send you a proposal for my work on the project, I’d say that at this point, I see no real need for that and am therefore opting not to do it… yet.

Since this statement might seem a bit odd to you, let me allow to explain it a bit more in detail.

If you aim to base your decision on price alone – lowest or highest regardless…

 
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Evolution

- by Matej Gašperič

Most creative minds agree, that a superb solutions feature an amazing level of simplicity. They appear clear and logical. So logical, one might even wonder why it took it so long to come to that. Since it is so simple and obvious, it is only logical to expect, that one should be able to come up with it quite easily.

But path to that simplicity is usually not so straight forward one might expect.

During the creative process, House Z, its concept, its shape, its floor plan and placement,… went thru many phases before it evolved to the present state.

Thru the photo blog bellow, I’d like to share with you at least a part of this fantastic and enlightening journey, my clients and me traveled over the past year…

01_HouseZ_model_01 02_HouseZ_model_02

 
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Form Follows Emotion

- by Matej Gašperič

Thank god for women!

Juicy Salif by Philippe Starck

Juicy Salif, citrus-squeezer designed by Philippe Starck, produced by Alessi

I guess, architects would be in big trouble, if there would not be for a feminine part of the usual clients’ duo.

Men, for most cases, are rational functionalists. They easily identify with a famous Louis Sullivan’s quote: “Form follows function”.

Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe

Farnsworth House designed by Mies van der Rohe derives its aesthetic from its functional form purified to the maximum.

Function is, more or less, easy to define.
It could be explained.
Or it could be debated about and rationalized with an argument.

That is, why many men find it so convenient.
Something solid.
Something they could always count for, to be there for them to lean on in case of doubt, confusion and uncertainty.
Something, which ensures, that their…

 
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Glenn Murcutt Masterclass – First Hand Experience

- by Matej Gašperič

One of the leading Slovenian online architectural resources – Trajekt (trajekt.org) has asked me to write about my experience of GMMC.

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Since those two weeks of July, 2011, I have spent down under, proved to be one of the most significant and pleasurable weeks and a pivotal point of my life, when I started to write, I instantly got carried away. And I ended with triple the size of the maximum amount of text. As I usually do!
Therefore I have to rewrite it completely…
But on the other hand, I kind of like how the original story turned out since I find it quite readable. So therefore, I have decided to post it in my Scrapbook anyway since my readers are used to read my long posts :)

“Dear passengers! This is your captain speaking. We are about to…” Words from…

 
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House Z

- by Matej Gašperič

It has been love at first sight.
When I visited the site for the first time, I was absolutely amazed by the beauty of it. I couldn’t believe my luck, that a pleasant young family, who chose to settle here, asked me to make it their home.
Ironically, it has been an unspoiled beauty of the place, that made me especially anxious. Doubts arose, if I am capable to address the site like this properly.
What am I allowed to put there in order not to ruin its beauty?
A steep sloped terrain and a bit nasty – westerly – orientation, that denies me a southerly sun while, on the other hand, threatens to overheat the house during the summer afternoons… all that haven’t helped much either.
All that lead, first to the detailed observation and sketching of the site, to 3D aerial scan with quadrocopter and to making a numerous balsa models for study purposes….

 
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Carst

- by Matej Gašperič

Carst (Kras in Slovene) is a region that has always fascinated me with its specific nature, diverse climate, stone architecture and – most of all – some special kind of tranquility, hard to describe, but easy to feel.

stone church in Slovene Carst region

Therefore, when an opportunity arose to design a house there, I jumped on it.

Regardless, that I have been in the area on many occasions and that I have visited a site with the clients, I felt like I need to pay it another visit – alone – in order to fully immerse into the place.

That way this sketch & photo blog was created. No particular topic – just impressions…

Coming out of the road turn, out of nowhere, this typical Carst home appeared. Beautiful composition of stone buildings with slated roofs. Stone wall embraces the inner courtyard which is…

 
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Alvar Aalto

- by Matej Gašperič

It has been, while working at AB (Ljubljana based architectural buro) during my architectural study, that I have come across Alvar Aalto’s opus for the first time.

We have been working on some competition project and I have used every minute, I was able to spare, to browse thru enormous pile of architectural books our mentor and employer – architect Janez Lajovic, kept in his studio. It has been during one of those breaks, away from the drawing desk, that I come across the thin booklet of Alvar Aalto works. I have to admit, that I have not been throughout impreseed by (all) his works. But nevertheless something about his buildings have drawn my attention. At the time, I was not sure what it was. But from today’s point of view, I’d say…

 
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