YINJISPACE use media professional’s unique perspective,try to explore the essence of life behind the design works.

© logo 粤ICP备19077098号

YINJISPACE use media professional’s unique perspective,try to explore the essence of life behind the design works.

© logo 粤ICP备19077098号

Vol.23丨Mexico x Ludwig Godefroy

Mexico 2022-07-18

Ludwig Godefroy was invited by Yinjispace, with the theme of "Concordance", On 7.23 (Saturday)10:00~11:00am , the first public class in China was held.

Mexican architect Ludwig Godefroy founded Ludwig Godefroy Architecture in 2011. He graduated from the Marne-la-Vallee School of Architecture in Paris, France, and then worked as an intern at Laeser, Rem Koolhaas/Oma, Miralles, Tatiana Bilbao and other architectural firms. After setting up his own studio, he began to undertake various projects, seeking the similarity, correspondence and synchronization between architecture and nature to achieve design harmony. He believes that harmony is an intuition, and makes "consistency" a personal symbol.

Q1 How do you deal with the joint space between outside and inside?

Just like what I say, it’s important to mix them together. Because you know I live in Mexico, and work on architecture in torrid zone. The characteristics of Mexico make it possible. I try to combine the inside and outside of a building. For me, living in outside is a wonderful thing. In the daylight, the outside have wind and sunshine, with fresh air blowing into the house. Which is certain for me is that inside and outside can’t be separated, they are a whole.

Q2 How do you think the difference between engineer’s work and architect’s?

The difference between architect and engineer is their thinking mode. Architect tends to create an atmosphere and something sculpture-like, they want surprise. Engineer solves problems. He would use column to support a bridge so it won’t fell down. The reliability of the structure matters. When I start to design architecture, I always think engineers would solve problems. Later I realize they can’t do anything for some problems, because the structure aesthetic have to convey by the architects. Now, basically I would design the structure myself, even each column. Sometime I design them into round shape, sometime cross shape or other forms. I use circular columns like you see in my hotel projects. These columns support the middle wall and are part of the structure of the house. So that’s why I say it’s like designed by engineers. They do not care about aesthetic, but bearing capacity. They open the instruction and check the catalogue, then do things following the relevant illustrations. They also like cut materials by specific angle, so the columns combine with other things better. I believe engineer think about the logic and designer the aesthetic. Which to me is a truth. And for most people I meet in architecture field, they do emphasis artistic sense much more. 

Q3 There are many monumental spaces with supernatural symbols in your works. How do you balance them with daily life aspects of architecture?

My design style is rough. I enjoy rough design and primitive atmosphere. I also design monumental space for I like that feeling. I f you stand in front of a pyramid or a bunker, you would have a wide vision. I really think this scenery make people feel vast. I understand that my designs look bare and no consideration of comfort. There is no wardrobe and daily elements. Actually, what I have been worked on for most of the time is house rental business in Airbnb, one of my services. The tenants often come in weekend, and they put the houses in Airbnb for renting. It’s like staying in a hotel, and you don’t need to many living facilities leaving several days after. That’ what I like. I don’t design residential, for I have design for each details from kitchen door to wardrobe. I don’t like that. If I have to I could design it. But what I design now is quite different from what we know as residential. 

Q4 Do you encounter any difficulties in construction? 

Of course, my current design style relates to my past experience. When you work in Mexico, it’s quite unlike for work in city and in rural area. And I want to keep that extreme simple like short beam sometime. For local people, the construction level must be very low. It’s important to make what I design by them, and also a sustainable development in social activity. You would meet many difficulties in this work. I find inspirations in accidents and they become part of my life. So you could see my design is not perfect for the people work with me coming from countryside. I give up complicated craft, expensive tiles and technology. My co-workers don’t know how to operate these correctly, so something are misplaced and broken. If I don’t simplify my design, the result is terrible and clients keep complaining to me.

Q5 Does Louis Kahn influence you? 

I mention Louis Kahn as I remember. He is not monument, and he emphasizes abstraction and pure geometry. His essence lies on simple geometry for a complicated visual effect. His approaches of combining these shapes give her design a complexity. For me, Louis Kahn has a position in my heart. Le Corbusier is also one the influencers, and I don’t know which one is more important. His works in Brutalism affect me enormously. Louis Kahn and Carlo Scarpa emphasize details. My work style is among them. I have a lot of books around me. I will take one randomly and this is from Le Corbusier. When I an working, my desk is covered with books like this. What I like Louis Kahn for is that when you see masters works from different times, you know you shouldn’t copy them. Louis Kahn is inimitable. He comes from another time but becomes a legend in architectural history. So We could and should cross the time boundary. Louis Kahn indeed has a profound influence in me.