Why did you become an architect?
Because my father was a soldier! We lived in military housing previously owned by the Dutch army. The houses all looked the same to me and I wondered why they should be that way. One day, I tried to draw my dream house on a scrap of telex paper; and every day since then, I have never stopped drawing. My father knew that I loved drawing, and kept me supplied with paper. He believed that someday I’d be an architect.
When I was 26 years old I was given my first assignment as project manager of an office building in Jakarta – which I felt was a huge challenge for someone so young.
As an architect, what would you say are the most important factors in architectural design?
The design concept is definitely the most important factor, because it leads us to the whole design that is implemented. Most of our projects involve local elements which are properly integrated into modern architecture. Design is teamwork that requires us to explore and translate the client’s needs and respect appropriate requirements.
Aesthetics are also vital to achieve optimum design, especially in building façades. This calls for appropriate lighting systems in every building to make them more beautiful.For me, architecture is about creating both comfort and beauty.
What is the role of light and lighting in architecture?
For me, architecture and special lighting together form an essential collaboration. Beautiful buildings are made by architecture and enhanced by special lighting. Lighting is not only something that’s needed, but also optimizes architectural design. Architecture without lighting effects will look like a “cemetery”; it will look gloomy and like a mute statue.
Have you seen an evolution in the way architects integrate light in their work?
Yes I have. Many years ago, architects installed lighting just to illuminate the building’s interior at night. Nowadays, lighting technology has become an essential element in architectural design. We need more lighting to adorn our buildings. It’s become a necessity and a trend in the architectural world.