INHABITAT INTERVIEW: 8 Questions with Architect Tom Kundig

by , 02/09/15
filed under: Architecture, Interviews

Montecito Residence, inhabitat interview, tom kundig, tom kundig interview, interview olson kundig architects, green architects, seattle architecture, pacific northwest architecture, sustainable architecture, sustainable design

Inhabitat: You’re the sole N. American representative in Toto Gallery MA’s “Global Ends – Towards the Beginning” an exhibit that hopes to inspire architects to break away from the architectural uniformity resulting from past movements. Modernism has clearly been the most dominant and continues to permeate design – what are your thoughts on its value today?

Tom Kundig: Modernism at its core is a humanistic value. It is about shelter, about culture, and about equality, safety, and nurturing for a better future for EVERYBODY. Unfortunately today, many of these values have been lost in stylistic fashion.  I am hopeful that the next movement will be about a meaningful search for a humanistic architecture. This is an idea that will never go out of style.

Inhabitat: Why do you think sustainability remains largely outside of theoretical discussions of architecture?  Sustainability can be clever, innovative, it can justify designs, but by in large it is not a realm of theoretical review.  Themes such as space, aesthetics, and cities are constant avenues for debate, speculation and experiment, but sustainability still seems thin. Thoughts?

Tom Kundig: Sustainability has been relegated to the ‘science’ side of practice, both by the practitioners and in academia. Architecture at its core is the intersection of the rational and the poetic. If architecture, academics and practitioners can embrace that idea and respect the two realms of the practice, this question would not have to be asked. Unfortunately the question is a good one.

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  1. aidenwright March 14, 2011 at 5:40 am

    I don’t like the sideboard in that dining room that much… I would go with something more with the likes of D. Manuel from Boca do Lobo.

    Nevetheless the rest is awesomwe!

  2. aidenwright March 14, 2011 at 5:35 am

    I don’t like the sideboard that much

  3. CraigSchiller March 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I have a comment and question for the Architect. As a Masters student in Sustainable Design, I have studied high performance and sustainable structures. I noticed the support for the hut’s roof is an I-beam that goes directly through the living space. Why would such thermal bridging be included in a structure used in a heating dominated climate? This seems to be an oversight that would drastically reduce the performance and comfort of these huts.

  4. giovanni guccini March 13, 2011 at 8:35 am

    I really like this architect.

    He is the poetry of detail. Look at the openings of the mechanisms of Chicken Point Cabin.

    I’d like to work for him and with him

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