Hello! How are you? Today Modern Home Decor have an exclusive interview with one of the TOP German Architects Jürgen Mayer H. , owner of J. MAYER H Architects’ studio. His modern architecture will make you fall in love. Below the exclusive interview with Jürgen Mayer H. :
How and why did you get into the design Industry? Where did you study, etc.? I had a very solid engineering based education in Germany, which was aimed at producing good practicing architects. But I knew something was missing because I didn’t have a clear idea about how to develop my own thought or an architectural language. I went to The Cooper Union in NYC, which was a very challenging period for me in the beginning because instead of dealing with a real site or a program I could be given text of Noah’s Ark from the bible and be asked to develop a project. This was very strange and confusing. But then I understood that nothing could be taken directly. You have to argue about everything and prove why it works for you and relate everything to your own ideas. Basically, they force you to think about why you want to do architecture. So in Germany I learned “how” and at Cooper, I learned “why”. Then I went to Princeton for my Master’s degree, where architecture was used as a critique and discourse to make commentaries on contemporary life and culture.
How would you describe your design style? How varied are your designs? Do you have a signature touch with your designs?
J. MAYER H Architects’ studio, focuses on works at the intersection of architecture, communication and new technology. One major investment in our work is looking at expanding the material of architecture, beyond saying just building material. The influence of new media and new materials now expands our understanding of “space” as a platform for communication and sociocultural interactivity. We look closely at the site, critically rethink the program and try to extract something that is special to the specific site. We believe that architecture should work as an activator to move people from a passive mode of expectation to an involved level of participation and attention. What do you love about being a designer? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I have a huge collection of data-protection patterns, which inspires me much of my thinking: data-concealing patterns that are oftentimes found in envelopes containing checks or other information necessitating security. In 1994 or 1995, these patterns became a metaphor for a lot of issues that we’re dealing with: boundaries between public and private, inside and outside, meaning and non-meaning, writing and content. They also represent a certain technological development that conceals the personal through a superimposition of text, a blurring of an aesthetic—these patterns: designed, lyrical—that’s very strategic at the same time. What are some of your most popular designs/projects? Tell us a bit about some of your designs/projects and what you love about them. What’s your favourite and why?
Metropol Parasol. It is a redevelopment project of the Plaza de la Encarnacíon, an archaeological excavation site in Seville, Spain. It was a very fortunate project that combined many aspects, we were investigating in the past – contemporary architecture speculation, innovation in construction, new timber and coating structures, mix-use, and public space. It is also a project that received social and cultural meanings by the occupy movement, social gathering and political demonstrations which happened on the plaza after its completion. With both technological features and social interaction, I think Metropol Parasol represents what we have always strived to explore. Is there anything exciting that you are working on at the moment that you can tell us about? Anything exclusive?
At this point we have several projects we’re working on in Germany and abroad: for example right now in Germany we are finishing “Sonnenhof” a huge apartment and office complex in Jena, and we just started with the “FOM University” a new building for the FOM in Duesseldorf, Germany. We are working two city blocks with high-rises in Düsseldorf, and just finished our involvement in mobility and sustainability for a large exhibition format for Volkswagen Autostadt in Wolfsburg called “MobiVersum”. Additionally, we work on several smaller projects here like a seaside pavilion in Batumi, a private residence in Tbilisi and the Saakashvili President Library in Tbilisi. Another bigger infrastructural project is the international train station in Akhalkalaki on the new train line between Azerbaijan and Turkey. The construction works already started in 2011 and will be finished this year.
What colours, textures and furniture pieces do you love the most?
Seasonal, with a grip and our Heat Seats. What are your design dreams/goals?
We see our buildings and designs as question to open up the discourse and change, rather than answers to close further transformation. As we always do individual designs for specific functions, sites and clients, we don’t start with a special formal attention in mind. Ideally, our projects create a specific identity for the place and work like activators and catalysts to generate appropriation by the people in and around the buildings.
What is your philosophy on design and life?
This might sound obvious, but I am really interested in working on different scales, from the urban context on a skyline level to very specific relationship on the ground. Every part refers to a different context. Describe yourself in three words.
Always on hand.
In your opinion, which will be the top modern trends in interior design for 2014?
Beige again! What is your favourite architect? And Interior Designer?
Favourite questions are a nightmare. Let’s go with Friedrick Kiesler.
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