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AR_EA Switzerland: Vécsey Schmidt Architekten

‘Projects should ideally produce something we call Ort in German, a genius loci’

Who are you?
Vécsey Schmidt Architekten.

Where are you based?
In Basel.

Where do you come from?
Switzerland and Germany.

What kind of work do you do?
Public buildings: a new community centre; renovation and reorganisation of Catholic and Protestant churches; projects relating to art, such as exhibition design or spatial interventions for concerts.
Private buildings: residential, new and renovation.

What is it like being an architect where you are?
It is challenging to gather all important information connected to a project (cultural, technical, economic, regulatory etc) and come up with an idea that fulfils these conditions while still standing on its own as a concept and physical shape.

What is the context (social, political, architectural) in which you are working?
Urban environment, with a rural hinterland; international clients; active architectural scene.

Garden House - Outside

Vécsey Schmidt’s Gartenhaus in Buggingen, Germany, was completed in 2013. The ornamented gables can be concealed with large, wooden shutters or exposed to bring a spirited interplay of shadow and light to the interior space

What inspires you these days?
Cloisters, the sea.

What is your favourite building material or building technique?
We like several materials and techniques, whether it concerns a lithic dome, a high rise with metal profiles or a wooden hut.

How do you get ideas?
Sketching, thinking, model making, debating, travelling.

What are your favourite design tools?
Models and drawings.

What would be your ideal project?
To work in an atmosphere of confidence.

Where do you hope to go from here?
Future projects should ideally improve a spatial situation and produce something we call in German Ort, a genius loci. It is not important if these projects are big or small but in small projects it is easier to control the development of an Ort. Within these projects we would like to pursue how a space (determined by its surrounding surfaces) can achieve a certain depth. Depth with a double sense: first, how the meaning of a space can be expressed and, second, how you physically treat the surface.

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