10 questions to discover Luis Vidal
Date: 10 jul 2014
The architect Luis Vidal has been a member of RIBA [the Royal Institute of British Architects), since 1995 and has run his own studio since 2004; a job combined with his work as a teacher at the Polytechnic University of Madrid's School of Architecture (ETSAM). Currently, luis vidal + architects [www.luisvidal.com] has offices in Madrid (Spain), Santiago (Chile) and London (United Kingdom). Amongst his main references we can find numerous international projects of several kinds, and highlight major projects such as the new Terminal 2 "The Queen's building" at Heathrow Airport (London), Zaragoza Airport, the Palmas Altas Technology Park in Abengoa (Sevilla); newly created hospitals such as the Infanta Leonor in Madrid, the Can Misses Hospital(Ibiza), the Nuevo Hospital of Vigo (Galicia), the Biprovincial Quillota-Petorca Hospital (Santiago de Chile), the Provincial Hospital Marga Marga (Santiago de Chile) ; or cultural projects like the Botin Arts Centre (Santander) and the Loyola Andalucía University campus (Seville). Due to Luis Vidal's collaboration with the prestigious firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Noken has achieved one of its best-known bathroom collections, the Mood range, which has attained significant recognition for its innovative design such as the 2013 KBBreview or the 100% Design awards. These are the answers of the architect himself to our questionnaire: 1 – How would you describe Luis Vidal? I am observant, analytical, and proactive. At the end of the day architects are troubleshooters. 2 – When did you discover that you wanted to be an architect? More than a discovery, we could speak of a vocation resulting in a personal commitment to help create a better, more humane and liveable world from design itself. I defend and I feel that behind every project, every building, there are values to be found. The fact is, all design is inscribed with the commitment and responsibility the architect has contracted from an economic, social and environmental point of view. 3 –A reference in architecture? Richard Rogers, master, partner and friend. 4 – A place to find inspiration? The enjoyable thing about inspiration is its spontaneity, it finds you when you least expect it. 5– Why did you start in industrial design? The first time I ventured into industrial design was at the time of our project for the Queen Sofia Museum's restaurant. What we were looking for in particular was very clear to me but none of the samples responded to our needs . This was how our RS model chair originated. Our study is really presented as a creative space, an inventive platform that offers quality and responsible design regardless of the "size" of the projects. We have always liked to have freedom to move, leap and experiment with the scales: we can be thinking about an urban plan, a building, and be working on the design of a tap at the same time. I think this flexibility makes us an out of the ordinary study which contemplates urban planning, building and product design from a same ethic and multidisciplinary perspective. 6-Which are the keys to successful design? At luis vidal + architects we have our own deeply-rooted philosophy: we understand design as a tool to improve people's quality of life. Our social, economic and environmental commitment is the foundation that nourishes our plans for their growth and development. These principles, together with always keeping in mind the individual as an end user of our projects are a solid base that leads the way and the right direction to find the functionality, flexibility or simplicity of shapes that make a successful design. 7 – How do you maintain your own style to satisfy the needs of your customers? At the study we have developed our own organization and methodology, where we emphasize collaborative work and, especially creation together with clients, other architects and designers. This dialogue, and the transverse and multidisciplinary approach, have become the hallmarks of LVA. 8- Which projects are you working on at the moment? Currently, we are engaged in very different jobs linked to different types of buildings ranging from a spaceport, to hospitals, a museum and a university campus. In the field of healthcare architecture, we are currently monitoring the New Hospital of Vigo, under construction and in Santiago de Chile, we are focused on the design of the Biprovincial Quillota-Petorca and the Provincial Marga Marga Hospitals. We are working on a joint iconic building project, the Future Botin Art Centre, in Santander, with Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and the new campus of the Loyola Andalucía University, the first private university in Andalusia. 9 – Tell us about a building you would like to design. Now we have become the first Spanish study to design a spaceport, I enjoy thinking what it would be like to give shape to the first hotel on the moon, and I know that there are people working on it ... 10 – A Noken product… I like the elegance, style, colour and versatility we have achieved with the MOOD sanitaryware and tap collection.