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PERSONAL INTERVIEW

PUBLISHED IN THE "PROYECTO CONTRACT" Nº 21 JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2006

1 Talking about your beginnings. When was the Studio founded, first works, evolution.

CCT Arquitectos was founded in the year 97. Back then we met while collaborating in the project of an apartments-residences building in Barcelona. When realized, and noting the successful work that was done, we decided that to undertake various projects that we had pending, a SPECIFIC SPACE in common was needed to develop them. Therefore we asked the promoter-owner of the building to rent us one of the apartment-modules to install our new studio. The interest was mutual in implementing the CCT Arquitectos office in the first building realized integrally by us.

We soon realized that we quickly undertook the preliminary phase of each project and that we were obtaining very good final results, this gave us security and self-confidence in our starting phase.

CCT Arquitectos has already 10 years. Actually we are more enthusiastic about our profession than we were in 97. Possibly because of the confidence granted by 10 years dedicated exclusively to the development of QUALITY ARCHITECTURAL PROJECTS..

2 What is the work philosophy of CCT from the starting point?

““Architecture can always bring something surprising and satisfactory into our lives, sometimes not even seen”

This THINKING-IDEA-AIM has always been present in all our work and ways of facing our work.

3 Towards which sectors do CCT directs its trajectory in a vocational way?

We always direct it towards a personalized approach of the USER,who finally remains our ultimate client.

There is to be continuously conscious of the contemporaneous development of all human activities and in our professional field, you always have to have them very present.

4 How do the architectural activities and interior design combine?

We actually never talk of “combining”. The creative activity is always the same, unique, the stage and scale of its application are what are susceptible to change. Architecture finally.

We don’t think that differences exist between architecture and the interior design practices; we see it as a WHOLE . All is space to configure (interior or exterior).

5 A studio with two thinking minds or a division of functions?

A minimum of two thinking minds and we think that this way the result is enriched. In all the creative process: having a conversation, differing in point of views, focusing and deciding on the strategy to apply in each project, the distribution of functions is done naturally in accordance with the ability of each of the participants.

The thinking-minds are ALWAYS PENDING of the realization and development of each project. Our concern being that the design isn’t mislead in none of the necessary and multiple phases of its long process of execution.

6 Do you intend to realize projects with a distinctive seal or do you prefer to adapt them to the idiosyncrasy of the client?

The idiosyncrasy of the client has to be always present in all the projects; the promoter is there for a reason and plays a role in defining the idea to develop. We have a maxim in the studio: BEHIND A GOOD PROJECT THERE IS ALWAYS A GOOD PROMOTER . A lot of times he isn’t aware of it, doesn’t know it, show it, or doesn’t want to know nor show it.

We only are a link in the chain that tries to help, enrich and bring to reality the dream-project of the promoter. Saying this, each project we undertake, even the smallest, has inevitably the personal seal of CCT Arquitectos.

7 Is it possible to innovate in the interior design projects currently? In what way?

In Architecture, if you want to be honest and respectable, you always have to innovate. To do it, sincerely, at first there has to be the will to innovate and later the adequate means to realize it are to be implemented.

Normally it is not easy for the user-promoter-client to synchronize in a common process all the actors and determine the factors that intervene in a project. Rules and norms in force are to be well understood. Treating with different industrials is evidently a must, in the end they are the ones executing materially the architectural work. Therefore they are often complicated processes that have to be interpreted and known. Of course, there is always to make an effort to adjust it so it can be economically viable. But it has to be understood that each innovation brings with it an extra cost that has to be assumed by all the participants. Each innovating invention is always out of the serial production, the intellectual effort and creativity are more at play…

We think that the key for a good Project resides in the recognition of this INTELECTUAL EFFORT at the base of creativity.

Ideas are here outside for you to make them yours, there is to adjust your personal viewpoint conveniently to be able to perceive them, they arise from the market itself, from tendencies, history, social and personal evolution.

8 Speaking of interior design ¿what does an architect bring to a corporate or commercial project?

The architect contributes in accompanying and ORIENTATING the client in its research on the project. Starting from the taking of decisions concerning the site, the volumetry and expressive aesthetic lines of the corporate or commercial project that is to be realized. Basically the aim is to create a symbolic spatial image that contributes in expanding the commercial philosophy of the company.

9 Do you consider yourselves as specialists in commercial spaces?

No. We think that we gave adequate responses to the requirements of some promoters of commercial spaces that wanted to develop this activity, while materializing their commercial premises with a special signature. Actually, what we do with all our clients, that are or not promoters of commercial shops. Maybe it is the part of our work that was mostly projected by the media. In this sense we feel grateful and GRATEFUL and satisfied because all our work of interior commercial design realized has been published in specialized medias of communications.

10 What differences are there between the latter type of projects and others like offices or restaurants?

It is possible to be only the PROGRAM. We believe it to be this way.

11 Projects with an expiry date or that last through time?

We do not understand an architectural work that has an expiry date, we understand and conceive it to be able to last through time. Another thing is what happens once you have realized it and the way it is being used, this is difficult to control. If we do concretely refer to commercial premises, it is normal that the client puts a lifetime for the space; we are speaking of an average of ten years. It is perhaps one of the determining factors and at the same time the most characteristic threat for this kind of work, ephemeral constructions rather than permanent ones for economical motives.

The STRATEGICAL AESTHETIC FORMS have to be sufficiently BOLD AND INTELLIGENT to be able to last and assume with flexibility the passing of time and trends.

12 Is there any preferences concerning materials or equipments?

Not specially. We are interested in using materials with their own natural textures and colors, in search of their inherent essence and making the most of its qualities that we intend to enhance by means of the adequate artificial treatments. We try to use a maximum of three different materials in each project.

Creemos firmemente en la EXPERIMENTATION process with the existing construction techniques. Putting in question and searching for other solutions and applications to constructive standard systems, for us it is a permanent and obligatory exercise. We believe that there is to give an impulse for new materials to be consolidated through our use of these materials, as professionals, an obligation and a serious work to be realized in this field of our practice.

13 How do you generally get along with the client?

As we already said, the client has to be accompanied and guided along the process, and with the decisions that have to be made. This doesn’t mean that a positive confrontation when alternatives or changes are to be made is discarded, most of the time when they are in conflict with preconceived ideas that the client might have on the project, and that we think are misleading. We deeply believe in the dialog and reasoning that justifies aesthetical choices. Architects like, or better, have an educational obligation towards the society they deal with. A lot of times the qualities of persuasion and communication are key factors when achieving bold architectural approaches that are to be understood by a convinced client.

In any case the result is truly valued when the work is finished and the space experienced. This also allows in a calm way to eliminate the previous confrontations and prove that the professional decisions made were relevant. It is very usual that the relation with the client evolves in a LASTING FRIENDSHIP, in a way it is also one of our aims.

14 Some of your projects created a certain “interior design current”. Do the new generations acknowledge it?

IT IS A SURPRISE for us that our work was able to become a “current”. Sincerely it has never been our aim. Anyway it is a satisfaction for us that it was read in that way.

This question should be made to these new generations. When it comes to us we do not really perceive a direct acknowledgement in that sense. Maybe we are too concentrated in our work, clients and don’t give much of an attention to the academic repercussion that our work might generate. Our classes and conferences are punctual collaborations were we try our best to be well understood, explaining clearly our ideas.

15 Let´s talk about the prizes and official appreciations.

It can be said that CCT Arquitectos had a good start. We received the F.A.D. award of interior design in the year 98 with the first commercial shop that we designed, the first “Julie Sohn” fashion shop. We like to remember that the previous year; this award wasn’t granted to any one. We think that the opening of this shop gave birth to a revolution in the design of commercial premises, at least in the Condal city.

This influenced our work in the sense that we developed the following projects with the same objectivity and illusion that we applied in this work. We are convinced that even without this appreciation our architectural positioning wood have been the same.

CWe believe that an appreciation made to a realized work is always positive. We also understand that whatever work that reaches the final selection of the F.A.D award has a sufficient quality to be rewarded, in this sense we also feel lucky that it was granted to us.

The best appreciation we received is the PUBLICATION OF OUR WORK..

16 Future projects in the office.

They are projects that cover each time a WIDER RANGE of possibilities. From urban thematics, to restoration and reform, as well as new constructions. In a way go along with our already “marked line”

We are also interested in the educational and investigation activities.

17 A personal mania /professional of Conrado Carrasco

METICULOSITY

18 A personal mania /professional of Carlos Tejada

ORDER and RIGOUR.

19 A professional pending desire.

Maintain and reach a higher level in the architectural quality that we already demonstrated in the interior design projects, try to apply it at a bigger scale. We have a conviction to prove: for us it is the same problematic, to design correctly the railway lines of the high velocity train between Barcelona and Madrid as to draw the lines of the air conditioning pipes of the smallest premises we are proposed to work on. The issue is basically the same, scale and scope of the work. MAINTAIN QUALITY and not to let “the tree hide the forest”.

20 An advice for the young architects that are initiated to interior design.

SINCERITY
In each architectural work what is reflected is the attitude of the artist.