Anna Klingmann [annaklingmann]
What is your specialization in architecture?
A holistic approach to branding and architecture from the inside out
Klingmann Architects & Brand Consultants has been recognized as a leader in the design of complex, large-scale mixed-use destinations—always with a strong focus on sustainability and the local heritage. KABC architecture reflects our extensive knowledge of local cultures and consumer preferences. KABC’s strategists and planners work globally on a broad range of projects, from new urban districts and retail to corporate campuses, resorts, public parks and residential communities. We work collaboratively with clients to create designs that work well on every level, inside and out.
Is there a web page or blog where one could see something of your work?
Blog: klingmann.tumblr.com, http://bit.ly/KlingmannBlog
Brandscapes- buy now: http://amzn.to/buybrandscapes
Brandscapes- review: http://amzn.to/brandscapesreview
Facebook page: http://bit.ly/KlingmannFB
What is it for you a good architectural design?
A good architectural design relates to the cultural and economic context in which it is situated by using the dormant potential of people and places and to create memorable and fun experiences that people truly enjoy. The role of the architect is not to design objects but to propose life-enhancing strategies.
What era of architecture most fascinates you?
Any era has amazing architecture to offer from the Egyptians to the Modernists, great architecture transcends time and culture. But of course the era that fascinates me the most is yet to come!
List the name of a famous building which you don't care for.
Tower of London
What hardware and software do you use that you deem as indispensable?
Rhino, Grasshopper, Maya, Adobe, AutoCad
In which city do you live or work and why?
In New York...there is nothing like it in terms of the diversity of street life and vibrabcy of different cultures. It's a home for all the seekers and people that feel homeless in the world!
Do you work with other architects? How is the team set up?
Sometimes yes. Also with people from other disciplines such as art, branding, and landscape design. Sometimes,people work as consultants in my office, sometimes its a partnership.
What do you think of competitions? What types of competitions do you normally compete in?
Competitions are great to test out new concepts and creative ideas. The minus is that they rarely get build even if you do win them. I used to do competitions when I was younger, now I'm focusing mainly on projects...
Mantaining the signature of a building, how is the identity of the surroundings respected?
This is a delicate balance - how to create a signature building that takes into consideration the surrounding cultural and social context. Many times, signature architects reproduce stylistic signatures that do not relate to a particular context and become formulaic in their approach. This is why we are turning branding on its head, creating the building out of its context - from the inside-out, so that people in the community recognize themselves and each other and most importantly identify with the design.
Which architects, past or present, do you admire?
Rem Koolhaas I admire for his big brain, Zaha Hadid for her sexy designs, Louis Kahn for his timeless and awesome buildings, John Lautner for best houses, John Jerde for revolutionizing retail - the list could go on and on...
In your professional philosophy, what comes first, function or form?
None - the user experience comes first!
Do you view suburban sprawl as an ecological threat and a waste of resources? Do you advocate for more vertical and denser town planning?
Absolutely - this is our main focus - to create dense mixed-use pedestrian communities that people enjoy!
What will the single-family home of 2050 be like?
Hopefully not a blob as some imagine :) Ideally, there are less single-family houses and more pent houses with shared amenities to facilitate a more metropolitan lifestyle.
But if single-family house, I doubt much will change. They will still have a garden and a BBQ and if in California, definitely a swimming pool.
For you, which new materials provoke the most interest?
Nano-anything. There are soooo many new and cool materials out there- its hard to keep up with!
Bioclimactic architecture, domotic systems...do you think we are approaching a profound revolution in architecture?
Absolutely. There is a revolution in integrating traditional and sustainable materials with 21st century technology. Its what the hippies imagined in the seventies coming to fruition now. We call it smart design.
In the development of a project, do you feel closer to the client or to the public as a whole who will use the final product?
Both - because often times they are interested in the same thing. The developer wants to make money and in order to do that he understands that he/she has to offer a superior product to the end user. It is more often the architect who is aloof to social and economic needs.
The pharahons built pyramids, and bankers skyscrapers: will architecture always be a symbol of power?
Absolutely. While power structures change, they all use architecture to symbolize their power.
Imagine your ideal house. Where would it be? What would it be like?
It would be at the ocean and ideally blur the boundaries of the interior and exterior. As a kid, I always dreamed of having a running stream of water (with goldfish) going through my living room. Still have this dream of having trees in the midst of the house, waterfalls, creeks, water features....and pets!
Can one copy and still be original?
Yes its done all the time. Depends how you do it. Andy Warhol copied profusely in a very authentic manner.
Where is the balance between deeply-rooted architecture and that which responds to its particular era?
In any era, there is architecture, which captures a certain zeitgeist style and architecture that transcends style, that is timeless. The architecture of Louis Kahn is one example that in fact contradicted the zeitgeist and is timeless in its beauty.
Spectacular architecture: do you believe that buildings are becoming more and more media phenomena?
Yes, definitely. In the last decade, buildings have become spectacles: bigger, more glamourous, more extravagant. The recession of course, has called this trend into question as people are going back to concept that promise more longevity and livability.
What motto would you like to see inscribed at the entrance of the university's department of architecture?
The role of the architect is not to propose design objects but to ensure life-enhancing experiences.
What would be your dream project at this moment?
We are working on a dream project at the moment in Oman with an ecological park, an eco resort, and a sustainable residential community. If built, this would be a dream realized.
Who is your favourite artist?
Which websites about architecture do you frequently visit?
Archinect, Architizer, Wallpaper, Dezeen, Trendwatching
New York, US