Stephen Lasar [sla1945]
What is your specialization in architecture?
Energy efficient and passive solar custom residential and small scale commercial projects.
Projects include new construction, additions, alterations, adaptave reuse, restoration, super insulated.
Is there a web page or blog where one could see something of your work?
What is it for you a good architectural design?
A good architectural design is a building that functions well, is aestethically pleasing, works with its site, and is inspiring to the occupants.
What era of architecture most fascinates you?
Present era is most fascinating because there are endless possibilities and many problems to solve, but previous fascinating eras include roman times and early twentieth century.
List the name of a famous building which you don't care for.
MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
What hardware and software do you use that you deem as indispensable?
We use archicadd, but don't deem it as indisensable. We also do hand drawings.
In which city do you live or work and why?
I live in the country and work in the town of New Milford, CT. The nortwest corner of Connecticut is very beautiful.
Do you work with other architects? How is the team set up?
I a sole proprietor, and I currently have one additional architectural designer employee.
My firm also works with independent professional consultants.
What do you think of competitions? What types of competitions do you normally compete in?
I think competitions have their place, but I have not participated in many.
Mantaining the signature of a building, how is the identity of the surroundings respected?
A new building or design should relate appropriately to its surroundings, that is depending on the situation it can complement or contrast its neighbors. New construction should always work in harmony with the site conditions.
Which architects, past or present, do you admire?
Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Alto, Gaudi, Frank Gehry (most of the time), Calatrava (sometimes).
In your professional philosophy, what comes first, function or form?
Function, but form and function aften ARE one.
What will the single-family home of 2050 be like?
It will be a daylit, zero energy, multi-functioning, inspiring space
For you, which new materials provoke the most interest?
The basics: wood, steel, concrete, stone. There are infinite ways to use them.
Sustainable and natural materials are also preferable.
Bioclimactic architecture, domotic systems...do you think we are approaching a profound revolution in architecture?
There are many complex, complicated, and interrelated systems to investigate. The key for me is that projects can be sophisticated, but they should be based on common sense.
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?
Most of my clients are the end user, but I try to design for the end user.
The pharahons built pyramids, and bankers skyscrapers: will architecture always be a symbol of power?
No, architecture should be a symbol of harmony.
Imagine your ideal house. Where would it be? What would it be like?
It would be a combination of all my best houses.
Can one copy and still be original?
We are always learning from past projects, and possibly take parts or reinvent, or adapt elements fro reuse, but not to copy.
Where is the balance between deeply-rooted architecture and that which responds to its particular era?
We are striving for contempory architecture to be modern and timeless. Only time will tell how successful we are.
Spectacular architecture: do you believe that buildings are becoming more and more media phenomena?
The media is very powerful, but there is much very good architecture that doesn't get attention.
What motto would you like to see inscribed at the entrance of the university's department of architecture?
Architecture is too complex a field for one motto.
What would be your dream project at this moment?
The spaces of my houses are very spiritual and dynamic. I would like to have a project that took advantage of those qualities that would be public: i.e. a museum or spiritual center.
Who is your favourite artist?
Ashile Gorky and my wife, Nancy Lasar.
Which websites about architecture do you frequently visit?
Always looking at new sites.
New Milford, CT, USA