Ernesto Klingenberg Calvo | L35 Arquitectos


04 / 2021

Q. Given the current global situation with the pandemic does L35 envisage in the near future a greater emphasis in projects on inside and outside transitions? Do you think your clients appreciate the importance of combining Architect with Landscape Architect?

A. At L35 we think architecture is about connecting people, not about isolating them. Personally, I refuse to design for a virus infected environment. Indeed, “outdoors” is an ever-important driver for most of our projects - pre or post pandemic. Public space is what glues projects together, so landscaping is important and luckily most clients understand this.

Q. How much do L35 value the exterior space surrounding their buildings in terms of human health and well-being and sustainability? ie. Reducing heat island effect through green roof/walls

A. Again, a connection with the surroundings, with the sun and the sky above is a necessary complement for a building - and sometimes even more important than the building itself. And this connection becomes very exciting when outdoors and indoors merge into one design where landscaping does not stop at the skin of the building. The way outdoor areas contribute to sustainability, lower carbon footprint and climate control is almost self-evident, but this can only succeed when design responds specifically and efficiently to each different environment.

Q. Over the next few years how do you see L35 and your subconsultant’s (Spacecoop) role adapt to environmental factors such as climate change? ie. earlier integration into project team/design process, take lead on all external sustainable issues, green certification…

A. A response to climate change and scarce energy resources, together with the challenges of urban growth are possibly the most important priorities for architects now. Spacecoop is a good partner when addressing these issues and that’s why we always try to bring them in at the very early stages of design. Let’s be humble and not forget that design is not just architecture plus landscaping. We work mostly with large projects that are the result of a complex collaboration that involves engineers of all disciplines, construction specialists, manufacturers, economic planners, project managers, often politicians… and of course clients.

Q. What do you think about Spacecoop taking more of a lead role in guiding urban infrastructure in your projects?

A. I would say their role is already important in many ways. We do not really separate architecture from landscaping or from interior design, so a good concept involves everything. Spacecoop is also ready to listen to our own ideas and process them into their design. It’s a two-way street.

Q. Have Spacecoop met professional expectations in the projects you have overseen?

A.  Design is always subject to many factors including the client’s preferences or budget limitations. We can’t do always everything we want and we confront these challenges together. It can be easier or more difficult, but the answer is definitely yes.

Q. What do you think are Spacecoop strengths and weakness?

A. Spacecooop design capabilities are truly excellent. They invariably add to the design and this is what we expect from a team member (I am not very fond of the word “consultant”). And since I am asked to mention one weakness, this could be the “online conference” approach to work, which is sometimes harder than a traditional face-to-face workshop… But at the same time online tools are essential when working globally and I think we are succeeding because these guys are always available, they are flexible and communication flows very well. And by the way, if the project calls for it, Spacecoop is ready to have a landscape architect come and work at our office. They are anything but rigid and we appreciate that.

Q. What does Spacecoop add to L35 projects?

A. Creative ideas of course. Whether it as about scale, shape, about hardscape solutions or about planting, their contribution almost invariably brings something fresh and powerful to the character of the project. And beyond creativity, their technical know-how is very solid and this is quite important for us.

Q. How do you build on this established collaboration to ensure a continued healthy working relationship?

A. We work in a true team spirit based on mutual recognition and trust. Sometimes we are too demanding, but I hope James and Luis will keep bearing with us! We enjoy the working relationship and hope to continue bringing Spacecoop’s talent into our projects.