In this interview, we are joined by L+ Architects and their founder Mr. Pablo Lambrechts. Richmond & South-West London Architectural practice focused on contemporary biophilic architecture embracing outdoor into indoor spaces all around the modern construction methods.
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Who are L+ Architects?
L+ Architects is a studio that I set up in 2019 by myself, Pablo Lambrechts with Lindsey Webster, a Landscape Architect, and my wife, in South-West London.
L+ Architects was born from a strong vision and our particular interest in biophilic design.
The biophilia hypothesis (also called BET) suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his book, Biophilia (1984). He defines biophilia as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.”
Biophilic architecture starts as a hypothesis set out by the naturalist A.O.Wilson that the human psyche has an innate need to seek connections with Nature and other life forms.
Our vision is to embrace biophilia through careful lighting, air quality, and natural elements and bring the outside-in through modern yet fluid biophilic architectural language.
As our population increases and we feel the effects of man-made climate issues, this approach embraces sustainability and Nature, creating our little safe havens while making a low-carbon contribution to modern construction methods and industry. Embracing habitats for wildlife, often incorporated into the fabric of the buildings themselves.
The practice is concept-led and is underlined by strong technical design. Our approach to design specializes in contemporary language and conservation architecture, creating a dialogue and giving a new lease of life to heritage buildings. Our projects are a balanced portfolio of commercial and high-end residential. We are a team of 5 architects and an administrator.
Before setting up L+ Architects, I was the head of the London HQ of a French ‘star’ architect for over ten years. In addition, I was the Principal Architect in designing the current Google HQ from conception to inception and many ultra-high-end residential and mixed-use developments globally. While the work was complex and rewarding, I was driven to explore the biophilic approach idea, be more hands-on in design, set up my practice, and spend more time with my young family.
How did you get interested in architecture?
My first memories of architecture were when I was a little boy, and I would visit construction sites with my uncles and my dad, who owned a large construction company in Uruguay, South America. It was in my blood and a vocation, and I found I was just naturally passionate about this.
I loved looking at how the buildings were made, and during y studies, I traveled around the world looking at the splendid architecture for a year with five friends, paid for by the faculty. My sister followed me into this, and we started our won practice fresh from uni.
We were fortunate to win several awards and large commissions early in my career, including The Coastguard HQ in Colonia de Sacramento and a contemporary Catholic church in the Swiss Colony.
What are the primary responsibilities for an architect in 2021?
The primary responsibilities for a design company in 2021 must be to achieve Wellbeing through architecture, in which biophilia and sustainability are at the heart of all design decisions, and to keep up with the new technology that is fast evolving.
We have a duty as architects to create not just beauty but also humility for the beautiful environment we live in.
We need to look at modern methods of construction to create high-quality but low-priced housing stock. The Government must carefully legislate for the future of building but in a tiered approach.
We should not accept second rate design as for me, these shoebox houses dressed in mock Tudor are not good, and we can do better, they are not inspiring or teaching people to reach out in their lives, and we should actively seek linking landscape with build environment as a matter of course.
Tell us about your most recent encounter with obstacles at work
One of our biggest obstacles in the residential market is educating our clients to drive through the planning hurdles, which appear too lax for large lobbying residential builders yet too stringent for bespoke design. The planning policies need a complete radical overhaul.
What milestones you have set for L+ for the new 12 months
We would like to take more specialist biophilic buildings and start leading the way for this way of design as a new movement of the 21st Century.
Describe your design style
L+ Architects design with wellbeing at the heart of everything we do, as an umbrella approach that includes biophilic architecture and sustainability to express, shape, and sculpt our designs. Our projects are contemporary but timeless with natural noble materials, contextual and adapted to the built and historical environment embracing the modern construction methods.
How to recognize L+ projects
Our projects are identifiable, as the expressed form is adapted to optimize natural light and ventilation and the views.
As part of our biophilic approach and Lindsey’s landscape architecture philosophy, we embrace shakkei, the Japanese word for “incorporating background landscape into the composition of a garden.” However, we aim to go beyond that and incorporating the exterior spaces into the indoor spaces.
On what projects do you work on at the moment?
We are developing a large country house in Sommerset in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a new home on the River Thames, and a Passiv Haus house in Fulham, among other projects.
Do you use Architectural Renderings and how?
We work with a company called TallboxDesign that we have been with since inception. We design from the start with them, and together we have the talent and vision to craft beautiful spaces.
Developing and achieving a close vision from the early stages of the project is one of the keys to our success as a relatively young practice. Collaborating with Tallbox and counting on their support has been priceless.
If you were to give advice to your younger self, what would be?
If I could go back to my younger self I would have not changed anything apart from starting my own practice maybe 5 years earlier.
L+ Architects is a biophilic, design-led studio that wants to green the world little by adding the natural element to new buildings.
We offer a balanced approach as we craft the designs while using modern construction methods, and this innovative approach does bring an excellent return on investment without it costing the earth to our clients.