EP 247 . 31 Aug 22

Minimalist Architecture

With Henri Comrie

In the episode

  1. What is your definition of architecture? How has it changed over the last 3 decades?
  2. How do you see the relationship between urban design and architecture and how have your post-graduate studies in urban design influenced your architecture?
  3. You use the word “craft” when referring to the act of designing. In India, we have a very different connotation to craft. Could you talk a little about your understanding in the context of Architecture and especially why you pursue minimalism/reductivism in your architecture?
  4. What does minimalism/reductivism mean to you? In my understanding, for the majority of developing nations, people aspire towards having more (maximalism maybe). How do you acknowledge these people in the projects you work?
  5. Where do ideas come from while designing something minimalist, especially when the whole philosophy is reductionist?
  6. How do you avoid things becoming too much the same or boring?
  7. One of URBA’s philosophies is, “A search for timeless qualities in architecture” How do you define timeless in today’s time?
  8. What are your ways of searching for timeless qualities in your work? What few top (3-4) characteristics does a minimalist (Urban) architecture demand?
  9. When did you first hear about Charles Correa and how has his work influenced your own work, if at all? (What lessons are there in his work that stands out for you?)
  10. This year’s design brief at TDB is, to design a memorial for Charles Correa. What will be your judging criteria and what are you looking for? Any specific Charles Correa pattern?

About Henri Comrie

This Audiogyan is in association with The Drawing Board.

The Drawing Board is an international architecture platform based in India where students can test their understanding and skills in shaping the way communities live and thrive while preserving local heritage. TDB has been actively running an Architecture competition for undergraduate students since 2016. It was conceptualized by Mindspace Architects and Rohan Builders.

This year, they are back in action with a live event. Architecture undergrad students can submit their project ideas on the theme of designing a “Memorial for Charles Correa”. The last date to submit your concepts is 1st October 2022. More details in show notes and thedrawingboard.in

We have one of the Jury members with us on Audiogyan. The well-known, Cape Town-based Architect and Urban Designer, Henri Comrie. Henri is a minimalist and reductivist architect and urban designer who enjoys working through complex problems to arrive at simple and logical solutions that hold wide appeal. He is the founding partner of URBA Architects & Urban Designers from Cape Town, South Africa. Henri has been practicing architecture for nearly 3 decades. He was the lead urban designer for the FIFA World Cup Stadium in Cape Town and several large mixed-use precincts, as well as the architect of several prominent educational and residential buildings across a range of scales. Today we’ll try to document some of his thoughts on Minimalist/reductivist architecture and a bit about, what is good architecture while he will evaluate entries at “The Drawing Board” competition.