November 8, 2017
All About 'Hariri & Hariri Architecture: Leading Architects' from Images Publishing
One of the most progressive American firms to be seen in the last 30 years, Hariri & Hariri Architecture—established in 1986 by Iranian-born sisters, Gisue Hariri and Mojgan Hariri—just released a new monograph.
by New York Spaces
NYS: We are so excited about your new book, Hariri & Hariri Architecture: Leading Architects from Images Publishing. How did you decide which projects to feature?
Gisue Hariri: This new book showcases our firm's dedication to the research and construction of innovative ideas in our most recent projects from 2010 when our last monograph was published till now.
NYS: We love that you design for different typologies. Do you gravitate towards a certain one? If so, which and why?
Gisue Hariri: We look at architecture in a holistic way and don't necessarily break it down into types, styles, or parts. Each project has its challenges & advantages. We try to make sure what we design functions well, is constructed with quality, meets the budget and yet still becomes a total work of art. It is important to make buildings that offer a new experience and looking at architecture. Buildings do have an emotional impact on people.
NYS: Tell us about some of the high-tech projects you have featured in the book. What makes them unique?
Gisue Hariri: Most of the projects featured use the latest technologies available but not necessarily showcase every high tech gadget that is on the market. For example there is a Smart country house in the book without any of the technologies in it visible. The house is completely wired and is controlled by the owner via his computer and I-phone wherever he is. Solar energy & geothermal wells provide cooling, heating and electricity but the architecture is poetic and fits in the site's rural setting and the idea of country living. We have an office tower with an iconic skin in composite aluminum panels fabricated with the aid of laser cutting and bending technologies.
NYS: How would you describe your firm's brand of modernism?
Gisue Hariri: For us architecture cannot be defined as one thing, style, philosophy or ism. It is the amalgamation of many things which at it's best help us define who we are today and who we might be tomorrow. It's the means of comprehending and encountering the invisible, where beauty, sensuality, functionality, technology and philosophy connect the body and mind.
NYS: We absolutely love that you focus on holistic design. Is there a project in the book that most exemplifies this approach, and can you break it down for us?
Gisue Hariri: Our Holistic approach, sensitivity to nature and the historical context is vividly present in our "Jewels of Salzburg" project. This project, which we won in an international competition, is important to us in part because we were the winners among the world's best known architects such as Souto Moura (Portugal), Snøhetta (Oslo), Kengo Kuma (Tokyo), Yamaguchi (Osaka), Toshiko Mori (NY), Delugan-Meissl (Vienna), Langhof (Berlin) to name a few. This residential development allowed us to fully articulate our "holistic" philosophy where we have designed the master plan, the architecture of the six new buildings containing 100 luxury apartments, renovation of existing historic vaults, some of the interiors, and the main landscape elements as well.
It is however neither the scale nor the challenges we confronted with the city agencies and the building codes that makes our Salzburg project significant. It is the relationship between architecture and nature that we have created, a dialogue and meditative experience we have carved at the edge of the rock wall, which guides and invites the public along a creek on the edge of the site while providing privacy for those living there.
NYS: What is one of your favorite projects featured and why?
Gisue Hariri: The Last project in the book is an un-built sanctuary proposed for the Doha Art Fair. It is envisioned as a place where spirituality, art and nature intermingle, where one would turn to for a moment of contemplation. Our world is so chaotic, with non-stop activity and useless information that I feel we all need one of these sanctuaries to go to for renewal & rejuvenation.
NYS: Will you cover your jewelry line in the book? How would you describe your approach to designing jewelry to our readers?
Gisue Hariri: Our "Kryptonite" Jewelry Collection for Atelier Swarovski is certainly featured in this book. This collection was designed as "Wearable Architecture" and generated a whole series of buildings and structures in our office afterwards. In fact we started to look at architecture as a piece of jewelry and that is the reason the Mayor of Salzburg named our project "Jewels of Salzburg."
NYS: What can our readers expect from your book and where can they find it?
Gisue Hariri: We hope to demonstrate to the readers that: Great architecture is one that challenges our perception of life and living, helping us to find an alternative mode of seeing and acting upon the precious landscape.
For the past thirty years it has been our firm belief that design is fundamental to improving quality of life and with an integrated, unified approach it can become a total work of art.
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