An Insightful Interview: Architect Philippe Stuebi

November has brought us some early holiday cheer in the form of turning leaves, pumpkin pies, and now, an insightful interview with one of our favorite architects, Philippe Stuebi! The architect, who gave us a thoughtful and personal interview, is the principal architect at Philippe Stuebi Architects GMBH located in Zurich. He founded the successful firm himself in 1996, under the concept of linking lifestyle, ecology, and economics; a method, which has proven to be effective project after project. Stuebi’s most notable and published project is the O House, (See Photographs) but the architect still gets sentimental about his early career, when he admits the project he is most proud of is the Maison Draeger House in Corsica, because it was his first realized project. One thing to admire about Stuebi, besides his gift of architecture, is his sincere sentiment. Throughout the interview he talks family, mentors, and gives some invaluable advice for young architects that shouldn’t go unheard!

1. What is one essential that you always carry on you?

A little crystal of the alps my little daughter Charlotte gave me some time ago

2.Throughout your career, which project are you most proud of? 

Besides the O House: Maison Draeger in Corsica, my first realized project.

3. What is your favorite part of a sandwich?

The warm crispy bread, the butter, the chives, the cilantro the fine cut salami, the planed parmigiano,  sweet & sour cucumber, the rucola, the pepper, the peppercinis, dried sesame seeds on the bread, and even the napkin around the sandwich.

4. Did you ever dream of being anything besides an Architect/Designer?

A detective.

5. What advice would you give up-and-coming Architects?

First, Don't work too long for other architects, it inhibits/hinders/slow down the own development. Secondly, Treat unimportant things with the same intensity like you do with the important one's.

6. Who is your all-time favorite Architect?

Andrea Palladio.

7. Has either of your parents influenced your views on design and architecture?

My father took me always to flea markets and antiques fairs in Switzerland, France and Italy. This sharpened my eyes. Also, it was my father, again, who played on the piano, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Chopin and many others every day.

8. How would you explain architecture to a 4 year old?

It's not a problem, 4 year old have a fantastic sense for space, interior and exterior. they usually have a very versatile / diverse or multiple spatial perception and are constantly creating new environments, rooms, caves, tree cabins etc. When I'm trying to talk about architecture with my daughter, she constantly stops me with own ideas what she would like to build or create. Children love all kind of often small rooms like cars, boats cabins, vans/caravans, hollow trees etc.

9. What does wasted time look like to you?

To be a commuter who is traveling a long time every day.

10. Who is your personal hero?

John Lautner

(Photography by Dominique Marc Wehrli)