Luis Laplace: A Philosophy of Architectural Craftsmanship
For over two decades, Luis Laplace has designed bespoke interiors and architectural spaces, embracing craftsmanship, atmosphere and the nuances of contemporary art.
For over two decades, Luis Laplace has been designing bespoke interiors and architectural spaces for niche clients, with a vision that embraces craftsmanship, atmosphere and the nuances of contemporary art. From furniture and objects, to a perfected, multi-use exhibition space, Laplace infuses each project with a sense of elegance and an intimate understanding of heritage and its particular intention.
TLmag: Would you talk briefly about how craft influences your work as an architect and designer? How is it important in your practice? What are some mediums you are particularly drawn to and inspired by?
Luis Laplace (LL): Craft for me is extremely important, which is also one of the reasons our studio is based in Paris. Craftsmanship in Paris is outstanding and a vital part of my practice is to deliver highly bespoke projects. I am particularly inspired by ceramics. When I was young, I spent a lot of time in ceramic workshops and did ceramics myself.
TLmag: Do you work with artisans in your architecture and design practice? In what ways?
LL: Yes, I work mainly with artisans in my practice. It is important for us to provide work and to protect those highly skilled artisans who still work with their hands, and not with machines.
TLmag: You’ve worked on several projects for contemporary art galleries, artists and collectors, like Hauser & Wirth. What do you enjoy about working on spaces that are meant for exhibiting and also engaged with contemporary art? Is that framework different from other projects?
LL: In terms of space the approach is completely different. In a residential environment the person is at the centre, whereas in the gallery or a museum space it is the artworks. My most recent project was the Museo Chillida-Leku in San Sebastian, Spain. I enjoyed the renovation of the museum very much as I could establish a very clear interior environment for these specific works, creating intimacy and framing the works with existing and new architecture, so that the legacy of the Basque artist, Eduardo Chillida Juantegui can be celebrated in his artistic spirit. Adding a coffee shop and a bookshop to the Museum offers the visitor a more complete experience.
TLmag: You often tie in elements of heritage and local cultures and traditions. Why is this important for you?
LL: Yes, our practice is not about formulas. We believe in highly bespoke projects, respecting context and heritage. It is very important to us, it is our philosophy and feeds our soul.
TLmag: Tell us about the new Hauser & Wirth gallery space to open in 2020 in Menorca, and the uniqueness of this location and existing architectural structures?
LL: I am a Menorca aficionado and have known the island for more than twenty years. I found the space on Isla del Rey and proposed it to Manuela and Iwan Wirth, as I had already worked on the Hauser & Wirth gallery in Somerset in Great Britain. The space is very unique and large – 128m long by 11m wide. It is a small version of the Arsenale in Venice, like a nave. The spot is magical and unique, located in the port of Mahon where you can see the boats heading out to sea in full sail.