Interview with Portuguese architect Mario Martins

Mario Martins,

Fernando Guerra,

Lagos, Portugal,

Residences, Housing,

Iris Ceramica, Intervista,

Stimulating emotions with architecture is the key to the work of Mario Martins, the Portuguese architect from Lagos, who has published his latest book “Houses - an architectural journey”.

Interview with Portuguese architect Mario Martins You still design a great deal free hand. How important is this phase when exploring a design idea?
The project’s beginning is the most creative stage of the project development and the one in which I find more freedom. Freehand drawing is thus the medium I favour to question, explore and structure the project’s ideas in this initial and inquiring stage. 
How much does the landscape influence the ideas behind your work? Which are the features of Portugal that influence your work most?
My work is profoundly influenced by the site’s physical and climatic particularities and character and, subsequently, the cultural roots of Portugal and, more specifically, the region’s architectural heritage.
What do you think is the greatest difficulty for an architect today in his or her profession? What is the hardest aspect of your job?
I believe that one of the greatest challenges that architects face nowadays is creating architecture works, which importance is unmistakably public and which condition is usually long-lasting, in a fast-paced world dominated by disposable imagery. To create meaningful architectural objects, you have to go beyond the mere production of beautiful images. Architecture has to be endowed with content and be able to communicate emotions and feelings.  
Have new means of digital communication changed your idea of architecture?
The new digital means of communication brought new approaches to the practice and amplified exponentially its broadcasting, but my idea of Architecture and my position towards its practice remains the same.
You have recently started experimenting with Iris Ceramica coverings for some of your homes. How do you use porcelain and in which contexts do you think it offers the best formal and functional results?
Iris Cerâmica offers fantastic cladding solutions that we have been taking advantage of in some of our most recent projects. We use their products to clad pavements and walls with large format plates that enable the creation of continuous and clean surfaces that go perfectly hand in hand with our work’s expression and quest for rigor and simplicity.

Images: © Fernando Guerra FG+SG Architectural Photography (www.ultimasreportagens.com)


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