Questions to Tom Lechner

Or: What Tom Lechner finds inspiring about farmhouses

1. Good architecture should ...
... not follow form, but context.

2. Architects should ...
... work with real passion.

3. Are there any buildings you feel particularly passionate about?
These are precisely those buildings that were developed and designed with passion. Buildings that have developed out of tradition. I come from a rural area near Salzburg, I also work in rural areas and these old farmhouses inspire me. Architecture as CI or design object was never an issue there. It was developed from the necessity of its function and placed in the respective context.

4. What inspires you?
Again, precisely these farmhouse buildings. But also historic buildings and nature. The crafts also offer a great source of inspiration. The entire building industry is very much governed by norms today, which is why contemporary buildings often lose their character and their identity. Wherever you look, building is done in similar ways. In the past, in rural areas, buildings were designed for the location and for a particular function. Not for more, but also not for less.

5. What has been your biggest success to date?
Every project that can be implemented together with the client for the sake of mutual satisfaction is a step that can also be called success. There is no such thing as the biggest success.

6. What does home mean to you?
Family and a sense of security.

7. Which project is next on your agenda? What are you working on?
Most important are the competitions, through which we keep up-to-date with different architectural tasks. One concrete project that we can implement is a social project for the Ronald McDonald Foundation. A children's home in Salzburg, a five-storey timber construction, which will go into construction next year. In addition, we are planning a village centre in our rural region, in a still-intact environment with a nursing home for the elderly, with a kindergarten and assisted living. Then we also do smaller construction tasks, so that we can draw from a wide pool of resources.

8. Topic: "Perfect Plan": What makes a perfect plan?
The plan or the building should be so flexible that a future change of use is relatively easy. The plan should be reduced to the essentials. Not only in terms of content, but also in terms of scale. I have seen houses with 300 m² of floor space, where the design was really cluttered. Small fine houses, in which each square metre is used intelligently are, for me, the definition of the perfect plan.

9. Do you have any advice for young architects?
Don’t be blinded by formalism, but develop the theme of the projects and, from that, generate an independent attitude.

10. If you had not become an architect, what would you be today?
A dentist.

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