Huub van Laarhoven, Architect: "Harmony is the base of designs. Harmony brings balance. A balance between light and dark, big and small, open and closed, life and death and of course: balance between building and nature. As a kid I was always outside, playing in the woods and building tree houses. At the age of 9 my dad, a respectable carpenter, took me to the building site for the first time. Impressed by all the activities on the building site I decided to choose the same career and become a carpenter.
Today still, I find myself most comfortable in the open air. I feel solidarity with cosmos or with God when I am within nature. Especially when nature reveal itself to me. This could be suddenly rising fog or a certain fragrance, a perfectly ordinary but splendid sunset, the sudden appearance of deer or a bird's whistle in the distance.
I find the inspiration for designing buildings directly in nature, the ecological building. We, people of the 21st century, are walking away further from ecology and we are losing the basic senses of our existence. The rush towards consumption and wealth increases, leaving its marks on our precious nature. I think the most important need is to stay alive and therefore to stay and to build in balance with nature. That indicates, for example, working with natural materials and keep as much connections with nature as possible. Nature is also my biggest inspiration because it offers the most beautiful forms, proportions, colors and materials.
Responsibility, freedom, independence, love and spirit are matters which appear in my works because of their importance in our lives. Main goal that I set to myself is to create architecture with a positive contribution to our chaotic life. Everyone is looking for his or her own luck. But you can find luck only if you live your life I harmony with yourself. The house or the design, in which you live, has a different influence on that.
Man, as a “user” of architecture is in my designs the most important. The basic thing is to feel pleasant in the building, city or village. My architectonic challenge is to create a building, a house, where you will feel like if you were on “holiday”. Besides that, essential is that it has a healing influence on its users. It is also important to consider not direct matters like unhealthy high voltage piping, nature disruptions and pollution. Natural energy field and common natural proportions (golden section) can be used to create harmonious spaces and healing architecture."
Building is more than putting up the stones and getting paid for that. Empathy and respect for surroundings and people are very important issues. Without those, our life on the world would be impossible. Think about trees which are necessary for our fresh air and the fact that all construction materials originate from nature.
Sustainable building, a term which is used at these times frequently, is the responsibility, which every right-minded person would have to take.
Independence use of energy supplies, materials and such, will probably be the matter of life in the future. Ecological and sustainable building are high priorities for our office.