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Laminam Talks – Eliza Schuchovski

May 2024

Eliza Schuchovski’s all-woman team of ten architects in the city of Itajaí (Santa Catarina, Brazil) has designed some of the area’s most impressive residential projects.  

These include the Panoramic House, a magnificent home which won the “Architecture Single Residence Brazil” category at the 2019-2020 edition of the Central & South America Property Awards, Development sector, and recently received the Golden A’ Design Award in the “Architecture” category. Laminam slabs were amongst the materials chosen for its construction. 

Here she tells us what Architecture represents for her and what it means to design sustainably and to lead an all-woman team focused on creativity, wellbeing and the future.  

Where does a multiple award-winning architect like you find inspiration?

The inspiration of Schuchovski Arquitetura’s projects originates from each family’s identity.

In fact, it is in harmony with the spirit of its residents that architecture can really fulfil its mission: supporting family relationships, helping in residents’ routine, providing a sense of security and comfort, enabling a connection with nature and responding to new behaviours and habits. This is why our projects express the Brazilian spirit so effectively.

You often repeat that your projects all share your own clear, original idea of architecture’s aim: to facilitate human relationships and wellbeing. Can architecture create happiness?

Architecture is more than just “creating physical spaces”. It can help to generate a feeling of tranquillity, harmony, belonging, comfort and security and so to encourage new behaviours and habits, such as by encouraging social interactions and contact with nature and thus also individual experiences. As a consequence, architecture that responds to its users’ specific needs can help to make lives happier. 

Yours is a team of women. What is the biggest premium an all-woman team provides?

Schuchovski Arquitetura is basically a team of ten women which reflects the meticulous yet responsive female approach in all its projects. Our attention to detail and our empathy with clients and their deepest needs are perfectly attuned to the female spirit. Not to mention our outstanding flexibility and creativity, through which we transform ideas into style, function, security and comfort. Belonging to a team like ours means being able to count on mutual cooperation and support on a daily basis: our affinity has given us a more positive, productive approach to our work.

In the presentation of your firm - Schuchovski Arquitetura - you state that “challenges are how we express ourselves”. This is a positive attitude to criticalities, an interesting plot twist. Can you explain what you mean by this concept?

We see a project’s challenges as opportunities for creative expression and innovation. After careful analysis of the location, the scheduling and the briefing, natural conditions and local regulations, we work hard to give every project its own storytelling. No two homes are the same! Every one is the outcome of decisions and challenges faced, which we interpret as a way to express our creativity.

Schuchovski Arquitetura is based in Curitiba, considered to be Brazil’s ecological capital. A multicultural, cosmopolitan metropolis, it’s won many awards for its genuine work to work to achieve tangible, modern environmental sustainability. What does “sustainable design” mean to you?

We strongly believe in the power of Architecture to restore simplicity to our lives. “Sustainability” is more than just a design approach: it involves making connections to the world around us. So we believe sustainable design means coming up with solutions that optimise the use of natural resources and minimise waste, emphasising the relationship to nature and promoting the wellbeing of its users.

For the wonderful Panoramic House, you chose Laminam large slabs for the flooring and for the cladding of the staircases. What made you fall in love with these surfaces?

The colour scheme of the materials chosen for the Panoramic House was chosen very carefully in order to create a project identity that would transcend the concepts of indoor and outdoor areas and merge architecture with nature. Therefore, we applied a meticulous attention to the composition of colours and textures when specifying all the finishes.  

Laminam made a subtle contribution to this effect by providing a basis on which other finishes could be integrated to shape this project’s personality. 

Who are your very own top five in terms of international architects?

Frank Lloyd Wright, Bjarke Ingels, Mies van der Rohe, Zaha Hadid and Oscar Niemeyer.

Can you tell us just one thing you consider essential in the home of tomorrow?

Architecture – and this should apply at all times and in all places – must facilitate connection to the surrounding environment and merge into the landscape.

I believe the architecture of the future will be much more organic and complex, with structures and volumes that adapt to the surrounding environment and enable the ever-greater integration of landscape and nature into cities.

What’s more, technology will be a true ally in achieving this. Schuchovski Arquitetura has always kept continually up-to-date on the latest technologies and processes.

For example, we use BIM (Building Information Modelling), which generates and processes detailed information, for the integrated, efficient management of our projects.

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