Fanuli: Where did the urge and passion for Architecture come from?
Luigi: I was born into a family of engineers and grew up surrounded by architects as family friends; this early exposure to construction professions gave me a great interest in buildings and the construction process. Growing up in Milano, capital of design and architecture, during the 1960s the influence of good design was definitely in the air.
F: Do you think you are successful locally and abroad?
L: I hate the word “successful”. “Succeed” is for the try-hards, the “Fountainheads”, the egomaniacs, I like to do what I do and this is my achievement.
F: What are some things you like to do outside of the studio as a hobby? And do these influence some of your decisions in the work arena?
L: I cycle and swim. “Mens Sana In Corpore Sano” as the old Latins used to say. Ocean swims with a snorkel and fins. The early morning aquarium of Clovelly is full of fish and perfect to purge the brain; far better than mediation or yoga.
F: What are the main differences between Architecture in Australia and other places around the world?
L: We tend to be quite insular and fall into an ovine repetition of local architectural habits but things are changing thanks to the easier and wider travel and better communication.
F: We have noticed that you have paired with Alexandra from Decus Interiors over the last few years with interiors. How do you approach and feel about collaborations like these?
L: We used to suffer from unsatisfactory interiors with client appointed interior designers so we decided to offer our clients a complete architectural and interior design service and asked Alexandra to be our ID; she has been brilliant to the point of becoming too busy and so we decided to bring Romaine Alwill of Alwill Interiors onboard and she is very talented too.
F: How involved are you in the interior design process when working closely with firms like Decus Interiors?
L: Decus Interiors knows what works with our designs and our ethics so they need little direction from us to produce interior designs sympathetic to our architecture.
F: When you state your practice has a ‘humanist approach’ to architecture and design, can you elaborate on this and where/how this flows in your process?
L: Some architects are concerned with structure, some with materials, some with sculptural qualities, some with minimalisation. Luigi Rosselli Architects is concerned with designing for the humans: for their daily lives, for the human senses, for the psychology of the users, to create a sense of comfort and satisfaction and aiming for the “Architecture of Happiness”.
F: Which project would you say has been your greatest achievement to date? What kind of brief were you given for this project?
L: The Great Wall of WA has been the greatest achievement. We were given a brief to provide short-term accommodation on a cattle station from a client keen to embrace architectural innovation and keen to adopt our sustainability ethos of a naturally cooled building for the tough climate of far North Western Australia.
F: You’ve been working in this field for more than 3o years now, and in that time you have seen architecture grow larger and more daring. You have mentioned you always instil good design and humane architecture – Do you foresee any trends in architecture in the coming years if any? What’s your stance on that?
L: There is a tendency with other professions to attempt to encroach on the Architect’s work: project managers, artists and artificial intelligence (machine learning programs have been developed to adapt designs to open source libraries to different sites, briefs, locations and climates). However there will always be a space for the “left brain” unpredictable professions that solve the many evolving needs and addresses constraints with ideas that have never been lodged in design open source libraries. The role of the architect is the one described above.