What is the importance of architectural tourism?
Architectural buildings, monuments and artworks are often iconic for a place and determine for a great deal its character. They attract tourists and generate the economic spin-off of a city. You can’t say you’ve been to Barcelona without having seen Gaudi, or the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Cube Project from Piet Blom in Rotterdam,Santiago Calatrava in Valencia, Frank Gehry in Bilbao, etc.
What is the importance of traveling, especially for architects, and humans in general?
Traveling is an inspirational sensation. It broadens your vision by experiencing different cultures, different people, different ways of living. Traveling to another country or continent can change your perception of the world completely. There are many differences between cultures, but you realise we all share this planet and we all have found our ways to live. That, essentially, makes us no different from the other. You can learn a lot from other cultures, whether it’s on hospitality, easy-living, music, cooking or ethics. Although we can learn a lot from the television and the internet, it can’t be compared to being somewhere for real and experience it by yourself. Exchanges of cultures art, music, architecture and food make the world a better place.
What do you think is the added value that architecture creates within a city?
As I stated earlier, architecture can be an iconic part of a city. It is also an expression of a culture’s taste and values. It is much like decorating your living room. You can do this cold and inhospitable, or envive your livingroom with playful colours. Architecture determines how you feel in a place and how you experience the environment. Consider Parc Guell against the concrete blocks from the communistic era and you realise that the way a neighbourhood is decorated can be either depressing or enlightening. It’s the responsibility of the architect and the urban area planners to make the best of it.
At the end, can you please provide your personal proposal for 10 buildings (constructed and visitable) which you think as the most important worldwide that someone must visit anyway?
The works of Santiago Calatrava in Liège and Valencia,Barcelona Pavilion - Mies van Rohe, Cube Project Rotterdam -Piet Blom, The skyline Rotterdam, NAI and Sonneveld house Rotterdam, The Ship Amsterdam - Michel de Klerk, Alhambra of Granada, Angkor Wat – Bayon – Cambodia,Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Familistère Guise – Jean Baptiste André Godin, Centre Pompidou Paris.