We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winner for our "Romantic Cabin For Two" competition – Rand El Haj Hasan from France!

Rand El Haj Hasan from France

My architectural practice was founded in 2015. I am officially based in Paris while also being committed to projects and collaborations at an international level. My architectural background has been enriched with experiences in France, Mexico, India, Palestine, and Jordan. As I was born in Amman, there is a very special place in my heart for creative endeavours in the Arab world. My work is always grounded in deep research ranging from micro to macro scales. Once the adequate theories are investigated as per the project’s specific context and vision, I follow the design methodologies I have developed over the years in order to produce a unique architecture, where forms are meant to delight the user, while the spatial and material configurations are wholly based on human and environmental considerations.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance, what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where the company/ individuals have been involved?

The leading connection between all the projects that I have worked on has always been the human value of a space: how do human beings interact sanely in the spatial realm, and how does a space fulfil their needs and desires. This interest is manifested in micro projects where intimacy can be studied closely, while also being evident in larger urban projects, where social interactions and community dynamics can be researched and appreciated through design.

Each project and its specific program require a distinct set of knowledge to investigate and properly start the design process. For example, the “Romantic Quarters” in New Zealand invited us to dig deeper into the client’s interest in brainwaves and neuroscience. Hence, we could start the design with a newly educated perspective on what is luxury and how to cater to the senses. Our “Essence” pavilion in Lyon is based on a prolonged study of sacred spaces and spiritual architecture. Our work on various public spaces and urban parks world-wide is always based on urban anthropology and applied social science.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

The splendour of architecture as a practice lies in its capacity of covering multi-dimensional and plural-disciplinary perspectives. As architects, that influences the way we perceive the world and also contributes to our means of being in/for the world. Our role in society represents a two-way relationship. On one hand, we owe something to Earth and its diverse inhabitants due to the heavy impact of the act of building and the permanence of the spaces we create. That is why we need to thoroughly study and analyse each site prior to every design. On the other hand, we deliver so much to the users of our architecture: concrete solutions based on all the conversations paving for the final results.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

With every new competition I decide to participate in, I am really interested in penetrating new horizons. It is a great way of entering new sectors and learning about countries where I may not have worked yet. It is clear that by their merit-based nature, competitions push architects to cross new creative thresholds. I consider it a great exercise in delivering ambitious ideas while also aligning with realistically achievable results. I would like to dream forward with the client while also making sure it is a vision that we can concretize and edify successfully.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?

I think architects should not hesitate participating in competitions every now and then. My piece of advice is to choose a program that you know you will enjoy and that you are interested in deepening your knowledge within. You can always consider the experience as a beneficial commitment right from the start, as every project has many new teachings innate within, may it be new ways of approaching spatial design, or innovative ways of representing a project. No matter what the result is, there is so much to learn and integrate in your practice for your future projects and clients.

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