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VIEWS


ASK THE ARCHITECT


Eric Carlson, founder of Carbondale, answers the questions on tackling the challenges of ‘luxury interior architecture’


21


Eric Carlson of Carbondale WHY DID YOU BECOME AN ARCHITECT?


I always loved to draw and ever since I can remember I’ve been cognisant about how places and spaces feel. I wasn’t one of those people who knew what they wanted to do at a very young age, but when I began to design in university, I realised this profes- sion was for me.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE JOB?


Seeing the final design come to fruition and succeeding in all aspects of the brief – aesthetically, architecturally, functionally, operationally, economically and in terms of image. I don’t get involved in projects unless I am certain that I can succeed. The key is the client’s determination to achieve exceptional results and their understanding of what the process involves.


WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST PART OF YOUR JOB?


The toughest part is producing the most luxurious work possible. The key to that is to constantly evolve. For example, luxury brands are increas- ingly focusing on digital shopping to heighten the shopping experience for the visitor. This ‘quest’ to digitalise has been translated into adding a screen, or combin- ing multiple screens or even a LED wall. I think it is important to consider the digital


Louis Vuitton store, Champs Elysees, Paris © Vincent Knapp


components as creative tools and integrate them into the architecture.


WHICH RECENT PROJECT ARE YOU PROUDEST OF?


A highlight of my career has most certainly been creating the Louis Vuitton store on the Champs Elysees. When I first began working at Louis Vuitton in 1997, store


designs were composed essentially of standardised display counters and I was dubious that good architecture could be achieved because of the commercial constraints and the long tradition of a decorative, neo-traditional approach. However, with the brand’s expansion and the need for bigger stores, combined with an inspired, open-minded president in


ADF MAY 2017


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


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