Editor’s letter by Andrew Trotter

Since a very young age, I have always had a pencil and pad by my side. My mother was a fine artist and teacher, and my sister followed in her footsteps. My first obsession was drawing luxury motor yachts, which turned into houses by the time I was thirteen. By sixteen I had accumulated a set of over two hundred drawn plans for houses, all of which I could imagine, fully built in specific places.

When we moved to Australia, my parents decided to build a house. They allowed me to sit in on the meetings with the builder, and it was there my first house grew. It was nothing very special, but the feeling that I had contributed to the design, especially at that young age, meant I knew in my heart that the house was mine. I planted trees in the garden with my father, and they too felt a part of me.

Not long after that, I moved out of home and into the big city to find my own life and study interior design. But that first house, with its garden that became a jungle of tropical plants and palms, has stayed in my memories as a huge turning point in my life.

Throughout this issue we have visited people whose houses are their pride and joy. Caroline wanted to share her dream holiday home, Els Comellars in Mallorca, designed for her family by John Pawson and Claudio Silvestrin. It was their first architectural project and has become an icon in the world of houses. Not wanting it to stand empty for most of the year, the Neuendorfs let out their home for holidays so that the house can remain alive, and others can understand the power of the design to induce reflection and provide a capt ivating experience.

Els Comellars shares many similarities with Casa Wabi, designed by Tadao Ando. Both have their roots planted deeply into the landscape they rest upon. Both are simple structures that strip away all unnecessary luxuries, and teach their occupants how to live a simple life. Yet, their design makes each of these buildings unique both in appearance and the experience within. While Els Comellars is a family home, Bosco Sodi wanted to build Casa Wabi as a place to unite artists with the community of Puerto Escondido, a clean canvas whose inhabitants have filled it with life.

Each of these homes began as a line on the page. Design is the way we transform four simple walls into a place that expresses our feelings and desires, and creates a synergy between ourselves and the surrounding nature and weather. Our homes are the places from where we come, and it is important to understand our roots. And when we are able to share this space with others, it makes it all the better.

Text by Andrew Trotter andrew-trotter.com
Photography by Salva López (included in the cover of issue no. 5) salvalopez.com