“I have three conditions I’m obliged to respect, I don’t know what it’s going to look be like, I don’t know when it’s going to be finished, and I dont know how much it’s going to cost.”
Total disregard for the status quo of architecture and incomparable style. Antti Lovag is one of the most respected architects in modern history- but if you asked him, he'd never own up to such title. In Lovag's mind he was always a habitologist; more concerned with man's reaction to his environment, than focused on the visual appeal of a space. Though as a result of his passion and methods, his structures become something wonderful to admire. Take for example his most famous work; a 1.7 acre, six-level mansion overlooking the Mediterranean in France. Breathtaking in its own right, built with no set plan or blueprints, stands one of Lovag's most admired works: The Palais Bulles.
Rather than a private residence, Palais Bulles hosts an artist residency throughout the year. Right now, Emma Dusong is imagining ways to make the house sing, for a composition and harmony per Antti Lovag's structures. The home has served as an inspiration for many artists and designers. Most recently, it inspired the Dior 2016 Resort Collection, and served as a stage for their runway show.
“Whether for economic reasons or lack of technical solutions, human beings have confined themselves to cubes full of dead ends and angles that impede our movement and break our harmony. The straight line is an aggression against nature.”
The circle is habitology's point of departure. As Lovag pointed out, it's the source of our field of vision and the natural motion of human arms and legs. “Conviviality is a circular phenomenon. The circle structures the way human life is carried out.” It's also a woderfully simple structure, having only one dimension: its radius. Hence Lovag's fascination with spheres and their versatile, lightweight and durable nature. This versatility gave him and his team the ability to improvise the structures on-site, they often rolled the wireframe spheres around the site looking for the perfect place where they'd fit best.
It was all about the spontaneity, it was a form of play. Leaving as a result organic shapes that speak to our most natural state of being and feeding our primal sense's appetite for raw, sensuous experiences,. Lovag aimed to wake us up to our senses, hence ourselves. As David Abram puts it in his book The Spell of the Sensuous:
"Caught up in a mass of abstractions, our attention hypnotised by a host of human-made technologies that only reflect us back to ourselves, it is all too easy for us to forget our carnal inherence in a more-than-human matrix of sensations and sensibilities. Our bodies have formed themselves in delicate reciprocity with the manifold textures, sounds, and shapes of an animate earth – our eyes have evolved in subtle interaction with other eyes, as our ears are attuned by their very structure to the howling of wolves and the honking of geese. To shut ourselves off from these other voices, to continue by our lifestyles to condemn these other sensibilities to the oblivion of extinction, is to rob our own senses of their integrity, and to rob our minds of their coherence. We are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human."
Because of Lovag's radical, unpreditable approach to his projects, he didn't get many clients, but throughout his life he worked with many accomplices. Those who were up for joining him in his quest of exploration and liberation, those who could and would get behind his vision and picture what hadn't been seen.