The Design Museum’s new Home


Can you give us a clap, John? Excuse me, do you know anything
about this building here? – No idea, mate.
– Do you know who designed it? So here you go Yeah, thanks Like a news crew Yeah, it’s very strange,
because everyone said to me “You can’t be an architect” “You can’t do maths.
You don’t read enough books” And so I felt inhibited and then I came through
a very long route because I– I was thirty when I went
to architecture school So can I press the button again? – Yeah, hit the red button.
– Okay Was it intimidating
to design The Design Museum? Intimidating to design
a design museum for designers? No, because what you’re doing is working with the challenges of an existing space to make the building
as comfortable as possible so that people feel good in it,
things look good in it and then it allows people
to think about design I’m very obsessive about architecture If you make the steps generous,
people will sit on them You know, I like anything that’s good Now this is the marble
that was on the floor in The Commonwealth Institute before And anything that’s not,
I’m happy to ignore I think perfect happiness isn’t
a state you can ever achieve I mean, the monks… when I said I wanted to make
the monastery perfect for them they said, “Only God is perfect” I think the biggest challenge
in these sort of jobs are people That’s what architecture’s about–
it’s communication and dealing with hundreds of people Finishing touches What would you be resurrected as? Like a spider I love seeing them coming down because obviously in a minimal house,
spiders stand out quite a lot You see them as contemporaries? Yes Yes, they might
have been architects before I’m anxious as a person I’m quite capable of panicking The greatest compliment
I can be paid is if people say “What have you done?” Obviously, I don’t think
the work’s good enough but then if you did,
I think you’d be at fault It was originally
The Commonwealth Institute It’s got a hyperparabolar roof on it The hyperbolic paraboloid roof
allows this extraordinary kind of sail-like quality of the concrete Exactly! People think that I did the ceiling [Happy to take in] Somebody had written in saying “You’ve changed my life.
You are a genius!” When you point a camera at some architects they do actually say that–
“I am a genius” But you don’t have to say it,
because you’ve got letters to prove it Exactly. The English way Remember that guy in Chile
that shot his own death? The soldier lifts his gun points it at, and fires,
and then the camera just goes–

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