The Yak got down low on a comfy sofa, and chatted with a number of Bali’s top Architects cum Interiors/Concept specialists…Those bricks, mortar and design experts…
Your name, your business and which projects (on and off Bali) have you been involved with?
Charlie Hearn, Inspiral Architecture and design studios
Merah Putih Restaurant
Ulaman Eco Resort
What was it that drew you to Architecture?
Drawing! No not just that, but because the practice needs to combine so many fields. I was always passionately creative, scientific and philosophical growing up, therefore the architectural profession was a natural fit. What spurred me was that it was also a way in which I could positively effect people’s wellbeing, since us humans are so effected by their environment.
What /who were your main influences when you started out in this profession?
The best inspiration for me can be found in nature, from its structural and mechanical efficiencies, geometry and order, to its wonderous beauty and sense of proportion.
In terms of architects, heroes of mine include the Saarinens, Gaudi, Toyo Ito, John Lautner and Felix candela
What other professions had you gone through before choosing this one?
I’ve always been an architect professionally. However, I have had a number jobs though such as a kitchen porter, silver service waiter, barman, postman, delivery man, asbestos removal, festival and events worker, mobile sandwich maker, football steward, builder, concert security, graphic designer and a toilet cleaner.
How long have you dedicated yourself in designing “what walls look like”?
Since getting my degree, its been around 20 years.
What do you think sets you/your company apart from others?
We really innovate both creatively and pragmatically aswell as genuinely ‘giving a damn’,
sustainably, holistically and all those involved in the project, before and after.
Do you/your company have an architectural mantra? A tagline?
“We need to be inspired by the spaces we live in, both the built, the natural, and their harmonious existence”
We don’t want to know the name of the who (client) or which (venue) was the biggest
We don’t want to know the name of the who (client) or which (venue) was the biggest challenge – actually, we just want the why! Why was it so challenging?
Bali, back in the day, had far less tech and available professional building practices. Therefore it required so much more effort to achieve solutions and deliver out of the box ideas. Also clients attitudes have changed, where in the past it took far more convincing people to come round to our ideas, especially where many people could get away with building trash and still make money from it. Now Bali is far more competitive and people have a better long term business sense, therefore they appreciate good design and forward planning.
Best project ever?
Our current ones
Who would be your dream client?
The Dalai Lama – Wise, honest, kind and has a sense of humor
A fully off grid sustainable town or community that’s inclusive to all
How big was your biggest project?
(In a previous life) a 200 million pound, 35 storey mixed use development in London
Which was your smallest?
The drop pod (a lightweight kit house…coming soon) or perhaps the mini mansion on 1 Are.
Then again, Faceday is a small space but we made it look kind of big!
Which do you prefer – private or commercial properties?
Hotels, villas, malls or resorts?
How big is your own house?
And how much of “you” created that space?
Our own house is currently under development, I spend too much time doing houses for others!…..but as it goes, it will be on 3 storeys, as a home, a studio and place for contemplation looking at the sea.
The birth of my kids and being an intrinsic part of their development.
What is on your architectural bucket list?
A trip to Florence, Pyramid in Bosnia, and a dive to see the ancient Ryuku island monuments.
And lastly if The Yak had a project and was looking for an architect why would we choose you / your company?
Because life is too short to waste time not doing the extraordinary
Charlie Hearn, It’s been a pleasure – Thank you for your time…