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Do you ever read design and architecture magazines? How would a good friend of yours describe your work?
Mostly when I travel. I subscribe to several online publications and You’d better ask them.
sites. There are consistent works of inspiration appearing globally. Can you describe an evolution in your work from when you
I do find a void in the literature though. Most publications have lit- began until today?
tle to say about architecture, space the element of my craft. Most Over time there is an inevitable expansion in the knowledge of
often the emphasis is on decoration and not the bones and voids materials, this combined with an escalating sensitivity to affect
of a building but all the peripherals. There is a lack in vocabulary space has resulted in more sculptural accents in my design. We all
regarding architecture. This is the enigmatic quality of my craft. know how music may set the mood. Similarly does space affects
What are your thoughts on the importance of experience in our wellbeing. I work with this aspect in a subtle manner where
architecture today? the dynamic tension of spatial flow is controlled to be nurturing in
Contemporary life is a complex fusing of opposites. The tradi- homes and perhaps more energising in commercial facilities.
tional segmentation into pigeonhole differentials rarely applies Do you think there is an increasingly ‘globalized approach’ to
any longer. The environment where we live, dream and grow has architecture?
a fundamental impact on our character. Through our practice as Perhaps the ease of access to work outside one’s area does influ-
architects, we shape space, which in return shape us. I am there- ence ‘local’ design, however there could be no ‘generic’ building
fore of the opinion that regardless of size and budget, quality that will suit any place anywhere. Our buildings are situated on
architecture is always justified. unique sites for unique owners with unique requirements. This
Do you draw often? calls for a tailor-made approach. Our work is very divergent.
From early childhood, I've always had some form of mark maker From wooden tree houses nine meters above the forest floor, a
nearby. At some point portraiture became a favourite focus. Over sprawling adobe like farm house, a thatched ‘fisherman’s cottage’
time I have become increasingly economic with line. I draw the to sculptured off-shutter mountain retreats.
minimal. My design sketches are most often sparse lines on A5-A4 Which project has given you the most satisfaction thus far?
size butcher’s paper, overlaid to reveal a more dense and complex Daily we design many items on a micro scale. From doorknobs,
matrix. From here the design reveals itself. As the medium of my balustrades, furniture to structural junctions etc. there is little dif-
work is ‘space’ it is the negative areas between what is drawn ference in the satisfaction to see any of these materialise. Always,
where my interest lies. That which may not be drawn. the most current design receives the most care, like a new-born
When you were a child did you always want to become an amongst older siblings.
architect? What advice would you give to young architects?
I never obsessed about what I would one day be. One day in my The profession of architecture is an ultra-long-distance marathon.
late teens I knew I was an architect as if I always did. Architecture Good architects become great architects in their 70ties and some
is not something you do, it is something you are. In this respect all continue beyond their centenary. Passion and resilience is what’ll
the world is architecture in my eyes. The space that I work with has fuel the way. There is no end to expansion.
always been there. It is not as if we create it.

Where do you work on your projects? What are you afraid of regarding the future?
In my head. Once a project is seeded in my mind it seldom Fear does not inspire. When looking toward the future I am mo-
sleeps. Everything I involve myself with informs this process. There tivated by the insatiable potential for innovation, design and the
is no off button. I live in very beautiful part of the world and spend learning that accompany these fundamental drivers. While being
a lot of time in nature. Paddling out at sea or running and cycling constantly aware of the limited time I have to explore them, there
in the forests. All the while moulding and refining the designs in is no delusion of utopia.
my mind.

Do you talk about your work with other people? Paul Oosthuizen currently resides in Plettenberg Bay with his
My companion in most projects is my brother Jantie. With his wife and three young children. With the opening of CemAir
refined design skill it is always exciting to exchange thoughts. He flight routes to and from Plett, he has had the luxury to travel
holds a university of Stellenbosch degree in jewellery design and directly from home to his clients throughout the country.
brings attention to the finest of details to our buildings.
For more information contact Paul at +27 (0)44 533 6381,
paul@pauloosthuizen.co.za, www.pauloosthuizen.co.za

16CEMAIR Dec 2014 / Jan 2015
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