Yanina Heinnitz, before we begin with the interview, please introduce yourself in 3-4 sentences briefly.
_Yanina Heinnitz [yh]: I always knew architecture was what i wanted to do for the rest of my life, because it is about building, growing, constructing… in a world that seems to be very destructive. I know that maybe that is a very idyllic point of view but as a young architect i still have hope that architecture can represent a new beginning to some tragic ends.
Question 1: What was your first job after graduating?
_yh: My first job related to architecture was before graduating. I worked for a North American Studio, for which i mainly had to draw all the documents to hand in the New York department of Building. I also helped with some house refurbishing projects, which keeps being my main activity at the moment, but on my own.
Question 2: Why should clients in any case work together with an architect?
_yh: I believe any client know what they want, they have a clear picture in their heads of what they want to be the result but don’t have the tools to give it form, and that’s where the architect’s role takes importance. To give form to the picture clients have in their heads.
Question 3: How would you describe your architectural style?
_yh: My architectural style has not changed much over the years. Morphology might have mutated due to my own process of experimenting new things but for me, the most important thing, that distinguish an architect from the rest is related to the „function“.
Question 4: Which book or film has impressed you in the last time?
_yh: Last book i read was „The history of Art“ by Gombrich, which i found very easy to read and there lays my interest for it. Regarding films i would have to say „Pollock“, because not only shows in motion what anybody can read in books about him but because it shows how transition between the moment before and after can affect the artist, the struggle og knowing things are changing and how the artist deal with that mutation process.
Question 5: Who are your role models and why?
_yh: I used to have a few role models but as time passed by i started leaving them behind because i realised that having certain role models were giving me limits to my own way to see architecture. I still admire lots of architects but now i try not to let them structure my style.
Question 6: Is the client king or should he be guided to his luck by an architect?
_yh: That depends on the situation. As i stated before, many clients have a clear picture of they want the result to be. If they don’t know what they want, the architect should suggest different results but the last call should always be the client’s. If i’m doing a house, the client should get the house he wants to live in, not how the architect wants or believe its best for him.
Question 7: Which subject in course of studies best prepared you for your profession?
_yh: Design, no doubt about that. Subjects like electricity or plumbing are standard, as long as you know how the installation works then you can do whatever you want. Design made me free my mind from boundaries and acknowledge anything can be possible. There is not only one right answer to the question.
Question 8: From Paul Valéry comes the term „architecture is music made in stone.“ What referees to the question, what music you’re currently happy to hear?
_yh: All arts go together and can relate to each other if your mind is crazy enough to set connections among them. Didn’t Steven Holl come up with a house project just listening to the sound of a waterfall?
I listen to every kind of music, but classical music is the one to let me come up with pictures in my head. It lets my thoughts flow with the rythm of the music.
Question 9: Which building would you like to design and why?
_yh: I love architecture on the whole, i would lie if i said there is just one building i would like to design. In my university years i had the possibility to hand in projects for many types of building and i found out that i really enjoyed designing institutional buildings because i placed in the user’s shoes. If a museum is an interesting place to be and stare then more people would visit them.
Question 10: Architecture is … ?
_yh: This is a very complex question as i can think of a lot of things to answer and maybe none of them could truly express a meaning to it. Everything is architecture. In your house, in the street, in the city… there’s architecture all around, and it is architecture what makes you like one place or the other. It makes you feel.
And finally, question 11: What question would you like to ask and whom?
_yh: I don’t think i have questions to ask to anyone in particular, so i always try to find the answers myself to those things i want to know. We will answer ourselves that things we need to listen if we ask the right question, and when we get wrong answers maybe we needed something else than what we thought we did.
I am glad to have you as an non-german speaking architect on my magazine. So I take the opportunity to ask you a few more questions interesting for me and others. How to become an architect in your country?
_yh: To become an architect in Argentina you have at first some kind of „introduction“ year, which is the same to all design degrees, as a way to get one started in the university life. After that you start your 5 years path to the architect degree in which you transit along with 4 central features which are design, structure, installations and construction. At the end of your path you will find yourself able to design a whole project.
In germany you have to be a member of the architectural chamber to call yourself an architect. Is there any comparable in your country?
_yh: Yes, in Argentina you have to be a member of the architectural chamber as well. You can call yourself an architect and work as one without being part of it but for one to be able to hand in projects to the department of building you have to be a member.
What about the current market situation in your place?
_yh: At the moment, the market is pretty much alike the rest of the world, with this big economy crisis. So, the building industry is a little bit frozen and with no new investments. But every situation is cyclic, so opposing to this „down“ there will be an „up“ hopefully soon.
Are there any special architectual conditions in Argentina?
_yh: No, i don’t think so.
Thank you Ms. Heinnitz.