Paul Smith on Architecture
"I lack both the intelligence and the technical qualities to be a professional architect, but have always been fascinated by the subject. I like the language of architecture—how you need to express the rhythm of a building, its proportions, how it connects to its environment. In fact, conceiving an architectural project is a little like designing a jacket: You need to find the right balance. I have tremendous admiration for Carlo Scarpa, and Italian architect who chooses his materials with extraordinary precision. He will select a specific type of wood for a certain place, stone for another…that makes perfect sense to me. I have noticed that more and more cities are making daring choices in their architecture in order to attract more tourists. It's a good thing. As I design the interiors of all my new stores, I imagine how their volume will fit within the city, how people will move around inside the space. Five years ago, after consulting with Mexican and Italian builders, I opened a shop in Los Angeles that was inspired by the work of the architect Luis Barragán. Imagine a huge California-pink shoebox, right on Melrose Avenue. Inside, the mood is warm, intimate, slightly disorganized (even though I see a very personal sense of order there)."—Paul Smith from Paul Smith A to Z (Abrams Books, 2012).