Five questions for Robert Lavelid

Five quick questions for architect Robert Lavelid, new office manager at FOJAB Stockholm.

How would you describe yourself?
I am a passionate professional - an architect who is passionate about my profession. In this role, I particularly enjoy driving processes towards goals. Then, as a person, I am curious and ready for change - I hope...

Is there a building that makes your heart beat faster?
The buildings I have designed myself have a special place, of course. Right now they are the most recent ones, called Khimki, which are two large office buildings in Moscow.

One building I got to visit as a young student is Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Taliesin West School of Architecture. It is located in the small village of Scottsdale outside Phoenix, Arizona. The school and his winter home relate in a very special way to the surrounding desert and made a big impression on me.

I also find Le Corbusier's residential building in Marseille, Unité d´Habitation, very interesting.

What are your sources of inspiration?
One person I have followed all my life is Ulf Lundell - he is six months older than me. Especially as a writer but also as a musician he has influenced me a lot.

In architecture, there is a whole range of architects who inspire me. Le Corbusier of course. As a pure designer above all, not as a social builder. The Peruvian architect Henri Ciriani, based in Paris, is another source of inspiration.

Then all my life I have been a friend of Denmark. I have lived in Denmark, and Danish architects and architecture in general have influenced me a lot. One example from the older school is Arne Jacobsen.

One Danish modern architect I find interesting is Bjarke Ingels. He has managed to bring architecture out of the closet and make it accessible to a wider audience. He has a good way of presenting and explaining his projects. This is not to say that I think everything he draws is good.

The Danish architectural firm Vandkunsten has also been a great source of inspiration for me. Through social commitment, they have created great architecture with little money.

The FOJAB Stockholm - Malmö link, what can it bring?
In recent conversations I have had, a curiosity about FOJAB as a new, professional player on the Stockholm market has emerged. You may know the company by name but don't know much more. Stockholm is a different market with a slightly different approach. In Malmö there is more of the Danish view of architecture, and there is an interesting cultural connection that feels exciting to explore.

What are you doing right now?
I am sitting at Arlanda airport, in the gate of the Moscow flight, on my way to present an office project. It is an elaboration of a proposal for two office buildings to be located near a huge shopping mall - one of the largest in Europe - that is being built in the center of Moscow. The project is actually at a conceptual stage, but in Russia this means that decisions can suddenly be made very quickly. It's a completely different pace in Moscow, a strong drive that we are not used to in Sweden. But now I have to finish and get on board. We'll be in touch!