Philippe is responsible for the vision and direction of the firm.
What would you say are the hallmarks of great architecture?
Clarity and inventiveness. Clarity makes great architecture look simple and inventiveness makes clarity look beautiful. You approach the perfection of form. Think of the wheel, which isn’t architecture, but is a great example of design. I’d love to meet the person who invented the wheel: it’s been thousands of years, and no one has ever had to reinvent it.
What’s the purpose of architecture?
Architecture has to serve the people. It should stimulate the senses and create a sense of place. That’s what makes so many of the great architectural pieces great. While architecture is a function of time and context, great architecture transcends the likes and dislikes of culture and fashion.
How would you characterize the corporate culture at L+D?
Collegial and supportive. We continually encourage each other to excel, to surpass expectations. As a company, we exceed the sum of our individual parts. And we’re future-minded. I’m a firm believer that we are stewards of the next generation. That’s always a big part of our internal discourse; it’s reflected in what we do corporately and in how we treat each other.
What has been the secret to your success?
Commitment. “Quit” has never been a word in my vocabulary. I think this has always benefited clients: they get my full dedication from beginning to end. You need commitment to work through challenges as they arise—and you know they’re going to. You need confidence to take risks as necessary to develop creative, effective solutions. And trust is essential. It’s why I would never ask someone to do something I’m not prepared to