Tonight, I would have been going to see a lecture by Petra Blaisse in Arcam. Unfortunately, I am sick today - so I cannot go there. Therefore, I decided to go for the meagre substitute: a post on my blog about her. It's not quite the same, but I guess I'll have to settle with that...
You could say that Petra Blaisse is an interior architect. And that's right: she deals with interiors of buildings, through installations, textiles and whatnot.
You could also say that Petra Blaisse is a landscape architect. Just as valid.
The thing is: she approaches interiors like landscapes and landscapes like interiors, which makes the name of her office (Inside Outside) rather becoming.
Maybe the better way to describe what she does is to think of additions to architecture. Her designs focus on the strong points of the pieces of architecture - to emphasise them - and on the weak points - to improve them. On the office website, there is stated:
The aesthetic and technical quality of the designs (curtains, floor, ceilings, walls, gardens, parks, landscapes) are closely related to the architectural context and atmosphere- melting into, complementing or challenging the architecture or the architectural environment. Taking care, at the same time, that they service the users in the best possible way.
This strategy can amount to strategical landscape plans, but also the design of beautiful textiles. Like in the image above - which is the interior of the Seattle Public Library, by O.M.A. (Rem Koolhaas). Since one of the intriguing elements of this building is how the landscape infiltrates the interior, she decided to take this literally: extending the outside green into printed carpets (the so-called Garden Carpets) inside, for instance.
On the other side of the scope of Inside Outside, you could find a project like the garden for Plussenburgh, an elderly-care building in Rotterdam, designed by Arons&Gelauff. The garden is on top of a parking garage - and is a base for two buildings on top of it. The roof is finished with black asphalt (remember, it's for elderly, so a rollator should roll on it) with triangular incisions filled with green. Another feature is the meandering orange pathway from the street to the main entrance, which is in the same kind of language as the building itself.
The thing is: as you can see it's hard to describe her work properly. She can probably do this much better herself in a lecture...