126 What’s the Responsibility of Architecture?

Principal of Gettliffe Architecture, French-born Dominique Gettliffe is based in Boulder, Colorado.
Principal of Gettliffe Architecture, French-born Dominique Gettliffe is based in Boulder, Colorado.

Dominique Gettliffe and Alejandra Baltodano believe in the responsibility of architecture to make spaces that are good for people. Architecture shouldn’t be about the ego of the artist. The responsibility of architecture is to be a catalyst for people to create amazing spaces.

Spaces Make a Difference to Life

What is it about a building that either makes a space enjoyable and comfortable – or not? This is a question that Alejandra remembers asking herself, and continues to question in her work as a professional architect.

The Responsibility of Architecture

Principal of Gettliffe Architecture, Nicaraguan-born Alejandra Baltodano is based in Managua, Nicaragua
Principal of Gettliffe Architecture, Nicaraguan-born Alejandra Baltodano is based in Managua, Nicaragua

There is a lot of responsibility in architecture.

Architecture is not just a grand gesture, ‘starchitecture’ as Dominique calls it.

Architecture has to be rooted. It has to be meaningful and it has to work with nature not against nature.

Good architecture is a combination of art and technology with people at the core.

An architect should be the catalyst of the process, not the star of the show.

 

farm

What is Green Architecture?

Ecological Sustainability

  • Understanding where you’re located
  • Orientation
  • Materials
  • Height
  • Natural ventilation
  • Shading

Economic and Social Sustainability

  • Understand objectives of the space
  • What’s the root need for the building?
Wherever you're building, you should probably have a fully Insulated foundation.
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Definition from Dialogue

Communication and questioning is critical to determine the true desired outcomes of a building. Clients often approach an architect with a preconceived idea of what the outcome should look like. But the responsibility of a good architect is to reverse this approach and discuss function before form.

Alejandra and Dominique reframe the definition of the building by asking, ‘What do you want to feel?’

Deck | Strawbale Getaway | Gettliffe Architecture, Boulder, Colorado. Photo, courtesy David Lauer Photography.
Deck | Strawbale Getaway | Gettliffe Architecture, Boulder, Colorado. Photo, courtesy David Lauer Photography.

What’s the Connection between Boulder Colorado and Nicaragua?

Dominique and Alejandra met more than 11 years ago and realised they shared some common values and interests.

  • Architecture
  • Changing the world
  • Travel
  • Enjoyment
  • International perspective and reach
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How Can Architecture Change the World?

Architecture is a framework. Dominique thinks of his work as setting up a lattice on which the the vine grows. Life takes over and people will complete the place.

The responsibility of architecture therefore is to create appropriate frameworks to support people to do their best work and live their best lives. This is how architecture can change the world – through people.

Living Area | Strawbale Getaway | Gettliffe Architecture, Boulder Colorado. Photo courtesy David Lauer Photography.
Living Area | Strawbale Getaway | Gettliffe Architecture, Boulder Colorado. Photo courtesy David Lauer Photography.

Top Tips

  • When creating a house, you’re in for a strenuous, demanding process.
  • Take advantage of the experience to have fun.
  • Have an open mind.

Links

Why not join Dominique, Alejandra and their team for Skype lunch sometime?

Main Exterior | Strawbale Getaway | Gettliffe Architecture, Boulder, Colorado. Photo courtesy David Lauer Photography.
Main Exterior | Strawbale Getaway | Gettliffe Architecture, Boulder, Colorado. Photo courtesy David Lauer Photography.