Q & A
Regional Award Winner
Adolfo Perez was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1957 and immigrated to the United States in 1961. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard College in 1980 and his Master of Architecture degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 1986. Since 1994 he has been the principal of a small, design oriented architectural studio specializing in custom residential design.
His work has been published in a number of books and journals and received numerous design awards. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with his wife and three children.
Where do you find design inspiration?
It depends on the project but, typically, for new homes I look to the site for initial inspiration as far as things like: the orientation; the views; how natural materials will blend with the site; how you approach the site and house. I also look to the work of other architects whose work I admire, both past masters as well as current designers.
How do you approach the design process?
I am very rational at the outset of a project but my first step is always more of a qualitative response to the client’s program or wish list; I try to approach the program in an architectural way, that is, I try to have an “idea” about how the quantitative list of requirements can express themselves formally (though not rigidly).
What makes your aesthetic stand out amongst other designers?
In my part of the country (the northeast) just doing contemporary works makes me stand out though I don’t consciously make this distinction but rather I deeply believe homes should reflect the times in which they were built in, not necessarily be a reworking of past styles. I also think my work looks to blend different materials so as to make the projects seem less monolithic something which is also reinforced by the way the massing of projects is developed.
What is the greatest value you provide to your clients?
My ability to be a good listener and to filter a client’s aspirations for their homes through my own design sensibility. I also love the construction process so am very detail oriented and deeply involved in all decisions, from the smallest cabinet detail to the large questions of site design