Dr Stéphane Lasserre has had vast experience in architecture and design as principal and senior leader at B+H Architects. As chief designer and project director, he has led teams in numerous projects across the globe. His recent ones include the Green-Mark-certified National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore (NUCOHS); Gleneagles Medini Hospital in Malaysia; the award-winning Sandhill Central Plaza in Shanghai; and Huai’an mixed-use development with 200-metre twin towers in China. Dr Lasserre shares with Construction+ his views on materiality and the latest updates in the industry.
How do you approach materiality?
In any projects, there are often complex factors that influence design decisions, beginning with the nature of the project itself. For example, in the hospitality, commercial or healthcare sectors, certain criteria such as user experience, brand, durability, safety, biocompatibility as well as health and wellness will strongly prevail. Quite often criteria can be conflicting, so it is always a matter of compromise.
I always look at materiality as a critical element of the design narrative and how it complements or emphasises certain building lines or features. From user experience perspective, choices of materiality will contribute to the full breadth of sensory experiences—visual, tactile and even olfactory. Sometimes, materials can lead the design inside-out since the very beginning of the project. For example, the use of structural wood will influence both the architecture composition and the look and feel of the interiors at the same time.