From "The Gladiators" section:
Our featured gladiator
The pioneering architect of NZ’s “healthy homes”,
a sailor, a hiker, an artist and a passionate brewer
of the perfect German beer...
“My hands are my most precious possession”, says Jorg Schulze, a glint in his eye, savouring a swig of his self-brewed hop. “After 58 brews I know exactly what I am doing… unlike other creative endeavours, there’s no worrying… am I right… am I wrong… could I have done it another way. The perfect reward at the end of a long day!”
Hichki raises a toast with his recent batch of apple cider – at the architect’s many hectared paradise in Kaipara, NZ. He is right about the “hands”. The house, the workshop, the cottage, the sculptures, the trees, the bush, the fruits, the lake, the organic gardens, the bird shelters – have all been lovingly created or planted by their own hands - Jorg and his dynamo partner in life and work, Fery.
Each of Schulze Poursoltan’s projects are designed around the principles of sustainable architecture… “unheard of when we first set up our practice in New Zealand in 1987”. Ascribing Professor Declan Kennedy of Technische Universitat, Berlin to have “influenced the direction I am walking”, he describes the philosophy behind their work: “Every building covers space that we are taking away from nature. If you replace what you take away from the ground… e.g. with an earth roof – then you not only get maintenance free, naturally insulated-roofing, your roof can also host birds and ground breeders. Their healthy homes use materials that can be replaced or have a low impact on the environment, reject toxic ingredients like paint and are naturally climate and energy efficient.”
An ardent hiker, biker, traveller and sailor, he believes, “It is interesting people like yourselves who I meet along my journeys who keep fuelling my creativity”. Amongst the architects and artists he looks up to, Tom Kundig who combines architecture with mechanical features to create moveable houses is his favourite. Sailing has given him a unique perspective… “So what latitude and longitude do you come from”, he asks, mentally mapping your exact position on the planet. We catch him whooping with childlike joy to the first flight of a family of starlings and whistling along with his friend, the magpie. As it turns out, he’s avidly curious about birds and leaves and nests and trees. His dad was a forester.
While creating, it his treasured German workbench and tools that “allow me to be in control”, though his Eureka moments usually happen at a classical music concert hall. “I always carry along a sketch pad and a pen and the music draws out the idea!”
“When you hear someone say 'I’m not creative’, even though they might be 'creative accountants’ or 'creative lawyers’, what they usually mean is that 'I haven’t got time for myself.’ I often urge my busy lawyer friends to come and spend just an hour in my workshop and feel the magic of using their hands to create something.”
Jorg’s ingenious idea for the planet: “By designating a few Open Hours for people who can’t afford our services otherwise, we have helped them enjoy more liveable and healthier spaces. If anyone with a skill to offer, shared a couple of gratis Open Hours every week, the world could be a much better place”.
For a glimpse at "healthy architecture" by Schulze Poursoltan Architects visit www.schulze-poursoltan.co.nz
Gladiators / Geniuses and the mind / Creative geniuses / www.hichki.com
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