Interview with Architect Michael Herrman, USA
What is your profession and how did you get into that line of work?
Architecture has always been a central part of my life. As is often the case with architects, I have had both a fascination with and an aptitude for buildings and design since early childhood. I began formally studying architecture and the fine arts when I was 10 years old.
What are the three biggest challenges Paris had in store for you, both in terms of working here and living here?
Having to negotiate complex planning and preservation laws in Paris for my clients has been both a challenge and an inspiration. This has enabled me to develop a respect for and sensitivity to history and to find new ways to combine this with contemporary design and new building techniques and technologies.
The difference between the US and France in terms of the types of materials and construction techniques was a challenge at first. But it became an advantage as I learned how to use the incredible skill of French manufacturing to create custom-designed and produced components of projects – from complex steel and glass structural pieces to elegant well-crafted furniture. Unlike what I experienced in the US, there’s a natural tendency in France for customization rather than mass-produced standardization.
I also had to adjust to the annual vacations and holidays in France, when the construction and manufacturing industries shut down. This requires extra organization to ensure that materials and labor are available when you need them and that deadlines are not compromised. I’ve also come to appreciate the benefits of these breaks, when you can truly take time off.
In terms of your profession, how has Paris real estate changed over the past 10 years?
Over the past 10 years, I’ve found that the types of properties on the market have become more diverse. New insulation materials and silent air-conditioning systems are available. And city planners are open to improving the interiors of buildings. This means that ground floor areas, the upper floors of maids’ rooms, and other spaces not traditionally considered ideal residences have become increasingly accessible. They often offer more scope for creating beautiful, unique spaces than the more traditional mid-level apartments.
Source: Paris property Group