Landau + Kindelbacher
Landau + Kindelbacher is a renowned architecture and design firm that works with national (in Germany) and international projects. The firm was founded in 1994 by Gerhard Landau and Ludwig Kindelbacher and since then, they offer a good range of services, including the development of concepts and implementations for office, living, hotel and gastronomy, retail/shops, cultural and special areas – primarily in the premium segment – as new buildings, conversions or renovations in listed buildings.
Home and Decoration had the opportunity to talk with the talented Gerhard Landau to get to know a bit more about his career and future in this industry.
Home and Decoration: How did you get involved in the interior design Industry?
Gerhard Landau: When I was still a child I loved playing with Lego and wanted to become an architect or interior designer. It’s more a vocation than a commitment…
Home and Decoration: How would you describe your work style? Do you have any kind of signatures that help to identify your projects?
Gerhard Landau: We don’t have any design or style philosophy. Every project develops from its context and is always strongly rooted in the locality, the landscape, and the prevailing features. The central theme in all our designs and projects is the commitment to quality, authenticity, and timelessness. We create buildings and spaces that do justice not only to our customers’ personalities but also to our own high-quality standards.
Home and Decoration: Being in love with our work is always the key to achieving better results. Are you in love with this job? What do you love most about being an interior designer?
Gerhard Landau: I love the diversity of my work.
On the one hand the creativity – the fact that in principle one develops a sketch from an idea and then a building from this sketch. In our job, we create something that is not only sustainable but also aesthetic and beautiful. It’s this bandwidth that fascinates me.
On the other hand, there’s the chance to get to know not only interesting people and personalities but also wonderful places to which one would have no access outside the professional context. This works only if you have an absolute passion and good intentions for this profession.
Home and Decoration: What is your philosophy on design and life?
Gerhard Landau: An important aspect of the relationship with our customers is listening. It is absolutely essential to listen properly to the partner, but also to ask critical questions, to take people and their wishes seriously, and then transform them into architecture or interior design. This often results in unusual solutions, but these are based on close personal cooperation which makes every project a bit better.
We try to do our best, wherever the work is. If we are working in the south of France, we try to design something that fits the location perfectly; the same applies to building in the Alps, with completely different climatic conditions, or cities like Munich or Hamburg. Also reconsidering the smallest details or learning together – can be transferred to both the professional and the private level.
Home and Decoration: Keeping up to date on all the trends is essential for anyone who wants to conquer this market. In what ways do you keep current with new trends?
Gerhard Landau: The main source of inspiration is traveling, where one is confronted by new moods, atmospheres, sounds, feelings, but also collages, clashes, and unusual sights. Another, even more, important inspiration is social media. Fast and easy-to-consume images and motivations. And of course, for craftsmanship and design: trade fairs and shows.
Home and Decoration: Which major international events do you attend/follow to get the latest novelties?
Gerhard Landau: An absolute must for us are the fairs in Milan, Paris, London, or Kortrijk. The Salone del Mobile or the Maison&Objet is a source of inspiration, but also an international indicator of the movement of design and style. That is important for our ambitious, internationally cross-linked clientele.
Home and Decoration: Inspiration is something that pushes everyone to create unique things. What makes you see the world in a different way?
Gerhard Landau: Experience. The experience I have gathered in my job over the last 30 years gives me a different view of the world. It helps me to distinguish between what’s really important and what’s only for show. As a young architect, straight out of university, I was interested in all the latest technologies. In those days it was the double-webbed panels for the façade or fiberglass concrete, or the silver-grey of beautiful larch shuttering. Today one can say that experience gained from all the different projects is the basis for ever new ideas and concepts.
Home and Decoration: If you had to pick one project around the world that you wish was made by you, which one would it be?
Gerhard Landau: The answer is simple: the Flatiron Building in New York. The iconographic character of the building has always fascinated me and linked as it is to what was in those days an innovative design, it is an absolute highlight.
Home and Decoration: How important is a perfect chemistry between you and your clients to achieve the best results?
Gerhard Landau: Good clients are a challenge – they bring their own ideas, but they also place their trust in us. Our customers are DAX companies, global players or market leaders in their own sectors, international law firms, and also private clients. It’s fun to work with these sophisticated, open-minded, cosmopolitan people, exchange experiences, and go that extra mile for the sake of the project’s success. What always helps to achieve the best possible result is the development of a good storyline. For the building as a whole, but also for the individual rooms. Ways to a decision become transparent and the leitmotiv is retained. If you can’t explain why the wall is to be red or blue, for example, it will never be anything more than a volatile decoration.
Home and Decoration: Do you think working with teams in interior design is better or worse than working alone? Why?
Gerhard Landau: Teamwork is essential for the success of a project, not only in your own office but also with the customer. A brilliant idea is rarely born in a lonely office but is the joint effort of many creative brains sharing their knowledge from different fields. This ranges from the experience of longstanding project managers down to the young graduates who enrich the office with new approaches, digital tools, and instruments.
Home and Decoration: Is there anything exciting that you are working on at the moment that you can tell us about?
Gerhard Landau: Our office has a broad range of business areas: office, hospitality, classic, modern. In all four areas, short- and long-term diverse projects and implementations are currently being realized.
Home and Decoration: What has been your greatest accomplishment as a designer? What goals do you have for the future?
Gerhard Landau: What is certainly our greatest achievement is the fact that we’ve managed to stay in the market successfully for the last 27 years. That’s partly due to luck, but most of it can be put down to hard work. Staying up to date, feeling the pulse of time, being motivated. We are very happy that we have so many young clients who wish to build with us. Maintaining this state of affairs is our greatest compliment and at the same time our most important aim.
Home and Decoration: Do you have a favorite project or a favorite story about one of your projects?
Gerhard Landau: Perhaps our best story is that of the holiday cottage on the Costa Smeralda, which is famous for its rock formations, which seem to appear as artistic, natural rockeries. Here, the team was flown out in a helicopter to “harvest” the stones, resulting in a collection of the most beautiful samples in the restored garden.
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