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People, Places & Events

Architect Liza Muscat talks perspective and plurality

For Liza Muscat of M Atelier the challenge of architecture is fusing different perspectives into a single vision. When starting on a project she is trying to locate the story that the building wants to tell. Each member of the M Atelier team brings their perspective. So does the client naturally. But the building itself, the context and the history of its setting, have to be given a voice. And the perspective of the guest, who is after all going to read and interpret the building’s story for themselves, has to be woven in too. 

Luckily the ability to see from multiple points of view comes naturally to Liza. Her practice has two bases, in Dubai and Porto, and the M Atelier team are exposed to working in both the European and Middle Eastern cultures. They are used to finding a balance between the confidence and laidback charm of old Portugal and the vibrancy and youthful energy of the Gulf. Liza wouldn’t have it any other way. She finds the idea of only having one point of reference restrictive and not conducive at all to successful architecture. 

Visiting the World Architecture Festival and taking in the presentations and displays, Liza is struck by the variety of opinions on any one project. The critics bring their perspectives too. She is not dismayed by this but accepts it as confirmation that we cannot create any successful on our own. A building is so dominant, has to be so many things to so many different people, that it would be strange if it did not provoke a range of responses. The challenge the architect must meet is investing that multi-purpose space with coherence and focus. Watch Liza’s conversation with Karl Lennon at WAF 22 for her fascinating views on how that might be achieved. 

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