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Luca Compri from LCA reveals why our homes should be designed with well-being and sustainability in mind


Luca Compri from LCA chats to us today on Meet the Creatives. A very warm welcome to you Luca!

Luca is the founder of LCA, based in the northern Italian city of Varese. The studio works on a variety of projects, both public and private, with a particular focus on using renewable materials and energy efficient buildings.

We recently published a story about their Casa Quattro home which was clad in gorgeous panels of cork pressed in a 3D texture. Completely powered by solar, the home was built from materials which are all sustainable, durable and recyclable. If you missed the story, read about it here.

We appreciate you making time in your busy day to talk with us Luca. It’s always great to learn a little about the creative mind behind the projects we admire, so can you start by sharing with us, what inspires you?

I was born in Italy: I consider the profession of architect in humanistic terms. Art, music, cinema, mathematics, literature represent the main sources of inspiration together with the careful observation of nature.

Cork cladding, solar panels on roof
LCA Wood & Iron apartment

Can you give us a little insight into your creative process?

The project always stems from the desire to build a space that reflects the soul of those who will live and use the building. When we design a house or a large urban space we must always strive to satisfy the well-being and the desire for happiness of the individual and the community that will use that precious asset for them.

How do you get ideas flowing?

Ideas settle slowly and rationally on the basis of an intuition that comes in always different ways and times.

Figini apartments with timber facade

What is your process for integrating sustainability into your process?

I think making good architecture is my main goal, however, I grew up with the knowledge that our Planet must be preserved and not destroyed. For this reason, today it is not enough to make only good architecture; we must design in a truly sustainable way.

Where do you start from?

A project always comes from the knowledge and understanding of the place and from a deep dialogue with the customer.

Figino apartment complex by LCA
Loungeroom with timber flooring and black bookcase

What area of sustainability are you most passionate about?

The experimentation of new natural materials and the recycling of what is considered waste.

What is one thing you think your industry could do better to move sustainability forward?

Often the focus is exclusively on aspects related to energy saving. Neglecting instead the use of renewable natural raw materials. We still use too much oil to build our buildings. Then there are other fundamental aspects linked to sustainability: beauty, poetry, environmental ethics and attention to social issues. Important steps are still needed to achieve the goal of building sustainably.

Timber facade of You are home apartments by Luca from LCA
Black curved entry wall

What was the biggest design challenge you’ve faced and how did you solve it?

The most difficult challenge is always the one that involves the customer in a cultural journey that leads them to appreciate good architecture and the essential values of sustainability today.

What is your favourite project designed by you or your practice?

I answer with a joke full of irony and truth. Projects are like children: for us they are all beautiful and important.

What is your favourite sustainable project and why?

In terms of sustainability, Casa Quattro and the Wood and Iron Apartment are certainly the projects that most reflect the sustainability objectives. The works are almost exclusively made with natural materials from renewable sources and completely recyclable. They are also self-sufficient from an energy point of view.

Glass atrium and chimney
Close up of 3D pressed cork cladding
Stone wall cladding timber door

How do you predict that the covid pandemic will affect your industry?

I like to think that the tragedy linked to the coronovirus has a positive side that can lead to the creation of a better world. Certainly the closure made us understand how important the house and the spaces in which we live are.

As soon as the emergency is over, I would like there to be the desire to rethink, in addition to domestic spaces, also new collective spaces in which to meet and cultivate human relationships again and in a more conscious way.

Has it influenced your projects in any way?

I have always given a lot of importance to the spaces and the light in my works. The pandemic has certainly strengthened the desire to relate the interior environments with the natural elements that I observe immediately around.

Woman in kitchen with timber cupboards
Timber bench top next to loungeroom with timber floors

What is your favourite book, website and podcast?

I love Melville’s Moby Dick and Sallinger’s The Catcher in the Rye

And finally, one last question – who inspires you?

I am passionate about cinema and contemporary art; but generally I love to observe and celebrate everyday life and in small things. That stimuli and contents then give life to new projects.

Thanks very much for making the time to chat with us today about what sparks your creativity and your predictions on how our future homes and meeting spaces might better help us connect with our neighbours and communities.

Close up of pale timber external panelling
Side view of timber clad apartment block
Close up of timber reveal on apartment verandah
Figino apartments with timber facade
Lounge room with timber floorboards

Images courtesy of LCA


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