on July 27, 2011
David Salmela's architecture is a rare treat: he manages to transform mundane programs and materials into serene spaces and artful compositions. David demonstrates with his work that a certain amount of critical detachment from the major cultural and economic centers can indeed be a good thing, contrary to common belief. It is clear from the work in "The Invisible Element of Place" that David has not only an intimate understanding of the places where he creates architecture, but also of the available materials and available local labor. That deep understanding does not in any way limits his creativity or his ambitions for the work; quite the opposite, it liberates him to produce what is just possible and right for each particular circumstance. Just check out the carefully organized plans, the palette of materials used in each project and the way that each building is skillfully deployed on its site.
Something else of note: David is prolific. His vocabulary is varied, surprisingly so. He experiments with languages, strategies and approaches. What is consistent, however, is an underlying serenity always present in his architecture, which comes from someone very much in control of the creative process and of the tools, means and methods at hand.
Definitively recommended book of one of our best architects today.