Martin Liefhebber Interview Part 1: Career

Martin Liefhebber discusses his career, his interest in sustainability and what it takes to be an architect.

Qasim Virjee
Martin Liefhebber, Elise Hodson, Daniela Bryson
March 2006
CANADA Toronto Region, Ontario, Toronto Region, CANADA
© 2006, Design Exchange. All Rights Reserved.


Martin Liefhebber discusses his career, interest in sustainability and what it takes to be an architect. "I suppose I always had an interest in sustainable architecture. I grew up in the Netherlands which has always been about water and high winds. You have to understand nature quite well in order to make a country out of what was actually under water for a long, long time. I don’t know if that’s what did it but I went to the University of Toronto and when I graduated I actually had a number of projects as my school projects that were, I would say, about sustainability at that point. It was kind of neat because when we had critics coming in they would always want to talk about architecture and I kind of undermined it all by saying that its [architecture’s] underlying idea really is about sustainability. So they kind of went along and indulged me. But I think the subsequent decades have proven that this is really how we should be thinking. In 1984 I started my own office and soon after that I got some projects which were investigating sustainability."

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