The Architectural League Questionnaire: Roberto de Leon and M. Ross Primmer
Roberto de Leon and M. Ross Primmer are the founders of de leon and primmer architecture workshop. They received the League’s Emerging Voices Award in 2011. Click here to read the interview.
What word or phrase do you most overuse?
RP: Suspend your belief system – what we have to remind ourselves and remind our clients of constantly
If you could have designed any building in the world, what would it be?
RP: To design the perfect box – that kind of simplicity
What typeface most represents you?
RP: Ariel and Helvetica…they are architectural and ubiquitous, but they have become so tiresome, so we like 20th Century MT and Franklin Gothic Book
RD: Recently we’ve liked Courier
What is your favorite airport?
RD: Zurich – it is just so rational and ordered
RP: Every material meets the next material perfectly
What is the one thing you always pack when you travel?
RD: I’ve gotten in trouble for this – we almost always travel just carrying a briefcase – even for longer international trips, and apparently someone with my name is on the government watch list – it always seems suspicious and I’ve been detained before
RP: I just use my laptop case
RD: But for an item, jeans
What architect from the past do you most admire?
RP: Across the board
What is your favorite city or town?
RD and RP: Rome
If you could own any masterpiece of art, what would it be?
RD: How about the town of Marfa
What book has had the most influence on you?
RD: The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths by Rosalind Krauss
What is the last song or album you listened to?
RD: The new album from Junip
RP: Everything bossanova
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
Name one obsessive architect behavior that you have.
RD: Alignment – on our table everything has to be squared – even if there is some unruly pile everything is aligned to the table edge
RP: For me it is the enfilade – where space axially constricts and opens in sequence and there is this endless elegant progression
RD: We always joke in the office that Ross is about to try the very dangerous triple enfilade
RP: I would also die happy if I could do the enfilade in the X, Y, and Z planes
What is your idea of misery?
RP: Anything administrative or contractual
RD: Mine is billing
What is your idea of happiness?
RP: The day or two before you give the key to the client when you can walk around when it is done and you see that the way the light is hitting the wall is the way you thought it would and everything feels (A) better than you thought it would be and (B) better than you had even hoped for
RD: For me it is hitting the snooze button and being awake enough to know you are able to hit the snooze button
If you weren’t an architect, what would you be?
RD: Film director
RP: Marine biologist