domohomo arquitectos · Forniture design

Elena López y Xulio Turnes, domohomo arquitectos
Elena López and Xulio Turnes, domohomo arquitectos

Along the history the big teachers of the architecture penetrated into the design of furniture, enclosed some of them there came companies destined for the design and the manufacture.

Because of it today we move to Santiago de Compostela to know the work that they realize in domohomo. Study of architecture and design that it is born in 2011 in Santiago de Compostela of the hand of Elena Lopez and Xulio Turnes, both architects licensed in 2005 by the School of Architecture of A Coruña.

Elena initiated his professional career collaborating with studies of architecture, and then like arquitecta in a construction company of national area.

To Xulio it loses the wood, probably because it grew seeing his father this material working, carpenter – cabinet-maker of trade. To extend his formation in materials and traditional technologies it dealed the Máster in urban renovation and rehabilitation for the University of Santiago de Compostela, knowledge that it applied in the projects developed in CosmoArquitectura between 2006 and 2011.

domohomo is the combination of Xulio and Elena, of his vital and professional experiences, giving like proved a way of working that has been recognized by numerous prizes.

More recently, they have been recognized by his works in the field of the design of product, so much in collections of autoedition, since for individuals or administration.

Ado preambles, we leave you with the chat that we have had, hope that you enjoy so much as us.

Silla Muros
Muros Chair

Apart from the “more traditional” labor of the architect, for a few years you dedicate a part of your work to the design of furniture how and when does way arise?

There arose fruit of a project of rehabilitation in the villa of Walls. We begin to collaborate as architects the directors of work, for request of a good friend of ours that, in those days, for professional circumstances, it was not possible to take charge of the direction. The work turned out to be complicated enough, since it was a building in ruin and one could not have done an exhaustive raising. So, to every step, it had to go away giving a specific response to every situation that one was finding.

In this sense, the wood, which had been chosen as principal material, was allowing to adapt perfectly to every contingency. In our zeal to continue experimenting with the above mentioned material, concretely, with the wood of chestnut-tree the Muros chair aroses, but also moved by the desire to bequeath a small testimony to our friend, Alba, who had allowed us to be participants of this project.

Some facets of the profession have been insults why have you focused part of the labor of your study on this branch?

As we were commenting, it arose by chance. Nevertheless, our designs started pleasing and orders appeared. Provided that the level of professional orders, more typically in architects they do not abound, it was not difficult anything to us to bet for this line.

Of all the available materials on the market, you are praising for being employed exclusively at wood why?

By no means, we do not give up working, a priori, with other materials. In fact, to work with other materials we see it as an opportunity to continue experimenting, since every material has his particularities, properties, forms, etc. And to know this essence always is a stimulus to go beyond.

Nevertheless, the wood is a material that abounds in our region and there continues existing a carpenter – craftsmen’s wide network that it makes easier to be able to execute our designs. To possess these professionals is, undoubtedly, a value and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.

Which are your references?

Without going beyond, we might mention the figure of Arturo Álvarez and of all his equipment, it looks like to us an example.

2W chair
2W chair

How is it process of design, development and commercialization of your products?

We have two differentiated well lines. On the one hand, we continue with designs of autoedition, totally personal projects in which we go deeply into topics in that we are interested and of very free form, to see our last creation 2W chair.

On the other hand, personal orders in which we must give response to the demanded, already be on the part of individuals to see series Brigantium (I and the IInd) or on the part of the administration, to see marquees for the Autonomous government of Galicia. Any of two lines we like and let’s expect to be able to add soon third one, directed the industry.

To what clients’ segment do you go?

Response in the previous one: individuals and administration, let’s wait that prompt industry.

Which are the orders more defendants?

For the present time, the orders have been very varied and, precisely, this heterogeneity stimulates us, since every project appears as a new opportunity to experiment. We like to define our designs as places of experimentation. Unlike the architecture, the times are much more short; he designs one and immediately it sees a materialization.

How do you use the new technologies? Has “network” facilitated your labor?

It has been very striking to see as people of New York, Milan or Madrid has been interested for our designs, and everything, thanks to Internet. Undoubtedly, without this way we had never come to so many people. Nevertheless, it does not stop being an arma de doble filo, since, though it is true that it us projects to a very wide public, it is not less true than us binds to “competing”, in foot of equality, with an endless number of other designers; though it does not stop being an attraction.


The architecture, it has opened many fronts of battle (LSP, Bologna, unemployment, labor precariousness, Spades, ETSAs, emigration, communication, etc), will not they be too much for the existing polarization inside the same one?

The architecture has suffered a very convulsed epoch, to her there has added an endless number of circumstances that have impeded furthermore his practice, since they are the cases that you mention. It is paradoxical to see how, on the one hand, there is des – regularized the activity, but, on the other hand, there is on regularized his legal frame to all the levels, turning the profession more into a task juridical that properly architectural. A simple glimpse to Central European examples, maybe was helping us to recover the area.

How do you see the future of the architecture? And that of the profession?

The architecture is in the habit of being an exercise of imagining, creating or articulating something where it it does not exist…

The architect is in the habit of being the professional best endowed for the above mentioned action, therefore, we think that we are, in a moment, where more that we must never extract profit of this quality.

What improvements you believe that they are fundamental and that they should be started of immediate form?

It was in the habit of raising us, our teacher, the following attitude:

Before an operation of life or died, in hands of what doctor we would like to be, of the best or of the cheapest?

It seems to us to be very harmful to the exercise of the profession that before any public contest never gives priority, preferably, to the economic factor and that of quality. Without coming to the dramatic quality of the case of the patient before an operation of life or death, we should think about the scope of our work. The action on a public space / building has a few important consequences for the company. On the one hand, because it is going to be surely a work that lasts in the time, that is to say, independently of that an intervention is good or bad it is going to concern the set of the company during a long period.

On the other hand, our projects concern great part of the company, it takes us to two reflections; one, the company should have major voice at the moment of choosing a project and, two, the company, in general, since usuaria of this intervention it should be able to express the relevancy of a project or other one, beyond the economic aspect.

In addition, a great perversion exists I half-close to this system, since the contractings begin in a few terms and then they conclude with different well others, there be seen all the extra charges of public works … For not speaking about the wide terminology that arises before the contests: restricted contests, for invitation, divided (not to overcome x quantity of money) etc.

Marquesina Xunta
Xunta Marquee

What do you think of the architects who “undertake” in new fields?

The word to “undertake” has been perverted up to unimaginable limits and, sometimes, only he hides mere subsistence. We would remain better with the word “illusion”. Any way initiated from this beginning can be wonderful.

Are you satisfied with the path realized till now? What projects of future do wait?

All our works have used us as learning, but, at the same time, in all of them we had liked to go beyond, to penetrate more. One always coexists with a certain degree of dissatisfaction. The future, who does know?

To finish, what would you advise the current students and future professionals of architecture?

That apasionen much for what they do and that, as far as possible, explore unknown “territories”.

Silla Muros
Muros Chair

domohomo arquitectos · Forniture design 
July 2017

Interview realized by Ana Barreiro Blanco and Alberto Alonso Oro. To be grateful for Elena and Xulio his time and predisposition with this small space.

Alberto Alonso Oro

Arquitecto y editor en veredes, arquitectura y divulgación. Invernalia es un buen lugar. A veces escribo en Fundacion Arquia.

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