Seen With Cloos: BIG Architect Marius Tromholt-Richter
In this month's Seen With Cloos, we are excited to introduce Junior Architect at Bjarke Engels Group (BIG), Marius Tromholt-Richter. The young architect took part in the design process of the Cloos x Brady Collection and together with our founder, drafted the very first version of the frame together with Tom Brady. In this interview, we discuss with Marius how it was like to work with the champion quarterback, the importance of sustainability in architecture today, as well as the future of the industry.
How and when did your passion for architecture begin?
It’s quite interesting, I remember a lot of people were very surprised when I said that I wanted to study architecture, but for me it felt like it had always been there as a latent interest.
I have an early memory of my grandmother taking me to see a Jørn Utzon exhibition when I was about 8 or 9, and me being very excited about it. I used to draw a lot when I was a kid, but I also liked sports and music, and for the majority of my teenage years, football and singing were the hobbies I devoted my time to. When I then finished high school, the interest in architecture slowly came back, and so I decided to try to enroll at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.
What was it like to work with Tom Brady in the design process of the Cloos x Brady collection?
Coming from a background in architecture, it was a new scale for me to work in. A meter in building-design is like a millimeter in sunglasses-design, so a different kind of precision was required.
That being said, it was interesting for me to experience how the creative process in the two different fields overlap. Many great fashion designers like Virgil Abloh, Tom Ford and Tinker Hatfield are educated architects, and what you realize is that the work regarding sculpturing, proportion, balance, silhouette, texture etc. is quite similar and in addition to that; the storytelling element. When working with Tom Brady, it was about understanding his facial structure, the shape of his head and making sure that the sunglasses highlighted his best features and suited him. But equally important, I also spent time analyzing his personal style. His style is a reflection of his personality, and so I had to make sure that the eyewear collection not only physically fitted his face, but also became an extension of who he is and his public persona.
Which project(s) have you been the most proud of thus far?
I am definitely very proud of the work we have done with the Tom Brady collections, it has been a very fun process, and it has been incredible to see how far the design has travelled, with people from all of the world wearing them.
If I have to mention a different one, I worked on an idea for a project in Mozambique a few years back, that sought to discuss how architecture could take a proactive, as opposed to a reactive, stance towards climate change. The entire facade was made from recycled waste, that through a compression and heating system could be turned into a completely buildable material. So in that sense, the locals were able to source materials to rebuild the city area, simply by cleaning the city area. Furthermore the project was shaped, so it had shelter towards the path of the sun, making the actual design of the building able to keep the inside temperatures down. That was also a very interesting project to work on.
What are your thoughts on the importance of sustainability and environmental awareness in architecture today?
It’s very important, no doubt about that. The construction industry is responsible for a big part of the worlds CO2 outlet, so it is crucial that we put time and effort in to prioritizing sustainable solutions, when designing and creating new buildings. At the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, it is now mandatory that your thesis project has to address at least one of UN’s 17 world goals, meaning that you have to reflect on these issues even before you step out into the ‘real world’, so you internalize them as a design parameter even before you make your first building.
What is your ultimate career objective?
That is a difficult question, it is still very early in my career. I think for now my objective is to stay curious. It has been a big pleasure for me to work with Christopher Cloos and with Tom Brady, and I could easily see myself do more work in the fashion industry. But at the same time I love working on larger architectural projects, and so I think the most important thing for me right now, is to do my very best on every project that I work on and to stay open-minded.