“The sun did not know how beautiful its light was until it reflected off the building” Luis Kahn. This famous statement sums up the importance of the light in architecture. Marco Maio, a renowned architect originally from Portugal, a country permeated by endless sunshine, devoted almost his entire professional life to the search for the balance of these two worlds, both material and immaterial. In 2008, Marco’s footsteps headed to the Czech Republic. Compared to Portugal, Czech Republic has, along with the climate, very different light conditions. Marco was challenged by the lack of daylight in designing of the interiors.
Marco’s main muse is light. He records his thoughts and flashes of inspiration in a sketchbook that he keeps with him at all times. (Photo: architect Marco Maio, Noble Ivory White, Technistone®)
Light is the main asset of any space
The sun is the main source of natural light, whose direction, intensity and colour change depending on the time of day, bringing a natural dynamics to the architecture. When it hides behind the clouds, the light becomes softer and diffuses over a larger area.
In Portugal, the sun shines for approximately 1000 hours longer than in the Czech Republic. Marco had to find the answers to the new issues he was facing in the Czech environment such as: How do you design an interior with unstable sunlight?
Marco’s mastery of light is second to none. With the right materials, he can brighten up any interior, even when the sun isn’t shining. (Photo: architect Marco Maio, Crystal Calacatta Amnis, Technistone®)
Architecture creates space and space is defined by light. Without light we cannot perceive the real shapes and colors around us. Marco’s ambition is to design open interiors that connect the exterior and the interior worlds.
In his designs, Marco takes into account the orientation of the building in relation to the movement of the sun, the light variability during the day or the views tied to the place. (Photo: architect Marco Maio, Noble Olympos Mist, Technistone®)
Setting goals as the first step to success.
It is important to set the right goals to motivate us to keep moving forward. Marco has set several such goals that he would like to achieve in the Czech Republic. One such big dream is already being pursued today. At the Czech Technical University he is passing on his years of experience in architecture to Czech and foreign students.
“The young generation is the future driving force determining the direction and dynamics of our society. The upbringing and education of young people must be approached responsibly and with respect. The older generation’s task is to pass on the knowledge and experience they have acquired, and the younger generation’s task is to preserve and pass on this information. I am very aware of the level of responsibility I have as an educator. I try to inspire in my students a love of the field and encourage them to always push themselves beyond the limits of what is possible and impossible”, says Marco.
Marco places great emphasis on using materials that must correspond to the location. He prefers natural materials such as wood or stone (Photo: architect Marco Maio, Crystal Absolute White, Technistone®)
Come on board!
“Come, join, develop !”. This is the inspirational paraphrase as Marco leads his team in this unconventional spirit with space for self-realization. The door is open to capable architects from all over the world who have enthusiasm, ideas and the desire to move to a higher level and develop further. Marco’s international team bridges different cultures, styles of work and perceptions of architecture. This connection works well. The result is beautiful, inventive interior designs bathed in warm light, imbued with positive energy.
Every minute natural light changes direction, intensity and colour, bringing dynamism to the architecture. Light defines architecture. (Photo: architect Marco Maio, Crystal Absolute White, Technistone®)
Nothing is impossible
Marco left his comfort zone, ventured into unknown Czech waters and searched for new solutions in architecture. In the end he found solid ground, his distinctive style and above all himself. The truth of this statement is evidenced by his numerous architectural projects both in the Czech Republic and abroad and his own furniture collections. Marco’s story proves that nothing is impossible.
If you want to hear the story of this remarkable architect talking about his experience, click here.