Hervé Ghirlanda

  • Contemporary Architect


It was Corsica’s remarkable climatic and geographical qualities that first inspired this architect to put pencil to paper. With the good sense of the local tradition as his benchmark.

Bastia-based chartered architect Hervé Ghirlanda enjoys working with matter: concrete, glass, stone and, here and there, some wood. “Being a living material, wood warps over time and can spring remarkable surprises,” he says. Though his passion is for modernity, he says that
for each of his projects he takes inspiration from the work of his “forebears” in Corsican villages and their concern for a job well done. “They were limited in their techniques, but they achieved beautiful proportions and built ingenious houses that suited their way of life: the building’s position on the land, how it fitted into the landscape, its exposure and the placing of doors and windows taking into account the view as well as prevailing winds and the sun’s course.“ “Apart from these ‘teachings’, my work is shaped by light and shade, the purity of the Japanese use of space, and also the golden number. That’s reflected in my chosen areas of work: hotels, especially the (4-star) Hôtel Loredana in Saint-Florent, luxury villas and apartment blocks.“ Hervé Ghirlanda warns against becoming over-equipped: when an architect becomes too dependent on computer aids he some­times forgets the essentials: the freehand sketch – and nature.