Andrew Trotter – Openhouse Magazine
As design lovers, we’ve long admired Openhouse Magazine. It provides an opportunity to see into some of the finest modern houses across the globe, places that you may never get to visit in person. It was through this following that we became aware of Masseria Moroseta, a modern take on an Italian farmhouse and guesthouse that was designed by Andrew Trotter, founder of the magazine and as you may have guessed, an inspiring designer. We caught up with Andrew for a coffee whilst he was in the UK.
I was born into an artistic family in the north of England. My parents had lived in many places around the world before I was born, and decided to move to Australia as I was finishing my schooling. There I studied interior design at the Queensland College of Art. Half of my friends at uni moved to London after finishing and I had never lived there so I decided to go too, not knowing I would never return to Australia to this day.
My working career started in the Oggetti design store on the Fulham road. From there I spent a year at Anouska Hemple Designs, working on the Hemple Hotel and Blakes Amsterdam. In 2000 I wanted a change and started working for Yohji Yamamoto. I worked my way up to become the manager of the stores we had in Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. This was a position that taught me a lot, first about business and managing people, but mainly because it is a company built on inspiration and quality. In 2008 I moved to Spain, first to work for Persuande in Bilbao, then to Barcelona where I opened my own shop called Openhouse. A year later, together with my flatmate Mari Luz Vidal I started Openhouse project. It started as a gallery of photography, then with our flatmate Nobu Kawagoe, we started creating Japanese dinners, sushi parties, concerts and talks. Over three years we welcomed more than 4,500 people through our doors and became a staple of the Barcelona photographic scene. Even visitors to Barcelona would ask if we had any exhibitions on. During that period, we had six exhibitions and over 40 dinners, where we met and made friends with many people.
Openhouse magazine started after we had been opening our house for two years. We had started to learn about many people around the world with similar projects to ours, and at first we began talking about them on our website. After time, we thought it might be a nice idea to put these stories onto paper, and Openhouse magazine grew. Now we are into our fourth year and we have just published issue No.8.
We don’t just print beautiful houses, we print amazing people and their stories of sharing and making communities. Some of these people give their life to being part of the community around them.
I have too many favourite houses to name just one. I love Can Lis by Jorn Utzon and Els Commellars by John Pawson, and most of the case study houses, and everything by Luis Baragan and Oscar Niemeyer.
Every day we learn, whether it is other buildings we see or places from the past. No day goes by without seeing an amazing detail of design, or a shape or light that inspires you.
Masseria Moroseta was my first ever architecture project and one that I’m so proud of. I learnt a lot while building the hotel, and I will bring many parts of this into my new projects. I have four new projects underway at the moment, all in Puglia. This region is giving me so much.
I love naturalness and simplicity. I believe that a building should belong to the place that it’s in, built in local materials and using local craftsmen.
Vase Nº2 by Shiro Kuramata
Right now I’m in between houses. I have a small pad in Barcelona with a garden, and the only thing I really need is quietness and a place to relax. I’m starting to design my home in Puglia, so I will let you know when it’s built.
Go with your heart, think about details and the feeling you want when you’re at home. These are the most important things. You will spend a lot of time in this one place, so it must be perfect to you, and to no one else.