Taevo Gans/1941

Eesti NSV Riiklik Kunstiinstituut, 1966

State Art Institute of the Estonian SSR, 1966

Taevo Gans on sisearhitekt ja disainer. Nii tema interjööre, valgusteid kui ka mööbliesemeid iseloomustab puhas vorm, konstruktiivne selgus ja paiguti julge värvikasutus. Ta kuulus Viru hotelli interjööri (1972) autorite kollektiivi ning koos abikaasa Hellega kavandas Pärnu sanatooriumi Tervis siseruumid (1971; 1987). Omal ajal uuendusliku võttena hakkas ta interjööris kasutama supergraafikat. Tähelepanu pälvisid koos Mait Summatavetiga tehtud näitusekujundused. Oma valgustitega on Gans saavutanud edu ka rahvusvahelisel areenil.

Taevo Gans is an interior architect and designer. His interiors, lighting, as well as his furniture pieces are characterised by pure form, constructive clarity, and occasionally by bold colour usage. He was a co-author of the interior of the Viru Hotel (1972), and together with his wife Helle designed the interior spaces of Pärnu’s “Tervis” Sanatorium (1971; 1987). Gans began to utilise super-graphics in his interiors, which was a novel technique at the time. His exhibition designs done together with Mait Summatavet attracted great attention. Gans has also had success on the international arena with his lighting solutions.

Interview. Taevo Gans (excerpts)


I think what matters is the first impression when you enter the room – is it cosy, is it calm, is it overbearing? An overbearing room may also be all right – in a disco or a bar that has to be attractive for the public. Theatres, at the same time, are completely different. So getting the milieu right is important.

The main thing, I believe, is the emotion. The interior architect has to create an emotion. The second important thing is that this emotion has to be consistent with the architectural context. This is where the cooperation between the architect and the interior architect, their mutual understanding, comes into play. I have to say that when it comes to the architects that I have worked with, I have been lucky – Toomas Rein, a few things with [Jüri] Okas, Meeli Truu, Andres Ringo.

For architects, the façade, the architectural exterior often tends to dominate, although good architecture is always a whole – the interior and the exterior are both good. The interior architect can create the milieu, create his own vision inside the outer shell. They either are on the same wavelength with the architect or not. If they are not, you may as well write the whole thing off right away. His vision has to be acceptable for the architect too, and work for the whole. This is quite complicated and it is a matter of personalities – whether the particular people work well together or not.

To close, they have to create one very good whole – the grander and the more exciting, the better. The excitement, the emotion that it carries has to emanate from both – the architecture and the interior. They have to go hand in hand because an interior cannot be created separately from the architecture; integrity is one of the main values. It is even better if there are some fantastic ideas concerning the emotional milieu and its functional suitability. A hotel, a restaurant, a conference centre have to be thought through so that the design works for their function. The aesthetic side goes without saying. It all has to amount to an aesthetic and functional whole that is consistent with the architecture.

There are different components that help create an atmosphere – lighting, choice of materials, the way the material is finished. This creates huge possibilities, be it wood or stone or anything else. Then – the furniture. The consistency of the furniture with the architectural whole is an integral part of our profession. Furniture designed separately cannot work as well as the furniture designed by the interior architect. There are a number of interior elements that are directly related to the architecture. Let’s take the example of the cloakroom: counters, clothing racks, lighting, storage spaces for handbags or other items like shoes, they belong in one space and function as a whole solution that has to be designed by the interior architect.

Upon graduation from the master’s programme and obtaining the qualification, an interior architect is around 22 to 25 years of age. I presume that this will be followed by around 10 years of initial practice. If lucky, (s)he finds a good team, usually an architectural bureau. It is possible to do it on one’s own, but this would be an exception. But (s)he needs a good creative environment, and good clients.

It happens very often that the client wants the interior architect to execute the client’s own ideas, which is quite ludicrous. But one cannot, of course, work without compromises. The interior architect has to consider the client. (S)he is not there to erect a monument to him-/herself, (s)he is working for the client. Here is the part where mutual understanding becomes crucial. When the interior architect has a good idea, (s)he has to be capable of convincing the client that it is good, that it works in this specific context.

Interior architect grasps the whole, all of it at the same time. This, I believe, has been our strength so far – that interior architects are capable of processing all the details, including architectural details like partitions, panelling, modelling of suspended ceilings, different types of lighting. Lighting is not only about choosing the luminaires, it often involves creating indirect, reflective structures, which are especially important in exhibition design. So, an interior architect has to be able to cover a huge array of matters.

It is inevitable that technology changes with time. There is nothing you can do about it. One has to use technology sensibly. You cannot dismiss it: it is a component of architectural and interior design. Take sound amplification, lighting, or ventilation, for example. We have to know these things. And all those technologies are developing constantly. This is where cooperation with the architect comes into play again, the thinking has to match, otherwise there will be pointless arguments and conflicts. But is seems to me that our architects are very reasonable. If an interior architect comes up with a good idea, they accept it.

Varietee sisekujundus, diplomitöö, 1966, juhendaja B. Tomberg, perspektiivvaade

Interior design for a variety theatre, graduate project, 1966, supervisor B. Tomberg, perspective view

Varietee sisekujundus, diplomitöö, 1966, juhendaja B. Tomberg, mööblikavandid

Interior design for a variety theatre, graduate project, 1966, supervisor B. Tomberg, furniture designs

Kohvik Moskva sisekujundus, II kursus, 1963, juhendaja V. Tamm, valgustite ja mööblikavandid

Interior design for Café Moscow, 2nd year, 1963, supervisor V. Tamm, lighting- and furniture designs

Kohvik Moskva sisekujundus, II kursus, 1963, juhendaja V. Tamm, baarimööbel

Interior design for Café Moscow, 2nd year, 1963, supervisor V. Tamm, bar furniture

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