Nathan Sharp, Drake's: How does an artist’s take on architecture differ from someone who’s traditionally schooled as an architect?
Lothar Götz: I always loved architecture, from very early childhood. I grew up in a small market town, and it was at a time when they built a lot of new style bungalows. Bungalow in Britain means something else, but in Germany it means an architect-designed modernist house. To me as a child they were quite amazing buildings, and most of my boyhood I spent on my own going to building sites, and I loved them to bits. I think it was this fantasy world I was interested in. I don’t know why it was – my parents would often think I was a bit crazy, and they always said, ‘Why are you going to all these ugly building sites?’ I think I loved the geometry, and I loved something that wasn’t finished yet. Then they would be finished, and a family would move in. Sometimes I nearly cried I was so disappointed, because I was absolutely not interested in how they lived in there. All the magic was gone. So, I think for me this disappointment probably made me not want to become an architect [laughs]!
You do not know at the time that these are key experiences, only when you look back in retrospect, and even now I constantly have dreams about these houses. It’s quite weird, I even remember the layout. I call them my property dreams [laughs]!
Since then, I have done lots of drawings that are imagined ground plans for retreats, and I’m responding to something: it could be somewhere I’ve been, or a piece of design, could be clothing. Sometimes I see someone in the papers, and I’m taken, and then I go to the studio and I draw a retreat for them. And it looks like an abstract drawing, but it is actually an imagined ground plan for a building. I’m not interested in how that really would look, like three-dimensional. In the end it’s a colour composition.