Marmol Radziner Q&A

Ron Radziners' studio
(Image credit: TBC)

We caught up with Ron Radziner in his studio (above) to talk about the practice, the future of prefab and of course Tom Ford.

Describe your style

It's modern but with a real connection to nature, garden and the basic elements.

How did you and Leo Marmol meet?

At Cal Poly [California Polytechnic State University.

What complementary strengths do you each bring to the partnership?

I focus on the design while Leo tends to handle the business aspects. It's just something that's developed over the years. We've been working together for almost 20 years now.

Architecturally, what makes you mad?

Buildings that turn their back to the street. The solid walls give no sense of transparency to the city.

Why have you separated the prefab business from your main practice?

At Marmol-Radziner Associates, we focus on architecture and site-built homes - it's service. The prefab arm of the business is more about manufacturing, but obviously, there's a lot of overlap.

What�s the allure of a prefab home?

At the moment, from the manufacturing side, there are no great economies of scale. But for the consumer, a prefab home works best for remote sites where it's difficult to get materials and labour there. Or places like Napa Valley and Malibu where it's expensive to build. We've just delivered prefab homes to Utah and Aspen.

So do you think the prefab home is the future?

I think it is, it's a faster way to build. It's much greener in that you don't have people driving back and forth to the construction site. But we're still taking baby steps. You need a large capital injection to get to the next step of mass manufacturing.

What�s your dream project?

I�d love to do a hotel. Maybe it's because I'm from LA where the best architecture tends to be residential. A hotel, to me, is about community and privacy.

What�s the strangest thing a client has ever asked you to include?

A secret escape tunnel from the panic room.

What�s it like working with Tom Ford?

He's very open to ideas. He has a really good eye and his sense of proportion is amazing. He brings a great sense of details and materials.

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).