Our architecture stems from diversity. A place like Wroclaw, with its complicated history, lack of cultural continuity and the unique situation of implanting a new identity in a foreign city – teaches respect for the cultural, aesthetic and spatial context, which is always our starting point in the design process. The result is also a spatial and formal diversity, which ironically can be called a ‘lack of style’. Shaping the form is in this situation secondary and derivative of other pursuits. Paradoxically, the most difficult is to design in a place without a strong context.
Most of our important projects are created in Wroclaw, which through its rich architectural tradition creates a context and shapes our consciousness. The problem of our generation was the lack of continuity in the transmission of professional experience, so the city is our school. Wroclaw’s architecture, also the newest one, has some unique features which are a reference point for our actions. A large part of it is a ‘stitching together’ of spaces designed by our predecessors, and the rich past of these places is a source of inspiration for us while searching for proper solutions.
The diversity at the core of the design process results in a diversity of architectural form, growing out of a specific context rather than initial assumptions. In the absence of a characteristic ‘catalog’ of architectural forms, the importance of building detail increases – developed individually for each project. It becomes a medium of communication with the recipients of architecture.
Gradually it becomes subject to evolution – in subsequent objects details are more and more refined, conscious and sophisticated. The associated design work continues until the completion of the object and sometimes takes the form of a confrontation between all the actors involved, forcing them to make a creative effort based on knowledge, experience and skills and to verify initial design assumptions. As a result, the contractor becomes a co-author of the final shape of the object.
Designing is a process of solving functional, formal, legal, urban and social problems, and not just a formal search. To properly solve the problem, it is important to adequately define it. In such a situation contact with the recipient of architecture and direct client who sometimes becomes an equal partner in the design process cannot be overestimated. Compromises resulting from such an agreement sometimes lead to results that differ from our initial expectations, but bring the confidence of the customer, who remains with us in his/her future investments. Ability to compromise, dialogue and discussion are among the most important features of architects, inherent in this profession. The lack of understanding with the client, investor/user, in our opinion, makes it impossible to design good architecture – there is no good architecture where is a bad communication. Active participation in the whole process is a test of architect’s skills and gives a guarantee of keeping ideas fresh and the final “product” outstanding.
Construction site is the place where all spatial concepts are truly verified – there is no architecture without construction. Profession of an architect can be a vocation, without completion it only remains merely education. The construction site with its attributes: mud, dust, fresh concrete in the pit, the smell of anti-corrosive paints and welding, is an unusual and fascinating world. In our work we try to avoid pure theoretical topics and focus on projects that give us the possibility of implementation.