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Interview with architects from 1st Floor architecture, Romania

  • How would you describe your approach to the designing?

We are a team of young architects passionate about our work and everything related to it, so each project is seen as an opportunity to showcase our creativity and to materialize our ideas. All projects have their own distinct set of conditions, whether they have to do with site shortcomings, tight building regulations or buget restraints, etc., but the way we perceive them is not as limitations but as challenges to be overcome.  

Architecture is a collaborative practice which means not only that  we work with many other professionals from other guilds (engineers, artists, consultants, etc) but also that we as a team are brainstorming  for ideas in our search for the best possible solutions.  We're not belivers in the myth of „The Great Architect“, that by himself manages to come up with great designs that „save the day“, not because that couldn't be true but because  sooner or later that would inevitably have big drawbacks that would translate into tensions, lack of enthusiasm at the office and even failures in delivering high standard projects, along with a narrowing understanding  of what architecture is and can accomplish. This approach ensures that all of our team members have a chance in reaching their full creative potential inside the firm and that we are able to meet with great confidence any demands from our potential clients.

  • What is your creative stamp?

We don't have a creative stamp unless you count originality as one,  the reason being that we don't want to limit ourselves by following the boundaries of a particular style or trend. We like to dream of new spaces and new ways to express ourselves in architecture  and design.

  • What are the most important decisions in creating great spaces (colours, materials, light…)?

When designing great spaces the primordial challenge is the volumetric analysis and the ways it can affect the human psyche. Space itself is the most important quality of a great space everything else is secondary. Colours, materials and light are  there only to enhance or to save through illusion a poorly designed space. That makes them very useful in the arsenal of an architect especially in the cases of pre existing  spaces or buildings that need to be renovated.

  • Can you advice potential investors – why should they let the architects to design their own space? What kind of relationship should exist between investor and architect during designing process?

The end result of a project depends very much on the dynamic between the forces involved in a project of which the architect and the investor represent  the most significant ones. Great care must be taken by the architect in explaining to the investor, which most of the time is someone unintiated in the realm of design and architecture but is a consumer of both, of the underlying ideas and decisions that shape the final design. His approval of the end result will be greatly influenced by his understanding of the design process and the steps that led to it. The architect has to be a good listener, a good judge of  character and also a persuasive speaker with solid arguments  in order to be able to meet the needs and desires of the investor while still making his point come through.

The most important trademark of a proper realationship between an architect and an investor is mutual respect and confidence on the investor's part  in the professional ability of the architect to deliver a well designed project.

Potential investors should always consult an architect from the earliest stage of a project in order to prevent later on poor results in design or quality of work due to insufficient or improper tehnical detailing and overall professional expertise.

What is the most important project in your career?

Although we are already an established architecture firm with quite a few important projects under our belt, that span almost over the entire spectrum of architectural themes, we feel that the best of our works are still ahead of us, especially since we are now being faced with bigger challenges in our current projects, that really offer the opportunities to use our potential as creators.

Among the best projects released by our studio we can mention:  Diagnosis and Treatment Center for Children with Locomotor Disabilities (Ortoclinic) in Bucharest, Cardiology Medical Center in Buzau, Lotus (obstetrics and gynecology hospital) in Ploiesti, Nondestructive Laboratory and Offices (TUV Austria) in Ploiesti, Block Mihaileni (collective housing) in Bucharest, Clio Showroom etc.. You can find out more about us and our work by visiting our website  (www.1stfloor.ro)  and  facebook account.

  • From all enteriour elements, floors are the most used; while walls and ceilings are  mostly viewed visually , floors have emphasized utilitarian dimension (you walk on it and floors are connecting the space, rooms). In your opinion, how important is the choice of flooring for well decorated space? 

Flooring plays a large role in the atmosphere of a building. A wise use of material by using appropriate flooring materials, for each given project, can enhance the quality of the space. 

From a psychological point of view the flooring can greatly influence the perception of gravity and stability, esential in creating a state of tranquility, hence its importance.

The surface of the floor, in contrast with ceilings and walls, is highly predisposed to direct contact with the skin especially in residential buidings, thus texture and feel can play an important role when choosing the flooring material. 

Because of its ability to connect  different spaces (rooms) the flooring can direct the path of a visitor through the use of cleverly designed lines, a trick that we used with great effect in one of our latest project (Diagnosis and Treatment Center for Children with Locomotor Disabilities in Bucharest).

  • What Tarkett floors did you use on your projects?

We appreciate the quality of Tarkett floors and  the large spectrum of available patterns  and colors through all of its ranges. In our projects we have used different collections of Tarkett floors but mainly IQ Natural, IQ Granit and Wetroom Concept.

  • Advice for choice and buying the floors: What are the most important floor characteristics in making the final choice?

When choosing the flooring there are several criteria to consider: purpose, aesthetics, durability, cost, ease of installation and maintenance. Any one of them can become dominant when making the final choice.

The chosen flooring has to fit as best as possible with all the specified criteria, while complying with various rules and regulation especially for industrial, commercial or hospital projects, namely fire-protection and public health, which some times can lessen the importance of all other considerations. A larger degree of freedom is available in residential buildings where usually the only impediment has to do with the budget restraints of the beneficiary or investor.

By and large, durability, in the context of a certain project, cost, availability and term of delivery tend to be the most important factors in making the final choice.

TTS 10 - HIGHLIGHTS

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