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Architecture is the art of place. 10 questions for Boris Wrzeszcz

03 of December '20

"10 Questions to..." is a series of short interviews with architects and female architects, to whom we address the same pool of questions. In today's installment of the mini-interview, our ten questions were answered by Borys Wrzeszcz of the Poznan studio Wrzeszcz Architects.

Borys Wrzeszcz - completed his undergraduate degree at Poznan University of Technology, during which he studied under Vasa Perović in Ljubljana, Slovenia, as an exchange student. He, in turn, undertook his master's studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. As part of a university exchange, he spent six months in the Chilean capital. His time in Santiago inspired him to create a project to prevent the polarization of Chilean society as part of his master's thesis. This project won the award for one of the best diplomas defended at Copenhagen University in 2015. After graduating, the architect returned to Poznan, where he and his dad, Mariusz Wrzeszcz, form the Wrzeszcz Architects studio.

1 Architecture in three words...?

It is the art of place.

2. the three most important buildings for you...?

a. Elementary school with a theatrical profile, "Leavers." The modular building was brought in parts from the Netherlands to Poznan. It is characterized by its open character, large common spaces, classrooms have huge glazing, and the school is connected to a professional theater. It is used by actors and students on a daily basis. I sat on a bench with Frank Sterchevsky, and we weren't very polite at the time, but I was the one who was once elected Speaker of the Republic of Leipzig, and he was recently elected as a member of the Polish parliament.
b. My family home, which was a semi-detached house, where our family of four lived in one half, and my mother's sister's family of four lived in the other half. Two architects, two independent, strong women, two girls, two boys and two cats. The two halves of the semi-detached house are connected to each other by a walkway and a shared garden. As a result, you can say that I grew up in a family of eight.
c. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, which is located in the former city center, in the former military port, right next to the hippie district of Christiani. To this day I miss my desk and the canteen, where the food was great. The small number of students means that everyone knows each other there, and every Friday the students organize a "Friday bar," a party at the school that sometimes includes teachers. This shows the fundamental difference in the school-student relationship. There, the school is for the students; in our country, the instructors remind them not to overlook their degree. I was once at the immigration office, forgot to sign in and rode away on my bicycle. At the next traffic light, a grieving clerk caught up with me and asked me to sign. To this day I don't believe it.

3. the most important book on architecture...?

I've had several approaches to more serious books on architecture, but I've relented. For that, I highly recommend the Italian magazine Abitare, and in it the S.O.S. section (nowadays I think it's gone, unfortunately). Young architects would send their projects to the editors and present their concerns, and the editors would ask prominent architects to analyze the problem. Always two different architects reviewed on the same project. I was positively surprised by Aravena (not as well-known then as he is today), who wrote back in a nutshell that the submitted design was good and he would not change anything in it. This was once recommended to me by my best teacher Vasa Perović, and I too recommend it to everyone - the S.O.S. section is in Italian and English. Maybe it's time for a Polish version of this section?

4. most inspiring city and why...?

Tough question. Copenhagen probably had the biggest impact on my lifestyle, the most new stimulus was given to me by six months in Santiago, Chile, and the biggest one-time impression was Tokyo.

5. architect with whom you would like to design something and why...?

Here I would put my money on one of the three outstanding architects of the younger generation Iw Borkowicz, Hugon Kowalski or Adam Wiercinski. The guys are doing nothing but good things.

6. hand-drawing or computer drawing?

Hand-drawing says more about the person who created it.

7. mockup or 3D model?

Mock-up. As a child I admired the walls full of mock-ups in my dad's office.

8. modernism or postmodernism?

For the sake of romance, I choose postmodernism. I think Artificial Intelligence will soon start designing correct modernist buildings.

9. working after hours or sports?

Sports. Working after hours is ineffective.

10. architecture or business?

Architecture & Business.

If you have suggestions for questions you'd like us to ask, or people of architects whose answers to these questions you'd like to know - let us know in the comments.

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