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3 days and 3 studios - a report on the FOPA 2020 Festival of Open Architecture Studios

24 of November '20

Video testimonials are available on our channels


Last week was full of exciting events from the world of architecture and beyond! In addition to cooperation and patronage of the CITY-IDEA track during the Open Eyes Economy Summit, as part of the congress program, we organized the FOPA 2020 Festival of Open Architectural Studios. Thanks to the online formula, during three days we invited you to the best design studios from Poland and abroad, where you could meet architects in their daily work environment!

As every year, Architecture & Business organized the FOPA 2020 Festival of Open Architectural Studios. This year's event, held on November 16, 19 and 20, was very different from previous ones. Due to the pandemic restrictions in place, we decided to move the entire festival online, which allowed us to visit even very remote architectural studios! The architects themselves showed us around the studios, talked about their design method, gave models and presentations, and answered the many questions asked by the participants in the chat room. Each of the three days of the festival was completely different!

A2P2 architecture and planning studio

Monika Arczyńska
i Łukasz Pancewicz

Monika Arczynska and Lukasz Panczewicz at the studio

© A&B

On Monday, November 16, the festival was opened by Monika Arczynska and Lukasz Panchevich from the A2P2 Architecture and Planning studio in Gdansk. As they say about themselves, they are engaged in solving urban problems regardless of scale - from millimeters to hectares. They talked about their education, the work of an architect (the fact that an architect doesn't have to be the alpha and omega), interdisciplinarity and working on mock-ups.

visit to A2P2 architecture and planning studio

© A&B

The architects recalled the beginnings of the office, which, despite a small team of employees, is now one of the best and most interesting architecture and urban planning studios in Poland. Of course, a very important element was a guided tour, a conversation about current projects and answers to numerous questions from the participants of the event.

APA Wojciechowski Architekci studio

Pracownia APA

Szymon Wojciechowski presented the most important projects of his studio

© A&B

We spent Thursday, November 19, in Warsaw with Szymon Wojciech owski of APA Wojciechowski Architekci - one of the largest architectural studios in Poland. Szymon Wojciechowski talked about twenty-seven years of business, timeless design, office structure, ecological thinking and economical and sustainable buildings. And what kind of building is the best? One made of wood!

A visit to the Warsaw studio of APA Wojciechowski Architects

© A&B

The architect gave us a tour of all floors and every corner of the impressively large studio, introducing the employees (unfortunately, most of the 100-plus staff due to the pandemic work remotely) and everyone's favorite dog Cork. There was no shortage of presentations, including Karolina Michalczyk presenting the design of a hotel in Minter's townhouse and questions from the audience, which was particularly interested in designing with BIM technology.

Henning Larsen studio

Pracownia Henning

Henning Larsen studio in Copenhagen is located in a former department store building

© A&B

Thanks to the online formula, we were also able to visit Copenhagen and the headquarters of the Henning Larsen studio, which Mateusz Mastalski showed us around on Friday, November 20. Interestingly, there are many Poles working in the Danish office of about three hundred employees, and during the visit we met Maja Mawusi, Katarzyna Piekarczyk-Buśko and Maja Cześnik. Mateusz Mastalski streaming from his phone showed us around the entire studio building, which used to be a department store - hence the large spaces and bright atrium. The architect talked about the structure of the office, its branches, urban planning work, collaboration with various experts, creation of master plans and competition work.

Friday was spent with Matthew Mastalski and the Henning Larsen studio.

© A&B

Intern Maja Mawusi talked about an urban planning project in Wolfsburg (hybrid architecture) and the Imperial Shipyard in Gdansk. Maja Cześnik, on the other hand, talked about working on competitions, including in Sydney, and time differences and shift work. Numerous participants in the meeting were students, asking questions about internship opportunities, the language used in the office, differences in design law and employment opportunities.

If you want to learn more about the internship itself at Henning Larsen, we invite you to listen to Mai Mavusi and Petro Vladimirov's podcast.


The FOPA 2020 Open Studio Festival was held under the patronage of SARP Krakow, and the festival's partners were Aluprof, Alufire, Knauf, FläktGroup, Axalta and Equitone. We already invite you to next year's edition of FOPA and remind you that you can watch all this year's meetings at any time on our YT and FB channel.

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