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"I've always had a lot of affection for the brick." Krystyna Fiszer in her series "10 Questions to..."

Ola Kloc
10 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, Krystyna Fiszer of the FISZER Atelier 41 studio answered our ten questions.

Krystyna Fiszer - an architect and urban planner, a graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris-Belleville, has been running the Warsaw branch of the FISZER Atelier 41 studio founded by Stanislaw Fiszer since 2004.Among other projects, she has worked on such projects as the renovation of the Kubicki Arcade in Warsaw, the Teahouse and Tourist Information Point in the Royal Łazienki Park and the renovation of the Great Armory in Gdansk.

1. architecture in three words...?

a. Space.
b. Matter.
c. Light.

How to arouse such a feeling of emotion as that evoked at the sight of sunlight reflected on its surface by the moon on a summer night.

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

a. Kimbell Art Museum, design: Louis Kahn, Fort Worth, Texas, USA, 1967-1972 In my second year of study I became familiar with the designs of architect Louis Kahn, including his work on a plan based on the division between serviced and served spaces. Thus begins the adventure of plan composition, finding the right structure waiting to be filled.
b. Villa Mairea, projet: Alvar Aalto, Noormarkku, Finland, 1938-1939 Later in the year, we were tasked with studying one architect's selected house. At the time, I chose Villa Mairea, designed for Mr. and Mrs. Gullichsen. In the beginning I learned to read the drawings, decipher their content - this extraordinary attention to detail, to the treatment of matter and this search for the most appropriate answer to the way of use. For example - why is the first step of the staircase in the living room larger? Because Alvar Aalto thought about the fact that it is often on this step that there can be a moment of hesitation when ascending or descending. This project took me on an Erasmus exchange to Finland.
c. Castelvecchio, designed by Carlo Scarpa, Verona, Italy, 1959-1973.

3 The most important book on architecture...?

"Silence and Light" by Louis Kahn or "The Poetics of Space" by Gaston Bachelard.

It's enough for me to go back to a few sentences by Louis Kahn, like: "What does a brick want to be? An arch," and immediately my internal compass sets in, thoughts clarify. I've always had a lot of affection for the brick.

4 Most inspiring city and why...?

Cities located in a powerful landscape, on the coast, like Rio de Janeiro, Tel Aviv. But I always come back to Paris, to its delicate limestone, those majestic urban sequences with the complexity of its social fabric. That is, it is Paris by the ocean....

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

Herzog & De Meuron, Glenn Murcutt and many others, to see their work process, from concept to completion.

6. hand drawing or computer drawing?

These are the tools of representation, and as with tools there is the question of which tochoose to best express your thought. As with writing, the first thoughts are put down on paper with the hand.

7. mockup or 3D model?

What means to represent the third dimension? I must confess that I have a weakness for mock-ups, they arouse such a sudden dynamism of the mind, like "Alice in Wonderland".

8. modernism or postmodernism?

I have a feeling that we are in a moment of searching for a new -ism, even if I prefer to stay far away from all words ending in -ism....

9. working after hours or sports?

Both, as long as there is a challenge, fun, transcending oneself. The right gesture... Sports are even less forgiving than architecture.

10. architecture or business?

Nature or culture, what matters is the search for balance in the development process for the benefit of man and society.

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

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