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"We create the world". Maciej Franta's autumn lectures are behind us

26 of October '23

As promised, with the start of the new academic semester, at the request of students, we returned with stationary AUTHOR'S LECTURES! This time we visited the Faculties of Architecture of Poznań University of Technology and Wrocław University of Technology. Our guest once again was architect Maciej Franta of FRANTA GROUP, and the keynote of the event was PATH TO PROFESSION. During two days — October 18 and 19 — the participants of the lectures got to know the flagship and latest projects of the Franta Group studio, learned what power architecture can have, what an architect has in common with a superhero, and what to do to achieve success in the profession. After the lectures, there was also time for discussions and asking questions.

Organizatorzy i partnerzy

Pełna sala we Wrocławiu

full room in Wrocław

photo: Dobrawa Bies

The October event was the second in a series of lectures under the name Path to the Profession, led by Maciej Franta — a graduate of Kraków University of Technology, who since 2010 has been running the increasingly successful Franta Group studio. Last semester, the architect met with students at the Faculty of Architecture of the Kraków University of Technology and the Faculty of Architecture of the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice. This time he and A&B visited the Faculties of Architecture: Poznań University of Technology (October 18 this year) and Wrocław University of Technology (October 19 this year).

Pełna sala na Politechnce Poznańskiej

Lecture at Poznań University of Technology

Photo: Dobrawa Bies

we create worlds

Architecture is not drawing, it is not using programs, it is thinking. Thinking that leads us to solve problems, to introduce new values into space, to build a new world around [...], to improve reality. We create worlds, and design can never be detached from its context," opened the architect's lecture. — It is much better to say that you create the whole reality, rather than just that you draft buildings. Architecture is a much broader task.

 Zdjęcie z pracowni Franta Group  Wykład Macieja Franty na PWr

Maciej Franta also spoke about his design team

Photo: Dobrawa Bies

After such an introduction, Maciej Franta gave an overview of his professional path, talked about the team at the studio — including the four-legged team (dogs Psikus and Łobuz), the headquarters in Chorzów and the daily work, and the many conversations with the team, which often lead to new ideas.

why and for whom do we create?

- Apartments have become dwellings not for living, but for surviving. We always ask ourselves, how can we increase their quality? [...] Another topic is that in cities we do not have urban planning. Investments are dictated by Excel calculations, calculated by optimizing the rate of return. This is wrong, because there are other factors that can increase value and can convince investors, and that's what we're trying to focus on. [...] Another problem is technological hype and misunderstood ecology, and after all, with good architecture we can change a lot, not necessarily introducing the latest technologies," explained the architect.

Wykład na Politechnice Wrocławskiej

lecture at Wrocław University of Technology

Photo: Dobrawa Bies

And how can this be done? In the studio we try to stop for a while, said Maciej Franta — to say stop and convert on the human being and our needs. If we design in such a way that the buildings are comfortable to live in, it will pay off for the planet, for us and for the investor.

Superbohater - Żorro

superhero — Żorro

Photo: Dobrawa Bies

superheroes, space and.... humility

As Maciej Franta emphasized, the architecture of his studio also corresponds with mass culture, comic books, cinematography, space and artificial intelligence, which in the future will have an increasing influence on our environment and its creation.

Wykłady Macieja Franty

Maciej Franta's lecture at PWr

Photo: Dobrawa Bies

Referring to superheroes, we learned the story of Żorroan architectural superhero with a green heart in the form of a garden and exits to a terrace from each apartment. Interestingly, as many as 15,000 plants were planted on the facade. The architect then talked about Chorzów's projects: the award-winning Villa Reden, the Phoenix and the latest project — Cosmo, the tallest and most space-like building in the city.

Uzdrowisko w Ustroniu Zawodziu

Spa in Ustroń Zawodzie

photo: Dobrawa Bies

We learned about the hotel in Wisła, and more details about the expansion and addition of features to the UZDROWISKO IN USTROŃ ZAWODZIE, which Franta is working on together with Robert Konieczny (KWK Promes). The architect spoke about humility, which can help in designing, recalled the projects of his grandfather Aleksander Franta and spoke about the history of the creation of the entire establishment. The project that is now being created is a continuation of Alexander Franta's work, and now the architects are completing the missing buildings and also designing the development — for example, connecting the spa with the city — mountain boulevard, river boulevard, paths in ravines.

Od lewej: prodziekana ds. kształcenia dr hab. Agata Gawlik, prof. PP, redaktorka naczelna A&B Małgorzata Tomczak, dr Ewa Angoneze-Grela

from left: associate dean for education Dr. Agata Gawlik, prof. PP,
A&B editor-in-chief Małgorzata Tomczak, Dr. Ewa Angoneze-Grela

Photo: Dobrawa Bies

At the very end, Maciej Franta presented a design realization: the red Cuore chair, a new approach to the iconic Thonet seat, proving that you can also design small things and play with form.

- Let's try to talk more about this architecture, publish more, show up, so that architecture becomes part of our everyday life. An idea — a project — a publication and once again an idea.

Maciej Franta also encouraged foreign exchanges, internships and taking part in international competitions.

Rozmowy po wykładzie na Politechnice Poznańskiej

Conversations after the lecture at Poznań University of Technology

Photo: Dobrawa Bies

time for questions

During the meetings, there was also time for questions. Students were interested in technical solutions, the issue of shading, and, for example, large balconies in Franta Group projects. The topic of ecology was also raised, whether to build, or stop creating new buildings due to climate change?

- [...] We are doomed to manage the space, if we stop managing it, we will destroy everything even faster. If we want to do something, let's use competent people to do it [...]. Beauty understood as something that stays for hundreds of years is much more ecological in terms of calculations, than the fact that we will introduce a building full of modern technologies. In a while these devices will break down and new ones will have to be produced, a building that was not well designed will consume a lot of money and will be demolished. The question should be put this way: where to build, where not to build and how to build?

W oczekiwaniu na wykład na Politechnice Wrocławskiej

In anticipation of a lecture at the Wrocław University of Technology

Photo: Dobrawa Bies

A question was also raised about design chaos in Poland.

- The discussion about the city has fallen into a very dark place. There used to be city planning offices, and now there are practically none. The problem is that instead of wasting time fighting, there is a need to introduce substance. The conversation about the city can't just be between activists and politicians [...]. If politicians understand that they can make money from working with architects in cities, we will eventually get back to where we should be. Because we [architects — ed.] have the power to create a better reality.

Pakiety wydarzeniowe - sala na Politechnice Wrocławskiej

event packages — the room just before the lecture at Wrocław University of Technology

Photo: Dobrawa Bies

***

The purpose of the lecture series organized by A&B is to educate students beyond the institutional framework of universities. Participants of the meetings have the opportunity to learn the secrets of the profession through contact with active architects, who emphasize the practical side of the profession. We already invite you to the next lectures, which are planned for the spring semester 2023/2024.

The event was organized by Architektura & Biznes, the Faculty of Architecture of the Poznań University of Technology, and the Faculty of Architecture of the Wrocław University of Technology. The event was held under the patronage of SARP Kraków.

Partners were the companies:


Dobrawa Bies

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