Ready for the upcoming Festival of Open Architecture Studios? In this edition of FOPY, an event that accompanies the International Congress on Climate Regeneration of Cities, we will arrive in Gdansk, where we will take a peek into the multicolored and often surprising nooks and crannies of the Sikora Wnętrza Architektura office!
Broadcast of the meeting is available on our channels
As part of the spring edition of the Festival of Open Architecture Studios, we will visit two studios in Lodz - on Monday(June 6 at 13:00) we will look into the office of REFORM Architekt, a few days later (on Thursday, June 9 at 13:00) we will move to the headquarters of Design Lab Group, and on Friday(June 10 at 13:00) we will leave Lodz for Gdansk, where the Sikora Wnętrza Architektura office will virtually open its doors for us.
Stylish, elegant apartments? Raw, loft-like atmospheres? Designer and colorful interiors of pop art establishments? None of these themes is either scary or foreign to the Sikora Wnętrza Architektura studio team, whose ten designers are working on forty projects simultaneously today (even in the Caribbean!).
spaces of gdansk studio
photo: Tom Kurek
Jan Sikora, founder of Sikora Wnętrza Architektura and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, will guide us through the uncommon spaces - as befits an atelier dealing primarily with interior design (they have nearly 120 completed projects to their credit!). You will have a chance to ask your questions on June 10, and in the meantime we invite you to a short Q&A-style warm-up! How do you think the studio got its name?
The colorful interior of the Sikora Wnętrza Architektura studio
Photo: Tom Kurek
Ola Kloc: Where did the name of the studio come from ?
Jan Sikora: I'm not sure, it's still a bit of a mystery to this day. We were looking for something that would not be associated with the name of the founders of the studio, and on the other hand, we did not want to indicate in the name what we do. This resulted in a name that is extremely enigmatic and perhaps incomprehensible. The most important thing is that the name is universal, and the further out into the world (towards other cultures) it takes on new meanings. Once at the airport in Goa, India, I was asked if "SIKORA" is from Japanese. The answer is yes. What seems like a name locally, on the other side of the world can sound like the name of a local species of beetle.
POP in Diner & Bar
Photo credit: Tom Kurek
Ola: The studio is for me....
Jan: A movement, an asylum for creatives, a second home, a dream come true, a place that can be transformed, created, transformed at will, where (depending on the situation) I am a guest or a host, where I have the privilege to be with exceptional designers, where ideas are created, we meet, we talk. The studio is the processes, but also the controlled demolition of those processes. The studio is a place where everything is arranged, but also one where we often break the rules and experiment. It's a space where we have a dozen different means of transportation (surfboards, bicycles) and nearly twenty unique Lego sets (from the Titanic through a typewriter). It's a place where we collect artifacts, and more recently a collection point for items for the Polish Red Cross. And finally, the studio is a community of nearly ten people: it's our togetherness, emotions, questions, answers, conversations and life together.
Ola: What was your first project about?
Jan: There were many first projects, but the moment we founded the atelier was when we were working on Station Culture - the revitalization of the train station in Rumia. It was to be the last project really, because I couldn't cope with the harsh realities of the profession. I thought: okay, I'll go all the way, because after all it's the last project anyway. I was already determined to work exclusively at the university, but I gave myself one last chance. I went to the mountains with my wife and she said to me like this: do this project in breaks from expeditions. And so it was - when we were on the trail, the computer processed the renderings, and when we were on site, during the honeymoon, I counted the cost estimate at night. If it wasn't for the success of the project - the Architectural Award of Polityka, Lump of the Year and awards in the United States - I would probably be reproached to this day :) And so the project connects with the beginning of my life as a studio leader, husband and resident of Gdansk.
Culture Station in Rumi
© Sikora Wnętrza Architektura
Ola: The project I dream of is....
Jan: To go back to doing projects from imagination - abstract, without an investor. I always envy painters that they spend so much time in the world of their imagination and cultivate it. Working with an Investor is often the opposite - a compromise, a dialogue and has many down-to-earth aspects. That's why when I'm particularly tired of current affairs, I imagine deconstructing typical interiors. I even did this recently when the Investor asked for a loft interior. So I imagined a space raw and abandoned, inhabited only by homeless people. And I flew - a table strewn with rubble, dinged walls, inscriptions made with spray paint on the walls. The investor, when he saw the project, broke down and cried. I realized then once again that interiors are not painting pictures after all.
Forge in Leszno
Photo: Tom Kurek
Ola: My favorite design tool is....
Jan: The other man, the void and the surfboard.
Why the second man? I have a rule to select people to the office who are better than me in different competencies. With a well-composed studio my role can be different, each of us becomes a tool.
On the other hand, my favorite tools are emotion and relationship - both with the Investor and in the team. Properly named emotion, sincerity, trust, conclusions and ideas have extraordinary creative power - they give birth to new awareness, new paradigms.
On the third hand, my favorite tool is its absence - emptiness. We rarely think about it, but we are incredibly overstimulated - full of forms and content. In such a situation, it's hard to be more creative than nothing. It's enough to flush out Instagrams, Facebooks, other people's concepts and fears for great ideas to emerge. But they are often shy and quiet so they need an incubator in the form of silence, wind and the sound of waves. So my best tools these days are a surfboard and the sea. It's the board and the sea that flush out all the nonsense and distraction from me and give me new ideas.
Sylwia Gaczorek's hair salon in Warsaw.
Photo: Tom Kurek
Ola: Does the team have any fixed habits / rituals?
Jan: Yes - there are several. During breaks we watch weird movies and play architectural memo. It's also fun to create a music playlist together and have monthly breakfast outings.
Lately, we've also been sorting parcels together every week for half a Friday at the Polish Red Cross - it's a pretty unique ritual that's not only useful, but also unites us incredibly.
TheOpen Architecture Studio Festival is a side event of the Urban Regeneration Congress.
Partners of the event are:
SARP Krakow Branch
SARP Łódź Branch