We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 1st prize winners of our “Abu Dhabi Flamingo Visitor Center” competition – Petr Janda, Anna Podroužková and Kateřina Tšponová from the Czech Republic!

Studio: petrjanda / brainwork 

Petr Janda / brainwork studio is a Prague based architectural studio established in 2008 by architect and artist Petr Janda as a principal architect. He graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Czech Technical University in Prague (School of prof. Jan Bočan) and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (School of Monumental Art of prof. Aleš Veselý). He frequently participates in architectural competitions and exhibitions (also as a jury member), he has won several awards (Grand Prix of Architects 2007, BigMat 13‘– Memorial to victims of communism in Liberec etc.). Between 2011 and 2014 he was a member of the board of Czech Chamber of Architects and the chairman of the Promotion of architecture working group.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance, what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where the company/individuals have been involved?

We work on a wide range of projects; from detailed artistic projects, such as memorials and unique museum exhibitions, to individual housing designed to the last detail, and to specific projects like church, airport, terminal for cruise boats, floating pool, vast administration buildings etc. We do all design phases from architectural study and approval documentation to implementation documentation and architect’s supervision.

We have just finished a significant project of Prague riverfront revitalisation. Among others, we are working on a non-traditional exhibition in the National Museum in Prague, an underwater observatory in Norway and individual housing projects.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

We look for authenticity hidden in every task. We always start from scratch, trying to avoid usual architectural clichés and reinvent the core basics in slightly different shades and moods.  Our approach is based on interconnecting physical and metaphysical layers of the project, resonating form and content and engaging sculptural methods with conceptual tendencies. We consider initiation of projects to be part of our work, reflecting not only architectural, but also social aspects,  programme and content.

We do not work with the usual inspiration or archetypes. For a long time, we have been using the subliminal method of nomadic thinking, which G. Deleuze and F. Guattari defined with this impressive metaphor: "The nomad" sets out to the desert. He leaves the camp and starts a journey through the lands, watching the movements in the sky. In the morning he leaves the territory towards a new land and in the evening he re-settles each time he unfolds his carpet on it… These movements and processes are expressed by the rhythm of walking, which imprints the landscape in the pilgrim and vice versa. The nomad and the philosopher (and the architect), like all people, keep inside them lands in which they grew up, wandered and dreamed of.” Our projects are the result of such work; and our interpretations as authors stay mostly hidden, giving space to every visitor for their own reading.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We have been participating in competitions that we consider challenging and that focus on content as well as architectural design.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?

We believe that every proposal carrying a meaningful message can communicate with people and influence their perception of the world. Petre has been engaged in the revitalization of the Prague riverfront since 2009, and in 2017 he became the main architect of this area. We work with a large team based on a network of external specialists who are top experts in their fields, like construction engineers, HVAC technologists, urban and sociological specialists, and consultants for individual topics - in this case, biologists, geologists, ornithologists, garden/landscape architects, and exhibition programme curators.

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