We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Greening the Industrial City" competition – Milen Neshev and Velislava Valcheva from United Kingdom!
Milen Neshev and Velislava Valcheva from United Kingdom
Milen: I am a sole practitioner who established his business in London, UK in 2022 following a 10-year career in the public and private sector. I am a creative Landscape Architect with a passion for designing smart and beautiful places through direct communication with clients. I am bringing my big ideas and wealth of experience to deliver professional design solutions, which are bold, sustainable and robust to meet client requirements.
Velislava: I am a London based landscape architect with a passion for challenging the status quo and bringing new ideas and innovative solutions. With more than 7 years’ experience in the profession, I have worked in various work environments, developing my unique skillset, out of the box thinking, and positive attitude. I am currently involved in assessment work (LVIA reports) and design development of large-scale infrastructure, flood defense and public realm improvement projects across the UK.
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?
Milen: Prior to establishing MNNSP, I have worked in a number of practices in London. My experience spans a variety of projects including high-profile (HS2-OOC), infrastructure, mixed-use, commercial and hospitality schemes where I apply my creative design approach to complement a clear structured way of working to ensure the efficient completion of projects’ scope of work. I am experienced in all design stages from concept to construction.
Velislava: Apart from large-scale infrastructure and flood alleviation developments, I have experience in mixed use, residential and public realm projects at all project working stages from concept to construction. I am involved in the A12 Chelmsford to A120 Widening Scheme, a 25km section of a major road which is an important economic link in southern England. I am also well versed in planning and assessment work and have a strong flair for concept design.
What does architecture/landscape architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect/landscape architect in your society?
Milen: Landscape architecture/ Architecure is a means to address the main environmental challenges of our time – it is needed more than ever to stop climate change, to contribute to the revival of biodiversity, and to continually protect and improve the natural and built environment. The work of a landscape architect/ architect must bring added value to developments in a way that they form organic places where the built and natural environment work together, rather than compete with one another, to address various planning considerations such as accessibility, layout and appearance. This is the philosophy I apply in my day-to-day work.
Velislava: Landscape architecture/Architecture is a limitless field of opportunities to create for the better. It gives you ultimate design challenges but it also rewards you with the joy of seeing how you can positively influence people and places. Landscape architects/Architects bear a great responsibility towards their clients, nature and the public. Through their work they balance multiple points of view while also being professional and creative. They connect the things that look impossible to link, whether it be stakeholders’ and clients’ expectations, a difficult design team, or a neglected area that needs revitalization – they always find a way.
Why do you participate in architecture competitions?
Milen: Showing and sharing your passion brings a lot of fulfilment. For me this means showing how the built and natural elements can coexist, or how various groups of people can feel that they belong somewhere.
Velislava: This is a chance to challenge yourself and level up your knowledge, skills and experience. Architectural competitions also provide you with networking opportunities due to the media exposure secured for the successful participants. Lastly, you get to see many like-minded individuals’ projects, which has to be inspirational for every designer.
What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?
Milen: It is beneficial to participate in architecture competitions – grab the chance to promote your ideas worldwide, because nobody else will have the same vision as you.
Velislava: Go for it – enter the competition. There will be nothing to regret, only to learn and grow from.
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