We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 1st prize winner of our "MICROHOME / Edition #5" competition – Misak Terzibasiyan, Thimo Derks and Amir Feizinezhadgheshlagh from Netherlands!
Misak Terzibasiyan from Netherlands
UArchitects was founded in 2003 in the Netherlands and it is based in Eindhoven and we have at the studio at approximately 6 employees. My name is Misak Terzibasiyan, I am the founder and Principal Architect of UArchitects.
I studied at the University of Technology in Eindhoven (The Netherlands) and I have been working at international architectural offices before founding his studio in the city of Eindhoven. UArchitects is a studio with the focus on Urban design, Architecture, Interior architecture and product design. UArchitects investigative attitude is expressed in the intensive dialogue we undertake with our clients. The scope for reflection is not confined to the projects themselves; we also look into the wider cultural context of architecture and urban development.
Reflection helps for interactions in another culture and it helps us to understand our position regarding general themes which are part of society. Understanding the identity of society is fundamental for us when we are designing projects in other cultures and places. It is not a typical critical regionalism, but an open approach of the context. A non-dogmatic attitude regarding architecture and urban design.
UArchitects are fascinated by the interplay of levels of scale and imagination: the scale of the city and the scale of the individual; imagination in the abstract and imagination in concrete form. We do not look for the interconnection in just one relentless, dogmatic theme; we prefer to investigate it in a range of different concepts. Our design philosophy remains recognisable throughout: intuitive and reflective, and always based on our fascination for people and places.
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?
Our studio is involved in different kind of projects such as school, private houses, affordable housing and we also participate in smart city development.
Recent years we realized a school in Belgium (round school of Belgium) in the city of Bocholt. Just a few months ago we have won an European tender for a multifunctional collective building of 5000 m². This project will be realized in the period 2024-2025. We are also involved in South of France for a collective living project in close connection with the nature. This is still in a sketch phase and will be continued to the final design phase in 2023-2024.
What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?
Architecture give meaning to life and our society. It has always been a part of our civilization. There is a thin line between design and art. Sometimes architecture is form of art – it can also be timeless and iconic. The extent to which architecture can be interesting, functional, beautiful and iconic, often depends on the architect.
Imagining a world without architecture is imagining a world without meaning and without experience of beauty and life. I prefer to speak about architecture rather than the word design. The term ‘architecture’ has a deeper meaning and has more layers than the word ‘design’.
Our and mine design process of architecture is an iterative process, and every project starts with a different approach. Because we think in terms of process, there is never just one way of designing. We design in collaboration with a team, and the design process is more of an interaction and a deliberation between team members. This allows you to think in more of a democratic way during the design process instead of the top-down approach you often see in large architecture firms.
I see the role of an architect as a team player in the studio. The architect can be modest and empathic in our society, even the architect should be involved in urgent and social themes such as climate, affordable housing, building environment and take notice of the importance of the context.
Why do you participate in architecture competitions?
We can think out of the box and try different kinds of concepts and new experiments. Thinking conceptually, applying new ideas and developing sketches into actual buildings and concepts – in some small measure, it is a feeling of the divine, because you are allowing something that was not there to be created. It appears later in its context, providing meaning and experience.
What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneﬁcial for them to participate in architecture competitions?
To participate in an architecture competition gives all kind of benefits. First of all, you will be challenged on a high international level. It doesn’t matter that you win, because you will always learn new things about the subjects and the possibilities of new concepts. You have to see these competitions as a practical school where you can learn to design a building in a quick and efficient way. It is also interesting to see how other architects design and present their projects.
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