We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of one of our Honorable mentions for the “Urban Zoo Coworking Design Challenge” competition - Alexandra Berdan and Ancuta Costandache from Romania!
Alexandra Berdan and Ancuta Costandache from Romania
A+noima was founded in 2017, in Iași, Romania. A+noima is now composed of arch. Alexandra Berdan (n. 1988, graduate of the ”Ion Mincu” University of Architecture in Bucharest, Romania, 2012) and Ancuța Costandache (n. 1991, of graduate the ”G.M. Cantacuzino” Faculty of Architecture in Iași, Romania, 2016). We further enhanced our academic background in various programmes and workshops at architecture schools in Madrid (ES), Lisbon (PT), Ljubljana (SL), Riga (LV), Delft (NL) and Genova (IT), and improved our professional experience in different offices in Madrid (ES), Berlin (DE), Delft (NL), Warsaw (PL), and Iasi (RO).
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 company/ individuals have been involved?
At the moment, A+noima is developing projects in Romania. In addition to current commissions, the team often gets involved in national and international competitions. On-going projects include a range of programmes at different scales, from industrial and residential architecture to interior design, object design and rehabilitation. The team was awarded several prizes in Romania, both locally and on a national level.
What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?
The name of the our studio expresses our philosophy. In Romanian, the word ”noima” means ”meaning” or ”purpose”, and A+noima produces meaningful architecture. Our deep engagement with the program and context of each project underpins an approach that favors the development of rule sets, processes and protocols over any particular stylistic or formal agenda.
Architecture is the process of making efficient, beautiful and timeless spaces. In our society, we think that the work of the architect should consist of the development of spatial strategies, in the analysis of the possibilities and in the creation processes that give meaning to built spaces and leverage efficiency and joy.
Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?
Architecture competitions are a great way of testing concepts and strategies freely. Within the framework given by the brief, one has the opportunity of constructing a narrative that is true to their beliefs and to test it.
What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?
In order to deliver great work for clients (creative, on schedule, on budget), one has to train. Commissions are often marathons, competitions are "creative” sprints. If you want to be a better architect, it is essential to participate in competitions. And a better architect will make better architecture for the world.
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