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I admire the courage and grandeur of Asian Architecture

I admire the courage and grandeur of Asian Architecture

Being Polish the influence of European architecture on me has been profound, however having said that, there are many aspects of Asian Architecture which continue to impress me says Marek Bulak, Lead Architect,  Bulak Projekt

‘’Architecture is a convenient marriage of arts, commerce and technology for packaging some parts of human life, protecting it against the outside world or simply making sense of life. Form and function are one of the measures that implement this, they do not define architecture. says Marek Bulak, Lead Architect,  Bulak Projekt. Based in Warsaw, Poland, Bulak Projekt is an architecture studio well-known for numerous award-winning projects, including Cukrownia Żnin, Tabaco Park in Łodź, Pałac i Folwark Łochów, Arche Hotel Krakowska, and shopping malls in Siedlce and Białystok.

At the beginning of his career Marek’s orientation towards design was shaped by Zbigniew Zagrocki, a student of Polish Architect Matthew Nowicki who was chief architect of the new Indian city of Chandigarh.   ‘’When it comes to my role models,’’ says Bulak  ‘’I appreciate the old masters, namely, Andrea Palladio, Filippo Brunelleschi, Jakub Fontana, Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright. The contemporary architects who have continued to inspire me  are I.M.  Pei and Renzo Piano.”

‘’I started my studio right after I completed my studies. Initially my work was noticed in the smaller environment of the city I was born in. I designed houses, estates, palaces and buildings. Then I moved on to design bigger projects which included retail projects, shopping galleries, hotels etc. As the scale of projects increased, I had to look for employees right away.  Currently, our office consists of 25 architects and other people who take care of the office.  Our headquarters are located in Warsaw.’’

‘’Being Polish, the influence of European architecture on me has been profound, however having said that, there are many aspects of asian architecture which continue to impress me. I admire the courage and grandeur of asian architecture, especially in public facilities and highrises. The architecture in countries like Singapore and Taiwan and cities like Shanghai are spectacular and inspire us to think boldly and not restrain our imagination. One of my favorite architects is Fariborz Sahba and his synthetized form of lotus temple building in New Delhi, India.”

As the scale of projects increase the interaction between an architect and his clients also becomes more intense. It is essential for them to agree on the creative syntax of the project. This makes way for a proper design strategy. ‘’The design strategy symbiosis,” says Bulak ‘depends on the kind of client we are working with. The first work is for customers who trust in me on the basis of my work or knowledge – this applies more to individual projects e.g villas. For the commercial projects, the strategy gets redefined in terms of the budget available. For public facilities and projects the scope of creativity lies within a framework of restrictions. Having said that in any project the predispositions of the client and the perceptional capability of the architect also come into the picture .”

‘’Apart from the clients we as architects also have to work with a lot of people who have an influence on the project. So a certain degree of seamlessness is desired, this entails that the final product is in sync with the design vision of the architect as also the client. We have designed a number of projects across different verticals, of the different projects we have worked on so far, Żnin Sugar Factory is our most recognized project. It has affected the visibility of our studio both in the country as also globally”

‘’Besides the love we have received for Znin, we have also won a number of accolades which include Mies Van Der Rohe Award 2022 – Nomination, Architecture In The Heritage Space – Sarp Year Award – Real Estate Impactor 2020 In The Category Bringing New Value For Residents, European Property Awards 2021 In The Category – Commercial Renovation / Redevelopment, Architecture Masterprize – 2021 Architectural Design Award – Restoration & Renovation Category. These awards have provided a great deal of reassurance.  It is a confirmation of right choices made over the years.  I feel satisfied choosing the right path in my youth and likewise  I feel grateful that our work is being noticed and appreciated. This recognition gives our team greater visibility,  confidence in our work and in proposing the right design solutions.  We feel ready for next challenges!’’

‘’As a firm involved in the practice of contemporary architecture and design we also land up visiting important events like Salone Del Mobile and Maison De Objet. Such events offer us an overview of the possibilities, it expands the palette of design tools, the way of thinking about form and materials, it also makes way for a proper knowledge exchange. As we recover from the pandemic, most of the events are being organized offline and that’s a good thing. Events and fairs also give us direct access to the manufacturers of different materials and products used in our projects.’’

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