An interview with Gabriela Fukatschova from studio Modulor Architecture; Slovakia
What makes your winning project Residential Villa Black and White unique?
I think this project is interesting because of its setting in the hillside, the mass that winds around the two atriums and the story of its creation. Originally it was not a hillside villa project at all, but a standard project from a catalogue of houses called Black and White, based on the colours of its facades. But the client who approached us had a request, due to the atypical land he owned, that I modify the flat project and set it into the slope and also that I turn the layout upside down, namely the entrance to the house he wanted to place on the upper floor since there was a street, not to leave the entrance to the house on the ground floor as the house was originally designed. We also added a double garage on the upper floor, but the living area remained on the ground floor with access to the terrace and garden. Also the colour scheme of the house black and white was reflected on the facades but also in the whole interior of the building. This solution supported the project visually.
What did you learn from this project?
I learned that every opportunity that comes your way can be interesting and unique, and that you shouldn’t turn down unusual challenges just because you don’t know them and don’t see their full potential at first glance. Trying to look at the world through different windows and finding new ways is exciting.
What are you currently working on?
We are currently working on various projects and assignments in the studio, from residential projects of family villas and interiors for private clients, to social and community projects in Prague, public parks, sports facilities and a new school in several parts of Bratislava. A special part of our work is devoted to monument restoration projects such as the Chateau near Klatovy in the Czech Republic, the restoration of an Art Nouveau town hall near Prague, or the construction works in a manor house in central Slovakia.
What is your driving force?
A big inspiration to work is the new assignments and tenders we get in the studio. My colleagues and I like to tackle assignments that are new, unexplored and interesting. Of course the great drive is the pleasant interpersonal relationships with investors and clients. I don’t just see architecture as a service or a business, we create art. Art should be created in a pleasant and fruitful atmosphere. Self-fulfillment and satisfaction with the final work is most important, regardless of the amount of the fee. I recharge my batteries by relaxing with my family, taking walks and trips out of town and swimming in the pool. I really love the sauna, I am always born a new person.
Are there any ideas that you think should be at the forefront of architects’ minds?
The main idea is the human being, but that’s a Renaissance idea and it’s certainly practiced by a wide range of professionals nowadays. We design buildings with the human being in mind, the future occupant or user of our solutions. The greatest reward is when you use the building and you don’t even think that someone has designed the apartment building, thought about it to make it work as naturally and intuitively as possible. Of course the building should fit in with its surroundings but at the same time stand out with its not very flashy uniqueness. Because the imprint that the architect leaves in the space is mostly made of concrete and brick and will remain there for several decades.