Lenka Kavčič is an architect, mentor, lecturer and advocate of quality architecture. She specialises in innovative approaches to spatial interventions and advocates a higher dwelling culture. She founded the aFRONT Institute, the organiser of Open House Slovenia (OHS). For the past ten years, OHS has been the biggest architectural festival in Slovenia, featuring the most important online guide to contemporary Slovenian architecture. OHS Festival is the recipient of the highest architectural award in the country – the Plečnik Medal. Lenka Kavčič was also awarded the same prize for the Playful Architecture project of introducing architecture to children, and the gold medal of the BIO 16 – Biennial of Industrial Design. Her mission is to achieve a higher level of spatial culture and architectural standards, as she firmly believes that space should be dedicated to people and that only through collaboration can we preserve and create better spaces for our future.
Kurtul Erkmen was born in Istanbul. After his secondary education at Istanbul Erkek High School, he started the department of architecture at the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts in 1978. In 1980, he started working at TE Construction Limited Company, which he founded with Architect Lemi Erkmen and Architect Şemi Erkmen. He currently continues his design activities at the office of KG Architecture in Bebek, Istanbul, which he co-founded in 1990. He was also a founding partner of two overseas companies operating in Romania under the name of KGROM since 1999 and in Kazakhstan under the name of ErmasKG since 2007, a member of the Board of Directors of the Yen-Tur Joint Stock Company and a member of the Board of Directors of the Istanbul Foundation for Future Culture and Art.
Erkmen, who has various awards and exhibited works from architectural project competitions, participates as a jury member in architectural project competitions and as a speaker in various events such as panels and conferences. In addition to his architectural works, Kurtul Erkmen was a lecturer at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Architecture for a semester in Architectural Project courses. And currently he is working as a lecturer of Vocational Basic Education course at the Department of Architecture of the same University. He is also founding Chairman of Aura Istanbul (Istanbul Academy of Architecture and Urbanism Studies) and Board Member of Istanbul Chamber of Free Architects.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Igor Grozdanic is an architect with 36 years of professional experience in urban planning and architectural design. Experience in design of complex facilities in the capacity of Project Director / Project Manager / Lead Architect / Urban Planner - design of multifunctional / conference / commercial facilities, hospitals, prisons, offices and science and technology parks, hotels, housing and apartment buildings, preparation of urban plans, preparation of design programs and feasibility studies.
He completed his study in architecture in 1987 receiving Jahiel Finci Award form University of Sarajevo – Faculty for Architecture for best study achievements. Passionate about architectural design, his first years of professional carrier in DOM SPI architectural and engineering office in Sarajevo were defined with participation in many competitions winning significant prizes. Due to the war he left his country in 1992 and worked for Studio Rondina in Italy. From 1993 to 1998 he spent five very productive years in HENN Architects in Munich Germany, working on very complex and multifunctional projects including universities, laboratory buildings, research and development facilities, scientific institutes, offices and industry parks. In this period as a member of HENN design team we won several design competition prizes. In 1999, with his partner Sanja Galic, he set up Studio nonstop in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, starting very intensive more than 25 years of working experience in Sarajevo, both nationally and internationally. In this period we designed and constructed some very complex buildings shaping central urban area of Sarajevo. In the same time we won several prizes in urban and architectural competitions. We were awarded with Collegium Artisticum Grand Prix Prize three times for the best buildings designed and constructed in the respective years. He was member of Mayor of Sarajevo Urban Advisory Body from 2006 to 2010 and member of Canton Sarajevo Spatial Plan Advisory Committee from 2002 to 2006. Presently he is co-founder and partner in Studio nonstop architectural office acting as managing director.
Dr. Alexander Gutzmer is author and researcher with a focus on architecture and city planning. For ten years, he was editor-in-chief of German architecture magazine Baumeister. As editorial director of publishing house Callwey, he was also responsible for the company's other titles, including Topos, the International Review of Urban Design. Currently, Alexander is director of communication and marketing at real estate developer Euroboden. Alexander is also professor for media and communication at Quadriga University, Berlin. In 2019, he was guest lecturer at Berlin’s Humboldt University, and from 2017 to 2018, guest professor at the Mexican business School Tecnológico de Monterrey. His most recent book "Grenze aller Grenzen" is investigating the cultural landscape at the border between Mexico and the US. He also published books on the relationship between brands and the city in times of digitalization, or on the architecture of football stadiums and airports.
Roger Kostarczyk has finished Gdańsk Technical University and joined the family owned architectural firm AKO ARCHITEKCI, where he took a CEO position in 2015. In 2017 he has prepared a transition of the company into BIM design technology. He has been involved in numerous projects in Poland as well as in London, Dublin and Bergen. Main focus of the architectural firm provided by Roger Kostarczyk is put on hospitality design (hotels and hotel resorts) as well as projects designed in historical context or strictly under protection of historical monuments preservation office. Roger Kostarczyk design works come from the deep analysis of the surrounding in order to fit and enrich the neighbourhood of the project. The outcome is what Roger calls “contextual architecture”. This approach is reflected in numerous realizations.
Bogdan-Constantin Neagu was born in 1974 in Bucharest. He graduated from “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism in 1998 and in 2003 he founded his own architecture studio NBC ARHITECT which was selected among the top 50 Architects from Romania by the Information Bank of Construction, Architecture and City Planning, „Ion Mincu” Arhitecture and Urbanism University and Business Week Magazine. Having Bogdan-Constantin Neagu as the leading architect, in over 20 years of activity, NBC ARHITECT`s projects have been nominated for most annual and biennial architecture competition sections: architecture of buildings, repurposing, rehabilitation, restoration, interior design, object design and urbanism. Consequently, it is one of the few architecture firms that have achieved this from Romania. He successfully participated in many competitions and received prizes such as:
Studies in Brno, Brighton and Vienna enabled Samuel Netočný to cover the whole breadth of the field of architecture. The University of Brno focuses on the technical side of building. The Brighton School opens up conceptual thinking and the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna seeks to place architecture in a wider political, economic and social context. Alongside their studies, together with friend and colleague Vojtěch Jemelka, they formulate a programme manifesto for localism and research vernacular architecture under the KKKD (Concept of Culturally Heritage Landscape) label. They prefer a pragmatic-romantic view and focus on the search for functional principles of architecture without architects. They believe that the aesthetic quality of these buildings is created by the purposeful choice of construction details, the sensitive placement of the building in relation to natural conditions and the use of knowledge inherited over generations. Alongside this, they complement the landscape with small sacred objects. Samuel Netočný approaches the client individually and the site humbly. He strives for quality architecture that does not overwhelm its surroundings, but complements them logically. He strives for normal building in the broadest sense of the word.
Paul Preiss studied architecture at the Vienna University of Technology with a particular passion for residential construction. In 2004, he founded the architectural office g.o.y.a. in Vienna together with his two partners Roman Drbusek and Christoph Janauschek. Influenced by the local demand for innovative solutions in subsidized housing and educational construction and the experience gained over the years, many exciting projects have been designed and implemented. He has been able to pass on this knowledge to students in lectures, for example at the Technical University or the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Both participating in and acting as a juror for various competitions has become a beloved task over the years.
Bruno Rechner is working as the main architect at Rechner d.o.o., the company was founded by Predrag Rechner in 1991. Their main field of work is architectural design, consulting, engineering and design. Their projects have been exhibited and presented to domestic and international exhibitions and magazines, which were awarded fifteen times on various architectural awards and events all over the world. From Singapore, Slovenia, USA, Turkey, Italy and Spain to India. Numerous students and architects visit the company’s realizations for professional training and the study of contemporary architecture.
Guillermo Reynés Vázquez-Rovira
Guillermo Reynés is the architect director and founder of GRAS-Reynés Arquitectos, a young firm with great projection in the field of architecture and urban design. He graduated in architecture from the University of Navarra, and later began his professional career collaborating in several internationally renowned architecture studios, such as the Carlos Ferrater studio in Barcelona and the Dutch MVRDV studio in Rotterdam. GRAS-REYNÉS ARQUITECTOS develops its activity mainly in Spain, although with a growing international presence. Its work covers different fields of architecture, from the construction of housing to the creation of multi-family blocks, through hotels, office buildings or urban design. In 2008 GRAS won the international competition for the new Ecocity in Montecorvo (Logroño, Spain). A highlight for GRAS architects that gave international attention to the firm. In 2016, the studio was invited to participate in the "Time, Space, Existence" exhibition at the 15th Venice Biennale of Architecture. Recently, in 2018, Guillermo was awarded with the 40 UNDER 40 Europe Design Award, being considered as one of the 40 best emerging architects in Europe. Another important aspect in the professional development of Guillermo Reynés is his career as a lecturer at numerous institutions such as the CEU University of Valencia, the IAAC (Institute of Advanced Architecture of Barcelona) and the Architecture League in New York, among others.
Radomir Tankov Serafimov
Architect Radomir Tankov Serafimov was born in 1973 in Sofia. In 1997, he graduated with honors from the Department of "Public Buildings" at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Geodesy, Sofia. Since 1998, he has been a partner at "Atelier Serafimov Architects" Ltd., where he still works as a chief designer and manager. He is a member of the Union of Architects in Bulgaria and of the Chamber of Architects in Bulgaria. From the beginning of his career, he has aimed for successful development and growth of the company, embracing every professional challenge. This has made "Atelier Serafimov Architects" one of the leading design and loyal companies in the country. Radomir Serafimov introduces systems for structuring and managing projects, constructing, and actively participating in the overall design process. Within the company, he combines the qualities of an architect and an executive director. As a partner and manager, architect Serafimov takes part in national and international competitions, resulting in the company's team being awarded numerous distinctions, including 18 "Building of the Year" awards. Among the awarded projects are hospitals, office complexes, bank buildings, shopping centers, sports halls, industrial and transportation projects, residential buildings, and many others.
Jan Jakub Tesař
A generation younger, office partner Stempel Tesař Architects, had the opportunity to experience top architecture in the Netherlands while studying at the prestigious University of Delft and a job internship at Jeanne Dekker's renowned architecture office. During his graduation from the Faculty of Architecture in Prague, he was approached by his professor and the head of his diploma project, Jan Stempel, for cooperation. And here begins the history of the Stempel & Tesař.
Zoltan Peter Molnar graduated as a certified architect from Budapest University of Technology in 1993. Throughout his studies, he learned that engineering knowledge, alongside design, plays a crucial role in architecture – a principle also emphasized in the architectural education at BUT.
Over his three-decades-long professional career, he maintained a balanced approach on both fronts. With 15 years dedicated to architectural design, followed by an additional 12 years in architectural consulting, and ultimately, the last 3 years as an expert reviewer, he consistently stood on the side of buildings. He believes that conscious planning and execution ensure the best result with minimal efforts. During the daily work, a thorough understanding of the materials used ensures the fullest exploration of their potential.
Following the footsteps of his mentor, he firmly believes that innovation does not arise from nothing. The foundation of a stable future must be built upon the efforts and achievements of predecessors. The only way to create lasting values is through the continuous development and transfer of existing core values.
In 2020, in recognition of his outstanding professional contributions to the development of the domestic construction industry, he received a commendation from the Minister of Innovation and Technology.
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