DO YOU TAKE THE CLIENT’S WISHES INTO ACCOUNT?
Absolutely. Creating a house is, in every sense of the word, a huge responsibility. We are trying to feel and understand the personalities and lifestyle of each family on a deeper level so that we can create aesthetically inspiring and comfortable space. Our technical design specifications are not just a dull 3-page table, but an hours-long fruitful conversation.
HOW TO GET PREPARED TO INTERVIEW WITH YOU?
Usually we ask you to prepare some references, what you like. Some details, materials, atmosphere. Don’t be nervous, enjoy the process instead. The only thing that is better done in advance - check with your couple that you prefer the same things. Sometimes during the interview it appears that people like absolutely opposite things and resolving that straight away is not that easy)
DO YOUR CLIENTS ALWAYS KNOW WHAT THEY WANT IN THEIR PROJECT ON THE FIRST INTERVIEW?
In general, clients know what they want. Our projects are different, our work approach is the same. We work with concise modern forms. The only thing that differs would be means of expressing the ideas. People don’t come to us to ask for mouldings and art-deco. Meanwhile, the client doesn’t need to know in detail what he wants, it’s ok with overall picture. The rest we learn from the conversation and offer interior solutions ourselves. That’s our job.
HOW DO YOU FIND DESIGN SOLUTIONS IF A CLIENT DOESN’T HAVE A CERTAIN UNDERSTANDING?
It’s ok if you don’t have a certain understanding. We all are professionals in different spheres. The main thing for a client is to choose the right architect. The rest is our responsibility. We are also in charge of technical tasks. Actually you don’t have to worry at all, a good mood in our meeting is enough.
TO WHAT EXTENT DOES THE CLIENT HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCESS?
In the context of trust and mutual understanding we are able to handle the project with minimum client participation. We offer purchase supervision and construction supervision. The bottom line is, we select all the decoration materials, furniture and other elements ourselves. After that, we represent our ideas on site.
HOW DO YOU CREATE? WHAT IS YOUR BASE FOR IDEAS, CONCEPTS, WORK STEPS?
Creating doesn’t have a certain formula, but we have the components: client’s personality and the atmosphere of the space, the place itself, its advantages and difficulties. All of this gives a lot of nuances. You need to keep a lot of visual content in your mind, visual emotionality and balance.
DO YOU DO YOUR PROJECTS ONLINE?
Yes, we do projects in different regions in Russia and abroad.
If it is a design project, we will need the precise measurements of the object. If it is a house, we will need the data of the house. Also, the photos. The remaining stages will be organized online. The conditions of architectural supervision are discussed in a personal interview with the client.
CREATING A LAYOUT IS A FORM OF ART?
It is a form of knowing ergonomics, functionality and having a certain approach. With experience, the combination of zoning, location, and volume proportions, and room routes are so embedded in the brain that something that can be called spatial flair appears.
HOW MANY LAYOUT VARIANTS DO YOU OFFER?
We consider all possible layout variations in accordance with technical design specifications and regulations. We present the best final options to the client. Sometimes it can be one, two or even five variants which depends on design intent.
We don’t offer variants just for the sake of it, because we realize that layout is the most defining and important part of the project. At our meeting we cooperate and choose the best option for you or create a new layout of the proposed variants.
I’M NOT SURE HOW I FEEL ABOUT OPEN SPACES. THEY DON’T FEEL COZY
We have a strong belief that nowadays a modern house actually can exist without partition-walls and dark gloomy corridors. Those are just our subconscious habits, our cramped standard Soviet housing past.
In some cases, though, they are very strong mental patterns which are hard to overcome. For a start, you can try to pay attention to the interiors in open light spaces and notice that you may actually feel safe and cozy.
Modern world requires modern style. Minimalism perfectly reflects aesthetics of today. In the era of information overload and overstimulation we crave clarity and concision. Moreover, minimalism renounces the excessive use of details and is eco-friendly. Minimalism marvels at meaning and works with space and lights, while being surprisingly expressive.
COULD INSTANT CLASSICS ELEMENTS BE IMPLEMENTED IN A LIVING ROOM?
It is possible, you can contact an architect who does interiors in instant classics style.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE A MINIMALISTIC INTERIOR IF YOU HAVE KIDS?
Certainly! We did a photoshoot of the interior after a year of a family living there with a child. No photoshop needed! You can cultivate taste and a sense of aesthetics from birth and we are very happy when we manage to participate in this. Many household concerns about safety and practicality are greatly overblown. This is a confession we usually hear from adult couples when we discuss a project. Children are adults, worries are experienced and it becomes clear how much we exaggerate them.
WHAT IS NOT ACCEPTED IN MINIMALISTIC STYLE?
1. Everything that destroys visual pureness. 2. When the exterior doesn’t match the interior. 3. Accidentals. 4. Meaninglessness (We are not minimalism theoretics, but this is what we think about it)
CAN I BUY EVERYTHING DISPLAYED ON PROJECT VISUALIZATIONS IN A HARDWARE STORE?
Not really) Some things will have to be manufactured or customized and delivered to a store. But everything there is in a visualization are specific models from specific factories. Custom pieces are always doable, and to achieve that we draw elements and complex knots in detail.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MATERIALS TO WORK WITH?
We love working with natural materials! But client’s preferences and a project concept always go first. Still, all natural materials and textures can be used in a stunning way)
THAT WOULD BE COOL IF YOU’D DONE A CHIC PROJECT WITH RUSSIAN MANUFACTURES
Designers all over the world work hard to create new concepts of their objects. Sometimes they make genius things. We don’t see a single reason to limit ourselves to Russian manufactures. What is this motivation about: about support or cost saving? Simple answer: 1. that “chic” doesn’t work cheaper with Russian manufactures. This is a misled. Moreover, it's more pricey to create a new technology when you don’t have one than to order a product from a manufacturer who has already passed these stages. 2. There’s not that many unique manufacturers. That means that we’ll have to design every single product in the project (we do not accept copying). We are inspired by the idea of designing all the furniture by ourselves. The only thing left to do is to find an inspired client)
CAN YOU MAKE A MINIMALISTIC PROJECT IN OLD DWELLING STOCK?
Quite possible, we don’t see physical limits. But is it relevant? We believe that architecture, its environment and interior are one and the same. Harmony lies where these things match each other. The Idea of french chic in moscow skyscrapers rise a doubt.
DO YOU WORK WITH LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS ONLY?
We look beyond living accommodations. We are equally interested in commercial interior designs, object design and larger objects. We’ll gladly work on restaurant or cafe design!
WE ARE WAITING FOR THE KEYS. WHEN CAN WE COME?
It’s better to select and meet an architect in advance, so that you could discuss and agree on key points, budget, working conditions and sign the contract. As soon as we do the scaling and start with the project, we could let you in the apartment.
IS ARCHITECTURAL SUPERVISION NECESSARY?
Let’s put it this way: at a certain stage of a project not getting architectural supervision
just isn’t reasonable. When it comes to difficult work and expensive materials, you could overpay for possible mistakes and waste valuable time on constant rearrangements and waiting for ordered pieces. So, our verdict is yes, it is.
HOW MUCH IS ARCHITECTURAL SUPERVISION?
We offer several options of post-project maintenance:
- architectural supervision
- purchase supervision
- construction supervision
The cost depends on what you need in your particular situation. Approximately, share of expenses on architecture’s work is 3-7%, sometimes up to 10% of total budget.
CAN YOU ADJUST TO ANY BUDGET?
We always discuss the project budget and take it into account. However, there is minimum budget essential for presentable design made in our style – 2400 $ per 1 sq. m. (total cost)
DO YOU DO COST BREAKDOWNS BEFORE PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION OR AFTER? HOW TO REGULATE BUDGET?
Budget is discussed before implementation. Following our experience we have an idea of the costs of solutions that are supposed to be in the project. The exact cost is calculated by the suppliers when the project is ready.
DO YOU INCLUDE WORKS AND DRAFT MATERIAL INTO BUDGET?
We do, because the client needs to understand all expenses. Usually draft materials are calculated and purchased by the brigade. The exact calculations depend on the project, but the price range for works and materials can be included roughly, following the experience. Let’s say, usually it is 25%-30% from the total budget.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN CONTRACTORS?
Yes, we do have construction crews and other related organizations who we often work with. We can offer you to consider their commercial proposals at purchase supervision stage. We don’t insist on selecting our contractors, but we can refuse delivering a part of post-project services if we are sure that the work of a third-party contractor isn’t as good as it needs to be.
HOW LONG DOES THE CONSTRUCTION USUALLY TAKE?
If we take a 100 sq. m. empty apartment in a newbuild as an average number, it will take from 9 to 11 months, including manufacturing and delivering complex custom pieces.
WHAT IS «COZY MINIMALISM»?
Basically, it is a «warmer» minimalism philosophy. Coziness isn’t really achieved through decoration, vases and cushions, but through using natural materials and textures such as stone and wood. Laconic doesn’t mean cold! The same way, saturation with details doesn’t spell coziness)
HOW MANY VISUALIZATION OPTIONS ARE THERE?
We don’t do variants of visualizations; however, we can make corrections after presentation. Criticism must be valid and specific.
We only cooperate with clients who resonate with our style. Special attention is paid to technical design specifications and planning solutions; we discuss everything thoroughly. This way, almost no corrections are usually needed at this stage.
WHAT BUDGET DO I EXPECT?
Basic design in our style starts from 2400 $ per 1 sq. m. If we add natural materials and interesting brands of sanitary engineering, lighting, furniture, kitchen etc., it will cost from 3400 to 4000 $ per 1 sq. m.
CAN I ORDER A DESIGN OF ONE ROOM?
We perceive a house or an apartment as one wholesome unit and believe that working with one room won’t yield the desired results. You can always rely on us if you want a complete object, though!
I AM PLANNING TO BUILD A HOUSE, WHERE DO I START?
If you have already chosen a location and have a certain vision of preferred style, it is time to select an architect whose projects, approach and working conditions you like the best. As a rule, at the first meeting we discuss general points such as estimated area, composition of residents, budget, stages of work and deadlines, basic materials and client’s wishes.
HOW DO I SELECT AN ARCHITECT?
There are two main signs:
1) You like the majority of the architect’s projects (70-80%). Meeting an architect whose ideas you just don’t resonate with is never a good idea. Believe me, it really matters.
2) You find the architect’s working conditions (i.e. budget) convenient and you genuinely like their approach and values. You have to like the architect as a person and communication has to be easy. Trust is important.
WHAT DOES SPACE MEAN TO YOU?
As a body it is a house for the soul; as a space it is a place to live. It is a place where we experience emotions, where memories are created, where children grow up and start exploring the world. Somewhere where we are left alone with our thoughts and ourselves. Where we are creative and relaxed. The space nurtures us, molds us and teaches good taste; it can both fulfill us and drain us.
IS THERE A HOUSE + INTERIOR DESIGN PACKAGE?
Yes, there is! In fact, this is the best package as long as we see the house as one unit and interior and exterior division is strictly conditional. It’s all about the space itself. In our projects space blends into the street and back through terraces and balconies.
The cost of this package is lower than that of a house or interior design, because some stages overlap, such as planning solutions.
DO YOU HAVE ANY STRICT WORKING CONDITIONS?
We do. The architect's portfolio plays a key role in their job. In the contract we specify the right to film the finalized object. If the client is against filming, we won’t provide architectural supervision or we will reconsider the cost of post-project services.
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