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SGI OFFICE BLITZ: Mariya Mishineva


1st June 2018

Mariya Mishineva has graduated at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy (UACEG). She started working at SGI two years ago.

What makes your job special?
M: The unique part of my job is that besides designing buildings, I am in charge of BREEAM certification in the office – this is a system of assessing and certifying sustainable buildings.

Which is the most enjoyable process in your work?
M: The most pleasant part is always the begging of a project, when we work on concept design, because we have the biggest freedom. You can give freedom to your imagination, without any restriction – neither on part of the investor or just from the regulations in our country. But this is the enjoyable part, because the work is mostly creative and we are not burdened with a lot of technical tasks. The other satisfying moment is when you finish a project and you can see the design, that you have been working on for one or two years , completed and being used by the people. That is also very pleasant part of our job.

What was the biggest challenge for you at SGI?
М: It really depends on the investor in our field of work. Usually they start with a lot of great intentions, but not always possible to carry out financially. We had projects where people are very clear from the very beginning what they want. So then the concept design doesn’t differ a lot from the final result. But we also have projects where nice concept ideas can’t be realized and are getting simplified, so the project can be completed.

Which is the project you learned the most from?
M: The project, from which I’ve learned the most in our office, is Garitage Park, which is a multifunctional complex. I was working on one of the residential buildings and I was responsible for the BREEAM certification for the whole complex. In the certification process you can learn a lot of things, that are not considered during the architectural design.

And which is the most interesting project?
М: The most interesting project was a competition we’ve worked on for residential development beside Ring Mall. We won that one.It was very interesting, because it was the first time I worked on master-planing design. And I’ve learned a lot.Also it was a competition , so it gave us an opportunity to be really creative.

What are you most proud of?
М: Danaos Sofia Ring Park – that‘s the project I am most proud of. The end result for that competition was on really high level. And the fact that we won greatly delighted us in the office .

Which is the project you would like to have participated in?
М: My dream was and still is to design buildings from natural material. I’ve been quite interested in the subject and that’s also tied to passive building – another topic I am working on in the office. I have not yet done anything like that. In Bulgaria there are currently quite interesting projects in several places. There was a project in the region of Sofia that was entirely built from straw, from bales. There are several companies that develop and make such houses purely of natural materials. Overall, this is a trend that is developing аnd it is quite suitable in our conditions.

The most valuable lesson in SGI?
М: The most valuable lesson in SGI. In fact, since I have worked in quite a few companies before,here I first encountered projects of this magnitude we work with: whole complexes, urban planning of entire neighborhoods. And perhaps the most valuable thing I’ve learned is that you never have to think you know enough to make a project. Always in the design process you have to learn more and more. Not only for design, but also for any side effects that are affected in major projects.

Share a difficult case that you resolved in SGI.
М: The most difficult case is usually something about our investors, because we often try to convince them that something is good to do, although it’s a bit more expensive. They have their point of view on the matter. But usually the hardest thing to do is convince people against you that what you tell them is the best solution in this case.

Тhe most beautiful building for you?
М: The most beautiful building I’ve ever seen is a Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. It is extremely interesting and very impressive as you go to it because it is hidden behind a hill, and gradually, coming up, you see her coming out before you. And it’s very impressive to see live really.

What people do not know about architects?
М: People have the illusion that we just paint, make some nice pictures, and do not know how much knowledge we needed to acquire so that they can finally see a drawing that seems extremely simple to them. And that’s a pretty common clash in Bulgaria, where many people think they know everything. And you say, just draw it there, you do not need to think so much. But there are positive directions. Gradually, people realize that architecture is not very simple, and it really needs a lot of knowledge to be a good architect.

How would the world be without architecture look like?
М: A world without architecture, no architects would be pretty gray, I think. Without buildings – it may be something not so bad. I think that definitely without architecture would be quite boring and uniform. We even had at our university a professor of constructions who told us that they could without us because everyone could design a building. Anyone can design the most elementary building. But a building so that it is in the middle of it and really meets the needs of the people who will use it, I think is quite difficult to do. But to design a building that respond well to its surrounding and to its inhibitors needs, that’s something very difficult to do.

Rock stars or crazy geniuses are the architects?
М: Crazy – for sure. Rock stars – I would not say so. I do not imagine a rock star having to put on work clothes and boots and going to a muddy construction site. But definitely every colleague is a little mad on his own. And it is necessary to be – all creative people are somewhat … they are not quite ordinary, so to call them.

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