Working in the fields of urbanism and architecture, Kraków-based BudCud’s projects range in size and complexity from small scale work, like the FluFlu shop interior, to large scale competition-winning urban design proposals, such as Housing Loop. Co-founder Mateusz Adamczyk and Agata Wozniczka talk about BudCud.
RS: BudCud, what’s the story behind the name?
Mateusz Adamczyk: In Poland, mostly all companies that are working in the construction business are called BUD. BUD is a short version of the word BUDOWAC, which means in Polish “to build”. These type of name for a company was very popular in early 90s. Every company in Poland was INTER…, MAX, EXPORT…., IMPORT… etc. very cosmopolitan and for the whole building industry they used BUD… CUD in polish means “miracle”. The combination is funny and a kind of a cliche. Anyway I think now it wasn’t the best idea because some clients don’t find us serious enough.
RS: How and when did BudCud start up?
Mateusz Adamczyk: BudCud started in 2007 when me, Mateusz Adamczyk and Michal Palej had just graduated from architecture faculty. Before we were doing our internships in the Netherlands and we knew that we don’t want to work in big office in Kraków. On other hand, we wanted to stay in the city, so we started to work on our own. It was a very productive and optimistic time then and there was a plenty of work. We did a lot of project which none of them was finally realized, and did a few successful competitions. Now Michal is teaching and I teamed up with Agata Wozniczka. We met in 2010 and from that time we continue our work together in Budcud. We work on competitions as well as commissions.
RS: What do you get out of working together? and what keeps you together?
Mateusz Adamczyk: We understand each other quite well and we have similar ambitions and intuition about what we want to develop in our designs. The process of working with someone is the most productive and you always learn a lot from that other person, even if the beginning of co-working seems hard. It’s a matter of trust and being open on other people opinions.
We know that it is better to work in a bigger group (the more fresh ideas and different views, the better), so we collaborate with other professionals and offices quite often. We did that from the beginning and we continue until now. Almost all of our projects are done like these.
RS: What do your projects have in common?
Agata Wozniczka: Most of our projects share some similarities considering treatment of public space. Something basic for us in a way we see architecture. There was this kind of space, we mean the surrounding, ‘the outside’, from the beginning of architecture and even before. We see a potential of treating the design site in basic way that could be defined as a kind of undefined natural landscape more than a man build infrastructure – and we also see our buildings that way. We don’t emphasize the difference between the building and its surroundings—we are treating them both with the same attention. We handle them both with care.
Nowadays we usually work with very small budget, so we try to keep it simple and rational, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring or mundane. Project sizes vary from small to big, but we are quite comfortable with all scales for now. We say ‘less is more’- the less money we have to spend on the project, the more effort or fantasy we shall put!
RS: What was BudCud’s first project?
Mateusz Adamczyk: The first project that we did as students, still together with Michal, was Schindler Access for All competition. We got mentioned in it.
Straight after we started to work on a few more competitions and we were doing design study and then building permission for a multifunctional pavilion in small town near Krakow. Unfortunately, the owner had sold the site and the project shut down.
RS: What are you working on now?
Agata Wozniczka: The latest project that we are working on is a roof extension in the centre of Warsaw. We have been designing there five small apartments and public space for the local community. It seems that we will start to work on a similar project soon. Besides that, we are collaborating with few offices and professionals from Warsaw on a project for a public space dedicated to urban sports, like skateboarding. This project is also scheduled to be completed next year.
RS: How has the current economic situation affected your work load and types of projects?
Mateusz Adamczyk: As most all of our colleagues, BudCud have had some troubles. We needed to change our approach and we started to look for commissions more wildly, in other cities. Now almost all of our projects are placed in Warsaw and only one commission is in Kraków, the city where we live. Besides that we started to look for potential clients on our own.
Also we teamed with other young architectural practices, with whom we try to create situations that could potentially result as further commissions.
One of these ‘situations’ is a concept for public space for different urban sports called ‘Skwer Sportow Miejskich’ (Urban Sports Square), that was a collaborative process done in a bigger group of professionals and NGOs. After the publication of that project, all together we received a commission for a public space with similar program in another location in Warsaw. This project is going to be completed next year.
We would also like to concentrate more on competitions, on which could not really focus on in past two years, due to other submissions.
We think most of us architects started to be more pragmatic, but also creative, during last few years, which isn’t that bad at all. Progress usually follows crisis, this time in the area of economics.