These two friends, Barbora Kudelová and Kristýna Sirová, really put their heart into their work. They founded their own architectural firm several years ago and their efforts are guided by the motto, “do it with the right materials.” Barbora and Kristýna base every project on the individual needs of their client, and the timeless modern interiors that result are evidence of their creativity and imagination. We interviewed Barbara, who told us about her favorite materials and the story behind the HRA architectural studio.
Barbora graduated from the faculty of architecture at the technical university in Brno, Czech Republic. In 2017, she found her first job in an interior design studio. Through some friends, she received her first commission, which she managed from its very beginning through to its brilliant end. This was the “Apartment A-1” that kick-started her career. “I slowly began to attract more and more commissions,” she says. The name of Barbora’s and Kristýna’s architectural firm springs from the love for design that motivates all the projects that start on their drawing boards. “Sometime in 2020 I joined forces with my friend Kristýna Sirová. We started to cooperate on some projects together and later we founded our studio, Girls Who Love Architecture (in Czech, Holky rády architekturu, or HRA).”
It All Starts with an Essay
The most important starting point for Barbora and Kristýna is their client’s wishes. “We ask our clients to write a short essay, and we frequently turn to it as the project progresses in order to be sure we are going along with what the client wants.” They also pay attention to the surroundings of the space in question, which play an important role in choosing the right materials and the overall layout of the room. “The place itself, and its surroundings, are always very important to us because we base a lot of the elements of our design on that. When we first visit a site, we focus our thoughts on the layout and the materials we will use, which go hand in hand with creating the overall concept. We base that on the client’s wishes as well as the space itself and the exterior. Then we move forward, always in intensive consultation with the client, until we come up with the ideal design for the project.”
Taurus Terazzo Grey
Finding That Kick of Creative Energy
An interior designer has to find a source of inspiration for every new project. He or she has to look at the project individually, in accord with the client’s wishes. “When we start thinking about a new project, I clear some space on my schedule and devote a fair amount of time to it. I draw in energy and inspiration just by moving around, but also from going to exhibitions, traveling, reading, and poking into various inspirational corners, from which I get a kick of energy and start my internal creative process.”
An Interior Needn’t Follow Every Trend in Fashion
The planning of an interior shouldn’t be too influenced by sudden changes in fashion trends. Barbora has the same opinion. “I think an interior should be timeless. There are a few ways to achieve that, mainly by starting with a coherent concept at the beginning of the project and choosing materials which are themselves timeless. If you use them properly, you can’t go wrong.”
Materials Play the Leading Role
“We don’t like artificial things, like printed tiles and imitation concrete or wood on walls and floors. That’s why we look for other solutions — so we don’t have to work with such materials.” Barbora says that so far, they’ve been able to avoid using those kinds of imitation materials. She likes to use stone in bathrooms and kitchens. “As a material, stone has a cooling effect, and sometimes it is hard to use. In a bathroom or a kitchen, though, I think it has its place and I enjoy its various textures.”
Barbora Likes to Use Technistone’s Grained Designs
“I like materials with grainy textures. I especially like the designs in the Starlight collection, which have small grains, and the ones in the Taurus Terrazzo collection, which are lovely in every shade of color!” She used TechniStone® in Taurus Terazzo Grey in one of her projects. “The client wanted a darker-colored interior, so we chose dark wood cabinetry and a kitchen countertop made from your grey-black stone.” Why did she choose that design? “We started with the client’s needs and desires, and after some discussion came up with the final design for the interior. The apartment was in an older, reconstructed building. We tried to leave some of its features intact and add some contemporary design elements to them. The client herself had some good ideas for her interior and my role was to refine them and make sure everything was well-coordinated.” In another successful project — “Apartment A-3” — Barbora again used engineered stone from Technistone, this time for the bathroom’s vanity top.