Vladimir Romanov. Interview with an architect

 

Interior photography  — I remember that you are an artist by education, and then studied to be an architect. I believe that there were some serious motives for this.

I have loved to draw and make various crafts since childhood. I remember that the first personal exhibition of my works was in a pioneer camp, where I had a rest in the summer, when I was 10 years old. And at school the exhibition became permanent. In the drawing room there was a whole glass cabinet with my works. Unfortunately, after school I did not follow the recommendation of my teacher on fine arts — to continue to develop in this direction. Life took me in a roundabout way, but my inner voice and intuition brought me back to the road I left. I entered the Moscow College of Arts and Crafts, it was like an oasis in the desert through which I wandered. He graduated from the MKHR with honors, and after receiving the diploma, one event happened that became a turning point.
— One evening, when I was drawing animals in motion, the doorbell rang. It was a neighbor, Lidia Vasilievna, she asked me to choose the color of paint in order to paint the walls at her work. I agreed to help her with pleasure. And the very next day I was standing in a small two-storey mansion of the early 19th century, examining the premises that were supposed to be painted. I was asked to make a sketch to show what the room would look like after changing the color of the walls. Meanwhile, I would like to point out that the interior architecture was quite interesting and unusual: vaulted ceilings, arches, beautiful wooden balusters on the stairs leading to the second floor. I did what I was asked to do, drew a sketch where everything was just painted with paint. The head of this state. institutions did not approve of this decision, and I completely agreed with him, you can’t just paint over such beauty. We agreed that I would come up with a more interesting solution, and this is how my first work on a design project began.
I started by collecting information about architecture and interiors of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He studied literature on interiors, visited museums and buildings of that time. After a certain store of knowledge was obtained, I began to select finishing materials for my project, but since the organization was state-owned, my choice was limited by a small budget. After selecting the materials, I started sketches. The sketches were approved and after the necessary drawings were prepared, the workers started the repairs.

photography of interiorsThe first difficulties in the implementation of my idea arose due to the lack of specialists in stucco molding and wall painting in the construction organization that carried out the repair work. I had to master the technique of stucco installation, and my art education helped me draw an ornament on the ceiling. When the renovation was completed, the result exceeded my expectations — everyone liked the interior, it was quite complex and expressive, and most importantly, it corresponded to the spirit of this house.

After the first completed project, I realized that this is what I really like, something to which I can devote my life. In order to learn more about interior design and architecture, I entered the Higher School of Design at the Moscow Architectural Institute (MARHI).

— What is the ratio of the “routine” and the creative part in your work?

Previously, when I did the whole project myself, the routine in my work took a significant part of the time. Now, I have assistants on my staff, and this frees up for creativity. However, now part of the time is also occupied by administrative work.

— Great masters blaze long paths from which roads and paths diverge. Do you feel that there is a new wave going on now? or are we living in the process of processing ready-made ideas?

To be a master of his craft — I suppose everyone should strive for this. Studying the great masters, we learn from them, adopt their knowledge, experience, and if we go further, we can discover their vision of the world around us, which is undoubtedly a valuable seed that sprouts and bears fruit.

New materials and new technologies are emerging now and this has an impact on modern architecture and design. This is the new wave and many masters are at the top. But, of course, there are those who process ready-made ideas and not always successfully.

— What books, magazines on architecture and design can you recommend to curious non-professionals?

— I would recommend reading books such as:

About interior photography» Design for the real world » ed. Victor Papanek.
The author writes that everyone can be a designer, as well as about the genius of simple solutions and about unnecessary complex, sophisticated products that are sold exclusively thanks to good marketing.

“ Golden Rules of Design. Style of Kelly Hoppen »
In this book you can learn a lot about correct and consistent design, about the process of ideas and concepts in the interior.

Books from the series architecture in detail: » Space «, » Elements «, » Color » ed. Oscar Riera and James McChoun.
The titles of these books speak for themselves. The books are also adorned with a lot of beautiful photographs from photographer Paul Warhol.

From magazines would recommend:

«INTERIORS» — Popular international magazine with interesting interiors
«ARKHIDOM» — a magazine about modern trends in design and architecture
«TATLIN» — a magazine about talented architects, designers, architectural workshops.
SALON is a magazine with well-designed interiors, though with an emphasis on bright and catchy eyes.

— The Internet clearly shows how beauty helps people live. If a person sees harmonious objects, images, architecture, then harmony penetrates his consciousness. Heals the mind. Do you feel some kind of task in this process?

Of course, when an artist paints a picture, he puts a piece of himself into it. An icon painter, before painting an icon, reaches a certain state of mind. And if a person is open to perception, looking at the icon, he is able to plunge into a state of peace and tranquility himself. And if a small icon or painting is able to influence the state of mind of a person and heal his soul, then what impact can the interior have in which the designer has put a piece of himself! A harmonious interior is able to make the inner world of a person balanced and peaceful, create a new level of life, making it of higher quality. But in order to create such interiors, it is necessary to develop in yourself that which allows you to create and create harmony from an infinite variety of materials, forms and objects.

— While photographing, I see projects of various sizes and quality of execution. You are very thorough about the details. I believe that this approach greatly increases the cost of order execution. It seems to me that you get additional pleasure from accuracy in details.

As the famous architect of the twentieth century Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said, «God is in the details.»

Details, whether it be a whole interior or an object, are an integral part of it, another layer that can enhance or weaken its aesthetic and artistic component.

— Playgrounds are a special theme among the diverse urban architecture. I fantasize a lot about my dream site. Let’s pretend you’re given an order with an unlimited budget. What would you like to do for children?

When designing a playground, I would take into account the interests of children of different ages. It would be a small playground for children with quirky architecture. Shrubs, trees and flower beds would be an integral part of it. There is a fountain in the center, and on hot days children could play in the water, stand under the streams of rain pouring on them. Not far from the fountain, there is a large sandbox surrounded by large multi-colored umbrellas where children can play barefoot and hide from the sun.

Perhaps, if children grew up in such conditions, in the future they could change the urban environment around them for the better and a small children’s town with bizarre architecture would grow with them into a large metropolis with fountains where you can swim, with lawns and sandy islands where you can not only rest, but also learn to know the world around us.

Vladimir Romanov

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