ARCHISPEAK – Architect George Nicu, HTO ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING
#ARCHISPEAK interview series is welcoming George Nicu, a very talented architect from HTO ARCHITECTURE & ENGINEERING to discuss his recent work for DELOITTE HQ and to find out the secrets behind the scenes of this unique project.
What kind of projects were you doing when you first started as an architect?
I had my first job at a pretty early age (21) while I was a student in my 2nd year out of the minimum 6 which the Architecture Faculty spreads on. So, I could say that my first job consisted in everything that might cross your mind related to architecture.
My first important job I had 1 year later, when I started to work for a German architecture studio based in Bucharest. That was the first time when I started to realize what being an architect really required. The projects were diverse, from small family houses to hospitals, for both Romania and Germany. I eagerly intended to be part in all of the projects that were at that time in the office.
If someone were to write a book about your architecture career, what would be its title?
If the book is to be published nowadays, I would say: “A lot more to come…Stay Tuned! 😊”
Do you have a signature style?
I could say that all of our projects, not necessarily only the office ones, have a distinctive design that we intend to implement in order to create an individual personality of the space or building that we imagine. If I would highlight the first 3 criteria that merge in HTO’s project I would say:
- Functionality – Form follows function
- Quality – we always push the client to implement as much as the budget allows quality rated materials and systems
- Timeless design – we try not to always “to be in trend” …. contemporary design rules and highlights, especially in the office projects, have the particularise that could result in not such a particular project.
What was the design philosophy for Deloitte HQ?
Deloitte HQ Project could easily be characterized by all of the above 3.
What was the most challenging part in developing this project? How did you handle it?
The time frame of the project was the most difficult part of the project. If we put aside all of the client’s requirements in terms of functionality and design (which I might point out that we successfully achieved 😊) the fact that the Architectural Project was appointed in late August 2018 and Concept approved in late September 2018 and the fact the entire 8.000 sqm had to be implemented by the 1st of May was pretty challenging. We were aware from the begging of the project of the tight schedule, and the solution that we presented to the client, solution that we believe was the only possible way to deliver, consisted in developing the project only using systems (partitions, furniture, flooring, etc.) that came from worldwide renowned brands and, beside the quality and design specification had the advantage of a very short required implementation time.
What are your thoughts on the importance of floor coverings in interior design today?
Floor coverings are very big part of the project…any project. It’s a large surface that you interact with on day to day basics. In terms of design, the proper use of it should complement your ideas and add value to the entire project. Otherwise, you could simply ruin it. In terms of functionality, the importance of floor coverings has a huge impact in comfort and maintenance. No matter how good a carpet or parquet might look at first, it is highly regarded of how these materials maintain over time.
How do you feel when you see the final result of months of work materialized in a building or space?
Exhausted 😊 – that’s our first feeling.
The biggest satisfaction that we always have is the client’s appreciation.