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IN THE PRESS: Bespoke design evokes soul

A feeling of empathy and a willingness to ask why are two of the factors that will most influence the future of architecture and design, according to bespoke creator Pavlo Szyjan.

A feeling of empathy and a willingness to ask why are two of the factors that will most influence the future of architecture and design, according to bespoke creator Pavlo Szyjan.

Working with Brian Burke Homes for the past 23 years, Mr Szyjan has seen the state of architecture change considerably in that time.

He said the greatest asset in determining a project’s success was its consideration of the client’s thoughts and feelings, and how these were used to influence the finished product.

“Individual clients become the style makers,” he said. “What distinguishes a building from the ordinary is that it has soul. One can only deliver soul if he has soul himself.”

Mr Szyjan said feeling empathy for the client was a key part of generating this soul, citing a recent project from Refined Edge by Brian Burke Homes in Wembley Downs which exemplified this.

“In this instance the vision was to get accommodation to work for a couple who intend to raise two children on a very small plot of land,” he said. “Empathy was exercised to actually understand where our owners were coming from.”

The soul, in this case, was added to the building by making it one with the surrounding area.

The supports for the roof were stylised to evoke the encircling tree branches and the canopy over the top of home mimics that of a tree canopy, thereby affording the building a natural soulfulness that complements the home’s verge.

A feature window on the home’s upper floor creates an outlook where the viewer is unaware if they are in a building or part of the surrounding landscape. Mr Szyjan said this was done to ensure the interconnection between the enclosure and the landscape was a grounding experience.

“The attitudinal trends of today are working out we need to be part of the landscape and the surrounds and not have a separation between the two,” he said.

Mr Szyjan said a Japanese style called wabi-sabi was becoming more prevalent in global architecture and evoked this same desire for interconnectedness.

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese philosophy emanating from the 14th century which celebrates the beauty in imperfection. It channels the idea of grounding oneself with the earth and enjoying the simpler pleasures while all the time remaining authentic in all aspects of your life.

“The human mind will always relate to elements that ground you,” Mr Szyjan said.

Building on the concept of enjoying the simpler things in life, Mr Szyjan said a desire to reduce clutter was also impacting modern architecture.

“Spaces will become multi-use; the idea of bedrooms being closed off will go as big sliding walls replace the doors,” he said. “This is already starting worldwide and has all come about because of the media. We have architecture blogs that keep us up-to-date with the latest trends. Homework in the traditional sense was a boring after-school assignment, but now it is about opening our minds, questioning our values and making us ask why we need certain things and spaces in our homes. We have ultimate control over where we want to go in terms of design, planning, interiors and landscaping.”

Mr Szyjan said choosing a designer was about unearthing what was best for you and your lifestyle.

“A designer needs to have the ability to ask you why and they need to have empathy,” he said.

18 Sep 2018