Andu Mărginean, born in 1976 in Sibiu, Romania, knows how to translate fine art through paintings and architecture concepts. He built a name and a solid business out of it based on its exceptional architectural ideas. Andu is well known for his impressive paintings , as well for designing Pope Francis’s chair and for his contribution to Black Sea’s seaside re-designing. After graduating the Fine Arts class at The University of Arts in Bucharest, he developed his very first project for Hilton, Ramada, Golden Tulip, being named “the harmony seller” by Forbes. Step by step he evolved in nowadays stage where he lives the experience of expressing himself through all architecture’s and design’s specific tools.
33TALKS: ANDU MARGINEAN ABOUT ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN + FINE ARTS
Can you start by describing your background and why you wanted to practice architecture?
I remember myself as a curious one looking for shapes and colors, willing to invent new shapes, to build volumes in different fragile materials. For example during my childhood I used to carve soap, to sculpt the chalk in classroom with the tip of the needle or to re-shape the candles wax my grandmother brought from churches. I didn’t want to study design or architecture, it was not the purpose at that time. I wanted to be an artist, to express myself freely, to be able to communicate through any type of visual. I wanted to learn skills and a language to be able to spell whatever I wanted. Step by step I evolved in nowadays stage where I live the experience of expressing myself through all architecture’s and design’s specific tools.
How would you describe your approach to architectural design? Has it changed over time?
Yes, it is obviously changing every day. It is my perfect reflection so if I am continuously changing then my expressing approach are transforming accordingly.
‘The whole world is in a continuous evolution of structure and spirit so design is influenced by this dynamic. This is normal.‘– ANDU MARGINEAN
How do you develop your ideas and what is your main source of inspiration?
First let’s talk about inspiration: I find an unceasing source of inspiration in everything around me. I try to stop from daily rush and to listen and observe the world carefully, to understand how the contemporary proximity reflects in my own emotion. Then, patiently and with pleasure I wait for something to sparkle in order to develop the story chapter by chapter. Ideas grows after conscious work.
What is your favorite stage of a project?
Every stage of a project is beautiful in its way. Clearly, the beginning, dreaming at the final is delightful. You bow for your work alongside your team and the beneficiary’s satisfaction and… you wait for applauses.
I know you are also a talented painter, did ever happen to you to relate your paintings to your architectural design projects?
Thank you. Yes, I like drawing, painting, visually expressing using plastic art’s resources. I have learned coloring and shaping while practicing on paper or canvas, in front of the easel. I consider to apply the artistic cough I have learned in school in every design project. My goal is to give an artistic value to each object, to get it ready for arousing emotions. There are architectural design projects I decorated with my own paintings.
How has the activity been impacted by the ongoing pandemic? Working remotely is challenging?
Fortunately my activity and my office’s activity didn’t suffer that much, we rather learned from this. We organized ourselves good enough and worked perfectly, learning to communicate even better. Distance improved our communication skills.
Can you pinpoint and describe a couple of projects that have brought you particular satisfaction?
Well I could do that, but I don’t want to do this ever, actually. It is like challenging a father of children to mention his favorite. Almost all projects brought me satisfaction and fulfillment. Some of them were very special for me and others gave me professional and financial benefits only.
What is most challenging part of your work as an architectural designer, particularly in Romania?
I think it is a particularity of every designer’s job; working in Romania with Romanian’s mentality, with different structures and perceptions stoned during the communism era or the years after. Difficulties appears when talking about infrastructures – driving long distances on crowded roads every time is the greatest challenge for me.
Do you have a dream project you would like to work on, or a location that you would like to work in?
Not necessarily. I can’t say I dream at something. I get daily challenges and treat them with enthusiasm and energy. Of course I would like to work on a project in an exotic part of the world or at least in Danube Delta let’s say.
What are the main barriers in Romania for creatives like you? How do you think they should overcome these?
I don’t believe in barriers but mostly in obstacles, some more difficult or easier to cross. One of these obstacles is the lack of discipline in all its aspects: communication between specialists and beneficiary and reverse, collaboration with suppliers of services and produces in constructions or decorations. A constant effort is to dose investors and designers financial and time resources.
Who are your favorite creatives as painters or architects? There is one in particular that you would like to work with?
There is a full list. Some of them are still around and others are away already. I always admire the greatest creative minds and I worked with them in spirit: Picasso is on of the few I consider limitless as an artist and creative, Brancusi as an overwhelming creative spirit, both autochthonous and universal. I contemplated and learned from Zaha Hadid’s example, from her creations as an architect and designer. I’ll be honored by the challenge to be involved in a project alongside Olafur Eliasson, as a designer or artist, oh yeah.
How do you think sustainability can play a main role in architecture?
It is essential. More or less we are applying sustainability in every project. It is our nature as conscious and decent human beings. It is essential to find solutions and creative resources to conserve our living expectations in peace and harmony with this planet.
‘We are known as an invasive-expansive specieS but we are descendants of Homo Sapiens so we have an assumed conscious for evolving but not at any price.‘– ANDU MARGINEAN
How can climate change affect an architect’s work?
These changes does not affect the work, but influence it to dose the efforts in adapting at every level of our lifestyle. We are searching for ergonomic and comfort but all of these force us to connect fairly to resources and context.
How architecture can contribute to slow the global warming, a very important debate for our Planet?
Architecture (the valuable one) responded to essential and profound needs in every era. Architect’s mind needs to settled the right balance, the real dimension of our needs, to make an efficient connection to its time. Global warming it is the effect of our reckless. I do consider that we become more and more responsible in developing functional systems to offer fair proportions through their dimension and function.
What are your future projects and where we can see more of them in the future?
I haven’t started yet my future projects. I hope they will be expose at their best through social media and digital channels for you to reach them easily. According to every project I will choose the right way to make it public and facilitate access to the ones interested in my work.