The work of an architect as a visualiser
Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of the city, while travelling on the tram with headphones on, it happens that we catch a glimpse of familiar silhouettes and shapes of buildings. We might even see visualizations that we created a year ago and have forgotten how much work we put into them. You stop, turn off the music, get out and go take a closer look. Listens to people speculate what it's going to be, how they comment on it and how they react to it. After all, one of the architect's jobs is to improve and beautify the space around him.

Where did our passion originate?
Jan and I studied architecture together. This field absorbed us and we enjoyed it immensely. During our studies we both independently discovered visualization and fell in love with it. Right after school, we didn't think for a moment that we didn't want to just focus on architecture.

Shortly after graduation, our thesis advisor, Boris Redcenkov from A69, approached us for our first big collaboration. We worked on the project Terminal Smichov. It was then that we realized that our work could influence the shape of Prague.

Do we see our work as architects differently?
To say that we participate in the shape of the future Prague is perhaps an overstatement. Simply put: the architect designs, the carpenter makes the furniture, the structural engineer dimensions the structures and the visualiser creates the presentation of the finished product. We are at the end of a long process of architectural design, often before the application for a building permit is submitted.

As architects, we know that architecture is not just about the concept and design of the facade. We have been through the process of creating and implementing a design and know how complicated it is compared to creating a visualisation. Because of this, we understand our clients and try our best to make it as easy as possible for them to complete their long process.

We approach each project as a collaboration where we share ideas and thoughts. Sometimes we discover a mistake that we immediately consult with the client, or are asked for our opinion or choice of materials. This feedback helps clients fine-tune their designs to perfection. Being an architect is definitely an advantage when creating visualizations.

Terminal Smichov- A69 architects
What are the pros and cons of being "just" a visualizer?
What are the pros and cons of being "just" a visualizer?

We often face the question: Why don't you do architecture? This question sometimes has a slightly humiliating undertone, but there are many answers. There are a few key ones:

Diversity of projects
Since the beginning, we have worked on hundreds of projects and created thousands of visualizations. We enjoy variety. As architects, we might not have gotten to design the Philharmonic Hall or the reconstruction of Wenceslas Square in Prague.

Two weeks vs. five years
Creating visualizations is a short process compared to designing and implementing a building. A project that architects work on for five years, we visualize in two weeks. This gives us freedom and flexibility.

We enjoy it!
Doing what you enjoy is not just a cliché. If you enjoy your work, it reflects in all parts of your life. Finding something that fulfills you is important for everyone.

On the other hand, we sometimes find it a shame that the fantastic projects we work on only involve us as subcontractors on a certain part of the project. After all, history remembers primarily architects.

Why are projects in Prague and its surroundings important to us?
If you enjoy your work, you live it. History may not remember us, but what's important is how we feel about it. It's a miracle that we can do what we enjoy, and when we combine that with architecture, it's a huge win.

When we walk through a place that we know to the last curb and lamp post and see a design we've worked on taking on real form, it warms our hearts. There's nothing more beautiful than seeing something transformed from paper into a real building. It motivates us to make projects more beautiful and better.

Can we get excited about projects outside Prague?
Building something is a huge undertaking. Whether it's in a village or a metropolis. Luckily for us, there's more going on in the capital, and there's construction and renovation going on at every turn. In contrast, here in Martin (where I'm from), which is in the middle of Slovakia, not much is being built, except for houses in suburban areas. That's why I was very excited when one of our clients sent us a project to work on not far from where I live.

Seeing the city you grew up in grow and change is always fascinating to watch, I think. But more important to us is the relationship with the project we're working on. After all, seeing a terminal being built is different than seeing a house being built, the scale is incomparable and the work involved. That's why it depends on the project itself. It also depends on the process of creating the visualizations, how it goes, how the clients react to it, and how they feel about our work.

The world is a big place, and the more projects you help present, the more likely you are to be able to go see the actual building. Whether it's in Prague, Bratislava, Pilsen, Martin, Indonesia, Dubai or Greece.

Jan a Radovan