Danilo Grahovac, Studio A&D Architects CEO

Creativity Is Built

The rich portfolio of Studio A&D architects provides the best testimony that facilities like schools, hospitals, nursing homes and student dormitories can look “like catalogue presentations”. The facilities that they work on are created in accordance with the needs of users and real world conditions

With his team of young, professional and dedicated architects, and by responding to the needs of every client, Danilo Grahovac has built both a name and a renowned practice. They approach every project with the same enthusiasm and professionalism, regardless of scale and budget, while the team’s great passion also preserving the honour of the profession.

You succeed in giving everything a personal touch and not compromise on quality. Is that very important to you?

— There are always pressures to compromise and they aren’t always easy to resist, but we strive to do so. Budget restrictions in our reality are a consequence of the understanding of society’s materialist concept. It is essential to teach all stakeholders about the appeal of that which is beautiful in the environment that is given to us unreservedly.

Over and over again. And we still have the strength to fight the pressures, more or less successfully. Thanks to the internet, architecture has turned into a catalogue selection of colours and textures, which is pandered to by the marketing of producers of construction materials and technological systems. The purpose of a house isn’t to be smart or dumb, but rather to satisfy the user’s requirements, to be a shelter and a refuge, a home, a workplace, an institute for help and care, and a high-quality and businesslike approach requires concessions and creative considerations in order to ensure the project doesn’t deviate from the basic requirement.

You don’t hide the fact that public sector facilities and public purposes are your greatest passion. Where did that come from?

– Happiness is the result of four factors: knowhow, work, talent and perseverance. When all those elements are satified, the result is inevitable, and that’s something I believe in deeply. Our oeuvre is based on facilties of a public nature and I consider myself fortunate that we’re not a classic bureau that’s mainly engaged in the construction of residential properties.

Our oeuvre is based on facilties of a public nature and I consider myself fortunate that we’re not a classic bureau that mainly deals with residential properties

When it comes to public facilities, the most important thing is to satisfy the demands of users, employees, and everyone who will use those facilities. There are really a lot of them and they differ greatly. I’m personally inspired by considering the habits, obligations and activities of different users of, for instance, a hospital or an airport. Between us, I find that a lot of fun, and where there is fun there can be satisfaction with the result.

Would we be mistaken in claiming that your standards exceed the national average?

– Domestic standards are scandalous, to put it as mildly as possible. In social protection for example, the standards defined by bylaws are formulated in such a way that existing infrastructure and facilities somehow “pass” some sort of oversight or inspections. Due to the constant negligence and carelessness of users, employees and all others, the conditions are extremely bad. If some kind of human minimums were applied for the quality of space, not a single facility would be permitted to function. In that sense, over the last 10 years there has been far greater understanding for the approach thart we insist on.

From where do you draw inspiration?

– I like to say that everything around us was created by architects. From the first caveman builder, via Egyptian masons and Michelangelo to this day. Every street, house, school and barracks. Everything apart from nature, which I suppose was created by God. Inspiration for every man is in his surroundings. Creativity is something that’s built with a lot of exploration, travel and discovery. Of course, everyone will now say that our environment isn’t inspiring. That’s because not everyone has imagination. I adapted my surroundings to suite me and am teaching my team to do the same. Beauty surrounds us everywhere… provided you want to see it. And if you don’t see it, close your eyes.


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