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Architects from Iran, Kazakhstan and Switzerland on why the building should fit into the city environment


Architects from Iran, Kazakhstan and Switzerland on why the building should fit into the city environment


Fatemeh Kalantari, 34 years old, city — Kuala Lumpur, architect

Architects from Iran, Kazakhstan and Switzerland on why the building should fit into the city environment

About career choice

My older sister is an architect, and she inspired me to chose the profession. I wanted to be an engineer and an artist. And the only profession uniting these areas is architecture. In Iran, architects are taught to combine creativity with algebra and geometry.

I am a student at the University of Puta Malaysia, where I plan to get a PhD and find a job in Berlin.

About architecture in Iran

The architecture of Iran is a synthesis of art and engineering. In Iran, the architect who creates the design of the house must do construction calculations and perform other duties of a civil engineer.

The architecture of Iran is a synthesis of art and engineering

A distinctive feature of Iranian architecture is the culture of Islam and Persian gardens. Here used blue tiles in the mosques of Isfahan and Kashan, Iranian finishing brick, and in the city of Yazd the building built on the technology of sustainable ventilation — Badgir because of the hot climate, which creates a comfortable temperature in the house. Neighbour countries — India, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Turkey adopted many architectural trends of Iran.

In Iran, it is hard to start working as an architect. Many textbooks and manuals at universities are not updated, so students study theory and history. Sources and lectures in Persian are outdated or too expensive for a student. Young architects learn everything in practice.

Malaysia and Germany have another system — architects create a plan and design of the building, while civil engineers carry out the necessary calculations for the construction.

Iran is a birthplace of the famous architects: Hadi Mirmiran, Farshid Moussavi, Alireza Taghaboni, Bahram Shirdel.

About working conditions

I am preparing for the defence of my doctoral dissertation, studying new techniques of construction, exploring methods of using modern materials. I translate articles into Iranian for students to get as much new information as possible.

In Iran, for newcomers, it's hard to find work. The majority of projects are government-commissioned, with only a few large organizations working on them. The state selects architectural organizations for projects, manages investments, monitors the development stage. It is hard to be creative and create something new in such conditions.

About the plans

Find a job in Germany, develop translation and support young architects in Iran.


Irina Volkova, 56 years old, hometown — Krasnoyarsk, chief architect of the project in the design firm Innovation Center Project

Architects from Iran, Kazakhstan and Switzerland on why the building should fit into the city environment

About career choice

The choice of the profession was spontaneous. A friend gave me a book on architectural design, and I was interested.

I liked studying at the faculty of architecture, and the teachers loved their work and shared this feeling with the students.

After graduation, I went to Pavlodar, where I have been working as an architect for more than 30 years.

About architecture in Kazakhstan

Architecture is an art that impossible without creativity, inspiration and positive pampering. An architect is not afraid to take risks. A good example of the right risk ― Nur-Sultan, where intertwined buildings of international scale, modern technology and creative design.

An architect is not afraid to take risks

Kazakh architecture went through a difficult period in the 90s. The crisis caused damage to the construction industry and many specialists left the profession, design institutes collapsed. Architecture suffers from an abundance of small firms and public procurement systems through tender. The principle of obtaining a tender due to the lowest cost of design work does not improve the quality of the facilities. It is necessary to introduce an alternative system of distribution of state orders or introduce another selection criterion.

Also, the use of the English organization of architectural activity will improve the quality of buildings and accelerate the construction process. In England, construction companies build on engineering drawings of their production, thus the architectural bureau creates drawings and brings them to life. This scheme will avoid misunderstandings between the designer and the construction team.

About working conditions

I work eight hours a day. Young employees at the beginning of the draft stage, so the working day is not stable.

Inspiration comes at an unexpected moment. Often I wake up at night and draw sketches of buildings. I love such moments of creativity and flight of fantasy.

It is difficult for beginners to become an architect, as there is no system of distribution of specialists, and design organizations rarely hire young employees. I advise young architects to believe in their ideas and let their imagination run wild.

About the plans

Leave a mark on history and design something memorable.

Borislav Bogatsky, 30 years old, hometown ― Shymkent, the owner of «Borislav Bogatsky Studio»

Architects from Iran, Kazakhstan and Switzerland on why the building should fit into the city environment

About career choice

While I was at school, I went to art school for five years, and my father advised me to become an architect. He said I would be like Norman Foster, travelling the world and creating amazing projects.

While studying at SKSU, I worked a part-time, carried out projects that are radically different from each other in terms of complexity. I created a small boutique and a children's entertainment centre on three hectares. After graduation, I worked in the department of architecture of the South Kazakhstan region. I got a job at the invitation of Bakhytzhan Ashirbayev — the chief architect of the region. Thanks to this work, I realized many projects ― reconstruction of the Russian Drama Theater, work on the interior of the Congress Hall and many others.

About architecture in Kazakhstan

Architecture is 10% of creativity and 90% of the rigorous calculation. It is necessary to possess the initial data of the project, to study the specifics of the future building, to comply with construction norms and rules and meet the deadline.

Kazakhstan's architecture has acquired a modern face after the construction of the capital. The creation of new buildings with the most unusual projects breathed life into this sphere.

The current trend is architecture to the place

The current trend is architecture to the place. The building should fit into the city environment and not interfere with others. If during the construction of the capital idea was the main, now the emphasis is on functionality.

Young Kazakh architects receive foreign education and create a new architectural school. Many architectural firms with quality work. Professionals participate in international competitions and win.

I like «Totan Kuzembaev Architectural Studio». One of the interesting projects ― Manor Klaugis, house located on the territory of 60 hectares. The main material in many of his projects is wood. Architecture is always subordinated to nature, an amazing symbiosis.

About working conditions

Officially I work 48 hours a week, but due to creative work, I often stay late at night.

As a chef and owner of the studio, I combine many responsibilities: I negotiate with clients, make appointments, discuss the cost of the project, the timing, the concept of the project. All administrative affairs, accounting and social networks I conduct personally.

The process of working on the project begins with a signed contract and an advance payment. After the team of six people distributes responsibilities. Each stage of design is tested. If we have a complex project, then competition for the best sketch idea is announced.

It is easy for beginners to find a job, but you need to have basic architectural knowledge and professional software. You must constantly work to become a professional. Start with a small architectural studio, gain experience and try your hand at larger companies.

About the plans

Move to a new office, expand the staff and enter the international market.


Arsim Abazi, 29 years old, city of residence — St.Gallen, Switzerland, architect

Architects from Iran, Kazakhstan and Switzerland on why the building should fit into the city environment

About career choice

I decided to become an architect at the age of nine. The inspiration was a friend of my father, who worked as an architect in Austria.

The profession is chosen once and for life, so you need to make a responsible decision. I studied hard and dreamed of becoming an architect who creates and builds according to plan.

It was easy to get a job. I love architecture, and the employer always sees interested people. If you are not indifferent to your job, the company will hire you.

About architecture in Switzerland

Architecture in Switzerland is creativity, coupled with science. Swiss architects are doing everything possible to develop the architectural culture of cities. The profession of an architect in Switzerland, as well as throughout Europe, is popular, and architecture has the status of science.

Inside the country many cantons — Administrative regions, which have their style, rules and philosophy of buildings construction. Different languages are spoken in the cantons — German, French, Italian and old Roman. This cultural diversity creates a vivid architectural picture.

Switzerland is the birthplace of famous architects who created not just buildings, but works of art. One of them is Pether Zumthor, who received the Nobel Prize.

About working conditions

I am responsible for building concepts and work as the head of the construction process.

The process of creating a building begins with an idea and a plan that must be agreed with the residents. If they approve of the project, the construction process begins. The work of the architect is tied to the opinion of the public and bank loyalty, as each project requires financial investments.

Architects in Switzerland have good working conditions. There are many advantages: the opportunity to take courses and seminars at the expense of the company or the state, and many others.

Young architects start with small buildings. You can try yourself in large companies that provide career opportunities.

Every architect chooses own path, not everyone, has to create brilliant structures

In Switzerland beginners easily can find a job, but it is important to understand in which direction you want to move. Every architect chooses own path, not everyone, has to create brilliant structures.

I also advise young architects to observe nature, be closer to people and understand their needs. A good architect understands for who he/she creates a building and makes it comfortable.

About the plans

To create a useful architectural system for people that will be a model. I want to harmoniously combine the dignity of old architecture and modern technology to create a history of modern architecture.

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