Chavdar Chenkov: Architects are mediators between the investors' wishes, the legislation requirements, and their own sense of comfort and aesthetics
Architect Chavdar Chankov has been part of the Cabano architecture design studio since the beginning of 2017. He obtained his degree from the Sofia University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, and then went to work in Belgium. However, two years later he decided to return to Burgas, his home town, where he came upon Cabano and started to work for them.
Chavdar is also one of the co-founders of the 'Hamalogika' Community centre in Burgas, whose goal is to encourage creative social change and to attract enthusiasts for a better urban environment. He was the initiator of the 'Burgas Recycles' Ecological Initiative and ambassador of the 'Time Heroes' volunteer platform. We talked about the obstacles that an architect faces in Bulgaria, the clients and the mission of the architecture here.
Chavdar, what attracted you to Cabano and how did you start working for the company? Was it the main reason you moved to Burgas?
I was working on my own in Burgas before I joined the team. I think Grud was the person who persuaded me to join Cabano. We have known each other for a long time and I trust him entirely. Another main reason was that when you are part of a team, work runs more easily, and larger and more complex projects are a pleasant challenge.
What do you like about the company? What is the working environment like?
I like the fact that there are also engineers and surveyors at Cabano, besides architects, which speeds up communication a lot and makes it much easier to work on projects. The working environment is relaxed and although, like all architectural studios, we are pressed by deadlines, there is no sense of constant stress.
What kind of problems does an architect face most often?
Various. We are mediators between the investor's wishes, the legal regulations, the physical and constructive material constraints, and our own understanding of comfort and beauty. Add the project management of all the engineering parts and you will get the full picture. Let's not forget the purely administrative headaches that further complicate the process. I really want the bureaucratic side of the construction and investment process to be optimized, and why not digitized entirely. I think this is the future and the sooner we do it, the better for everyone.
In your view, what are clients like in Bulgaria? Are they willing to take advice, are they interested in trends, or do they just prefer what they already know?
Judging by their subjective experience, more and more investors are beginning to listen to the recommendations of architects and other construction specialists. The aim now is clearly for better quality and aesthetics, not just for a maximum built-up area
What kind of problems do you encounter most often in your field of work and in your work on the specific sites?
For me, the problems in the industry are mostly related to the fact that most investors are simply trying to respond to the current market demand. Instead, I believe that they should slowly and systematically influence the market, in the name of general aesthetic design of the urban environment and comfort.
In your opinion, what is the connection between the architecture, the design, the interior and the construction of a site?
For me the point of intersection is in design. I do not claim that it is the most important thing, but it all begins there. It is true that changes are possible at the construction or interior stage, but if everything is well-thought out beforehand, we should avoid such complications.
What is the mission of an architect?
To make people's lives easier. Easier for everyone involved in the construction and, above all, for anyone who lives or passes an architect-designed building.