Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexandrina Getov.
Alexandrina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born in Bulgaria, where I graduated Lycée Français in Sofia. I received my Master of Architecture degree from the University of Architecture Civil Engineering and Geodesy while I was working with the National Institute for Monuments of Culture and with the UNESCO Survey Corps. A few years later I moved to Los Angeles with my family.
I look at architecture as the art of orchestrating the everyday human experience. I like working with clients – individuals or families and help them improve their lives through the means of advanced architecture. Probably this is the reason most of my projects to be private homes. However, our studio is also interested in adaptive reuse projects as a vehicle for urban revitalization, as manifested in our design for the recently opened City Market Social House in Downtown, Los Angeles.
I like designing through physical models – handmade or 3D printed. In the model-making process, I found some of the small study models to be very intriguing in their abstractness, and I started wearing them as ornaments Working simultaneously on real buildings and on small abstract artwear, cross-pollinates ideas for scale, materials and technology.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I do not think there is a smooth road when you run your own studio. We try to keep a low overhead. Most of our work comes from the “word of mouth”. We strive to excel in the work we do, and our clients to refer us to the next ones. You never know when and where your next project is coming from, but somehow they keep coming.
In my opinion, the main struggle for the architects these days is the lack of a certain degree of understanding of the value of architecture in general. Our studio uses every project we undertake as a case study to demonstrate the benefits of good design and the positive impact of architecture on the society.
Please tell us about Studio Antares A + E.
Studio Antares was co-founded by me and my partner Pavel Getov as a collaborative practice integrating architecture, arts and environment. We put an emphasis on progressive methods of project delivery. We take only these project that would allow the two partners to be personally and directly involved throughout the project – from the initial meeting with a client to the final completion.
We do not specialize in specific building types or programs. We look at the design as a negotiation process between the many parties involved in a project – owners, builders, users, etc… in the framework of the specific building and zoning regulations and codes, site constraints and budget limitations, while addressing unique cultural context. We believe that architecture today is being invented in that process, rather than just designed by a singular entity.
We operate in a think-tank type of environment assembling a team of experts to support us for the particular needs of each project and to find a unique solution for each particular challenge.
Among our recently completed projects are residential homes throughout Los Angeles, the renovations of Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia and the Manhattan Beach Club in Manhattan Beach.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
All of our projects are custom-made, based on a unique brief from a different client.
Therefore with every new project, we have to start over again, and we have to do pretty much everything differently. Even the artwear pieces I do are one of a kind, I never do the same piece again.
Studio Antares, Fotoworks-Benny Chan and COCOON Studio