The founder of Marten Project Company-MPC on the importance to stay relevant in changing times
Architecture is a part of the human experience that exists on the verge between utilitarian and art, the functional and the visually stunning, the mundane and the extraordinary. How to create buildings and architecture spaces that withstand the test of time is a task many have tried to answer to, but few have succeeded. Architect Martin Terziev is one of them.
The founder of Marten Project Company-MPC, an architecture studio focused on investment building, is still young and eager to take bold decisions, yet experienced enough to know what works and what does not and how to create projects that fit the investor's and the market's needs and requirements.
A graduate of Sofia's First French High-school and the architecture department of the University for Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, architect Martin Terziev founded Marten Project Company-MPC in 2010, when the real estate market in Bulgaria was suffering the consequences of the 2008-2009 world economic and financial crisis. Two years later he became a member of the Paris Chamber of Architects. In 2016, Studio MPC was nominated for the prestigious Building of the Year award in the Residential Buildings category with its project Hestia House which is among the elegantly remarkable façades on Sofia's Vitosha Boulevard.
Eleven years after this fateful decision, Marten Project Company-MPC has become a synonym for perfectionism, idealism and positivity. The studio's trademark innovative approach and philosophy are visible in each of its projects, and are based on the skills of the MPC team to unite the beautiful and the functional.
You established Marten Project Company-MPC in one of the most challenging years for the construction sector in Bulgaria. How did you overcome this?
When we started our work, Bulgaria's economy was in deep trouble and our sector was the most severely affected part of it. The true challenge was to start a business and to expand it in a moment when most of the architecture and design studios could not or barely coped to stay afloat on the market. We not only withstood the difficulties. Today we can show a number of successfully realised projects.
What did you learn since then?
I believe that accepting challenges and seeing them as an opportunity for development is the main power behind being successful. In days when the economy struggles and incomes are decreasing or nonexistent at all, the prevailing motivation remains the strong desire to create architecture.
The work environment should not be underestimated. There is not one universal Client, each customer has their own individuality and is different. This teaches you that you need an individual approach to each investor.
A single thing unites them – they all want you to give them the best project. A project that fits all of their needs and requirements, even ones the clients have not thought about yet.
I strive to achieve this when I design a building. A lot of professionalism, hard work, patience, perseverance and creativity are behind the progress of Marten Project Company-MPC through the years.
How did the investors' attitudes and desires change in this period?
Since 2010 Bulgaria experienced many hard moments, from a world economic crisis to a pandemic that is unfolding as we speak. Inevitably, these processes affected the market. The investors are forced to adapt and change their attitudes to stay relevant to the market's realities.
I believe that the sector should pay bigger attention to the end client, as the buyer is the one who shapes the demand. And buyers' requirements have dramatically increased in the past decade. They are after not only the lowest possible price. At the moment they seek properties that offer the best possible quality at the best possible price. They are increasingly interested in real estate projects that are equipped and built with the latest generation of systems and materials. They are also very interested in the building's exterior: a detail they used to overlook before 2010. They are less and less inclined to compromise. They require from the developer and the architect alike quality properties and nothing less.
I believe that this is a healthy trend that will only help our sector grow and improve further.
How Marten Project Company-MPC manages to successfully satisfy these new requirements?
With a young and inspiring team, a portfolio of bold and diverse projects, professionalism, high quality of the design, patience and mutual trust. For us, the best form of recognition is our clients' respect, satisfaction and smile. This is our motivation to give over 100% of ourselves to our work.
Which of your projects makes you feel proudest?
Being an architect is not just a profession. It is a vocation, and a very serious one. We create and organise the spaces around us with the perspective of the future generations that will use them. I am happy that people are now more interested in architecture. Partially this is because our environment has a strong influence over us. It affects our emotions, our feel for what is beautiful and what is not, our feeling for being satisfied with the place and space in which we exist. Precisely because of this I consider each new project as something unique, something that will leave a mark, something whose creative process requires all my attention and care. Regardless of how big or small a building is, we dedicate to it the same passion and expertise. So, I am proud with each of our projects and am unable to single out just one. Each has its unique qualities.
Tell us more about the current projects you work on? What will make them attractive to future inhabitants?
For me a project's attractiveness lies in its individuality. Regardless of whether we design a residential building, a house, an office, a public or an administrative building, I always apply an individual approach tailored to the client's needs and ideas.
If I may speak metaphorically, there is no such thing as a single piece of clothing that fits perfectly all body types. On one person it will look great, and on another – not so much. It is the same with the projects we work on at the moment. I can say that they will attract their future owners by offering them "clothes that fit them perfectly."
What, in your opinion, will look like the well designed and built residential building in 2021?
Functional, energy efficient, with aesthetically pleasing façade and common areas, with rooms well lit with natural sunlight, built with modern quality systems and materials and last, but not least, with more greenery.