“Why are people afraid of the ‘unknown’?” – Sebastian Mîndroiu (PickTwo)
PickTwo, architecture and design studio was established in 2013. Since then, their portfolio grew with dozens of carefully planned and customized projects, associated with commercial spaces but also corporate interiors. More recently, they captured the spotlight, in light of their enthusiasm for natural materials and obviously natural stone.
We got in touch with Sebastian Mîndroiu, one of the two people responsible for these projects and we agreed for this interview.
Before reviewing his answers, we need to add one more thing. The two founders, architects Sebastian Mîndroiu (age 30) and Radu Calin (age 29), apart from being two young and gifted explorers of the interior design area, are also very inspired in stating their business philosophy, right from selecting a name for their studio.
PickTwo founders: architects Radu Calin and Sebastian Mîndroiu
PickTwo refers to the Project Management Triangle which states that, faced with 3 constraints for solving a project: lowest cost, fast delivery and high quality and when picking 2 of them, you should expect to obtain a result totally opposite with the third. For example if you pick fast delivery and high quality, you cannot have lowest cost, while if you prefer fast delivery and lowest cost, you cannot have high quality…
The Project Management Triangle, having its consequences clearly explained, should be well understood each time we are preparing for decorating a space, whether it is public or residential.
Interview with architect Sebastian Mîndroiu, TwoPick founder
What means interior design for Romania in 2017? How can you describe this phase in terms of mentality for a Romanian that hires experts for decorating a space?
Architect Sebastian Mîndroiu: I believe that one of the main components of success in public spaces, and in here I’m referring to restaurants, is working with an interior designer. I think that market is fed up with “impulsive” projects and that working with an expert can guarantees original concepts, associated with market added value. I believe the main players on this market are very open to working with interior designers, at least in the major Romanian cities, where competition is fierce.
In the last couple of years, do you feel a change of attitude in Romania, towards the way of perceiving the immediate space close to people, from the house, office, restaurant etc.?
Architect Sebastian Mîndroiu: Certainly the mentality towards this field is larger and I do believe that over 80% from the investors are looking to work with an expert in projects associated with public areas (restaurants, office). In residential areas, if you’re looking for amazing quality you need a substantial budget, much more than laminated flooring and white walls.
I believe that this year, we only have a small niche from the market investing in home and apartments design, but certainly market is rising.
Club “Summer Dine & Vibe”, Isalnita (13 Km from Craiova)
Terrazzo flooring. Walls cladded with polygonal flagstone
PickTwo portfolio includes a large range of approaches. What sets you apart from the rest of the interior design studios and architecture? What do you think people are looking for you?
Architect Sebastian Mîndroiu: PickTwo Studio is aimed at a niche market, more specifically public spaces, mainly restaurants. And even within a particular area, we try to have approaches as different as possible, so that we are not involved in project that resemble with each other. At the same time, we try to bring something new with each project, whether it is about an object or a special finish, we love to find things that are a premiere for the Romanian market.
Your project promote especially wood, but we notice also natural stone. How do you think of natural stone as a decorative element? What part have you reserved for natural stone in a decorated space? Which one of stone’s qualities sounds more interesting for you?
Architect Sebastian Mîndroiu: There are projects with concept that constrains you into using natural materials. Wood and natural stone are the main elements of these projects, usually decoration projects with warmer mood. We are using both these materials for both walls and flooring and ones of the most valued features of natural stone are durability and look.
We consider other materials, such as ceramic tile or MDF, tech materials, with better match for modern concepts.
Social 1 Restaurant, Bucharest. Ruschita Marble Flooring
How do you feel your clients about natural stone? What is their attitude towards projects with natural stone?
Architect Sebastian Mîndroiu: Usually, our clients embrace our ideas, especially when focusing on natural materials. People fear modern materials, usually considering them as fakes/copies of the original. That is why stone will always have a special place.
The only fears are those related to deficiency in operation: stone may stain or scratch, but stains can be prevented by sealing, while mechanical wear offers a more beautiful aspect.
What about tendencies and preferences of Romanians for the next years, in interior or exterior decoration? With this in mind, what do you think of natural stone as decorating material?
Architect Sebastian Mîndroiu: Trends are set by technology and the introduction of new methods for obtaining materials and depletion of wood and natural stone deposits will slowly lead to transforming these 2 materials into premium finishes. Of course, new processes for processing and highlighting materials will be invented, but on the long term, I believe precious details will matter for highlighting and distinguishing a project.
Photo source: picktwo.ro (where you can find more project from this interior design studio portfolio)