Two years ago, Management Company «KER-Holding» presented «Goller Sui», sports complex project, as an investor for Turkmen National Tourist Zone Avaza. The presentation impressed president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. He was surprised that company from Tatarstan was able to feel deeply the spirit of the country and combined its cultural heritage elements and future development vision in the project.
«IED-Holding» partner was Eric Teregulov, who designed the complex architectural concept with his project team.
German philosopher Friedrich Schelling called architecture frozen music. It’s absolutely true, since some architectural creations remain in history as a sample of harmony and perfection. But in addition to imagination and inspiration, to be an architect means to have knowledge and to work methodically, to act at the edge of art, science and technology. Thus at all times, it is accompanied by economic problems, troubles, permanent lack of time and complicated compromises. Eric told «Energorazvitie» how to live and work under such conditions.
- Eric, why has the architecture become your passion and calling?
The story started at high school where I was studying, it was hard for some reasons, I was out of the community... I liked skiing and went to art school. The turning point was my admission to the Children's Architectural School. It was a different world. The Architectural school and teachers formed me and directed me, making me to go to college to be an architect.
But in my third year, when we passed from general artistic training to specialization, problems appeared as I had my author's position. We were not taught how to create concepts, but more attention was paid to purely technical skills. Completed drawings not ideas were encouraged.
One of the assignments was the project of the school. When I was doing it, I tried to show that a school is a huge diverse world: there are a three-dimensional solution, an internal structure and philosophy. This is a learning environment, a campus inscribed into the landscape, and a functional structure. For example, a gym can be done accordingly to the standards, or as a children's playground, or a stable, or something else. But my idea was not appreciated; actually I even got a poor mark because I did not formally finish it: I drew in pencil, not in ink, as required.
I gave up and tried to go to Tatar-American Regional Institute to Enterprise Management. I was visiting it for three weeks and realized that this was not mine, and returned. It was hard, I could not understand why to learn if they did not teach the most important - architectural thinking. I did not fit in this system, and could graduate only by a lucky chance. Meeting with Viacheslav Glazychev helped me not only get a diploma, but also believe in myself.
- How did it happen?
Glazychev was chairman of the chamber committee. He supposed to leave, but by miraculous coincidence stayed and accepted our finals. I went to defense of a graduation paper with no credit, but Glazychev gave me a chance to present my thesis. He looked up and said: «Well done, I put high mark, I recommend a postgraduate course». He took me to his postgraduate course. Without Glazychev, I probably would have given up as I was exhausted to swim up the stream.
Glazychev said that the thesis was nothing without real work. I became involved in his projects, was his representative in Kazan and Cheboksary. He organized a number of project seminars with businessmen and authorities in Cheboksary where launched a project on turning Knutiha village into a modern block. I gathered a team of students to participate in this project.
Then we got an order for working with Izhevsk urban environment. We revived several points in different places: a street, a circle, a large park near Kalashnikov museum, a plant management building and an embankment.
I had to travel a lot under the projects. But it did not create problems - thanks to my father, tourist, I was ready to easily leave.
Seeing what Glazychev was doing, how he was working with clients and talking to people, I realized that I wanted the same thing. He was a very strong analyst, he even could learn a new language if wanted to understand a book. Such a great person.
When I wrote my thesis under his guidance, he gave me such a boost that I walked to Tomsk, being out of money. I went in sneakers in the summer and fall, eating instant soups and yogurt. But it did not matter - I burned with my work, it was so interesting. And now I speak affectionately of the happy times. I liked Tomsk and the people there. I visited the University of Tomsk, found interesting contacts on environmental and social accommodation. Later, this experience resulted in benefits for me. I did not feel out of place there, on the contrary, I found like-minded people, we had long-term communication.
When I returned to Kazan, I began working at the Institute and continued to practice. I understood that I have to institutionalize, to seek like-minded people and despite anything to develop my own strategy, and to do what seems right for me. So we founded the Association of Architects.
- Which of your implemented projects were the most interesting?
One of them definitely is Avaza, a joint project with MC «IED-Holding». We designed the sports complex, and it was one of few projects where the customer required a qualitative detailed work on the conceptual level. I think that the concept elaboration is one of the most important and exciting steps at the architectural work, although customers often underestimate its importance, thus affecting the project. The object should be considered from different perspectives, all levels should be studied: historical, cultural, economic, marketing... I think that only having worked all the levels, you can make a really good thing.
I wish that project was implemented but for some reasons it wasn’t, although it was accepted well. I always want to achieve implementation, to see the results. Otherwise I feel disappointed.
One of the last projects is Malaya Shil’na village. An original village was to be designed. When we began to formulate our proposals, we realized that without a complex approach we would not manage to do anything. We not just worked with the territory, but moved by contradiction – we asked the question: how to make a living process in which the project structure would be right? So we didn’t design a village, but a life inside it. We actually devised a small state with its own rules. We realized that the architecture did not exist just as architecture. It was mixed with urban development, design, economy, and culture. We had to work in all these fields. To create a quality product required for involving into the system development.
And another one our project was a house in the center of Nizhny Novgorod, where we were invited to by a Moscow investor. He wanted to reposition an unfinished object and make it a luxury class accommodation. Having analyzed it all, we arrived at a conclusion that «luxury» would not work - the materials and the design did not meet the requirements: low ceilings, silicate brick... And then we designed an interim solution: modern, but economic object in the Stalin Empire style.
We thoroughly designed all, elaborated every detail. We found a contractor to make quality plaster elements. But the customer did not need it - he was going to make it with foam.
- What principles are guiding for you in your work, in your life?
As for me, it is more important to look for a big fish for future, not to get small order today. I have to do everything to earn for my current expenses, but to be an ordinary executor is a problem for me. I do not like to do typical things. I think that we need create something really perfect, even if it is not required. And any entrance groups should be treated as a full project - generate a lot of ideas in order to get a quality interesting product.
The same thing with drawings: they should be of high quality. Even if a pencil sketch is required, we still make a perfect drawing. My mom was draughtswoman, I always lived with drawings, and perhaps that’s why they give me aesthetic pleasure.
I’m living actually in two parallel worlds. On the one hand - a world of illusions, where developed ideologies and concepts are present and in demand. On the other hand, the world of real things. It is a very large gap between them, and it’s hard enough. But my characteristics differing me from others and making me often look like a «black sheep» and not fit in the system allow me to see many things in a different way, to accept challenges when the other fail to react.