The 36-year old Maja Bručić, architect and founder of the Lotus Architecti studio, does not cease to impress us with her ideas. In between working on numerous projects, she has managed to find some time for us and reveal some of her rituals, habits, and opinions on the current and expected architectural trends in the real estate market.
What does an average day of the most sought after Croatian architects look like?
My day begins around 8 am when I make myself a cup of double Mocca – the so-called bullet coffee (coffee, raw cocoa, oat milk, cinnamon, some honey). It’s the perfect kick-start for a working day. I immediately start with my business obligations. While drinking coffee, I handle the “most difficult” and most urgent business situations, in the peace and comfort of my home.
I come to the office sometime before noon. There I solve all the current challenges with my team, follow their work, and get involved in absolutely every project, and actively participate in them, but also encourage my team to take initiative, be proactive, and take responsibility.
Usually, I have several meetings with clients, associates, and suppliers every day. The number of messages and calls I receive daily is also meaningful. Quite often I go directly to the field, so business travels are practically a part of my routine since most projects are located on the coast and many of my clients are foreigners. After a hard day, I usually relax by going to the wellness and spa area, and almost every day I do sports, mostly running and tennis. I do not forget friends, family, and dear people, and it is important for me to be in communication with them every day. Often we spend time together at dinners – in a restaurant or at home. In these situations, listening to music is mandatory.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I find my inspiration in music, travels, people, and relationships. Most of all, I am inspired by love. I often get ideas through love relationships. Mostly it happens as I relax at home in a bath with a couple of tablespoons of salt and music. It inspires the best ideas.
What type of projects do you find most satisfying?
The projects that inspire me most are the ones where I instantly connect with the client, where we are headed together toward the same goal, and enjoy that journey together. After that, I am most intrigued by the size of the project, because bigger projects give you more challenges. Finally, there are projects which have a higher meaning, that is, projects that change people’s awareness and future.
And clients – what are they like? Are there any differences between Croatian and foreign ones?
I considered myself blessed for working with local clients who are top professionals and experts in their professions, and at the same time learning from them and expanding my consideration means. I love my Croatian clients and associates. Then again, I must admit that generally clients abroad are more understanding of our expertise and appreciate the opinion and profession of the architect more. Also, they are generally less demanding than domestic ones.
What are the top trends in the world of real estate in 2019 and what can we expect of it in 2020?
In 2019 and 2020 and beyond trends are different in different spheres of architecture, but some general trends that cover all spheres are the use of natural materials, ie connecting with nature as much as possible, connecting interior and exterior spaces, merging space, environmental concerns, or how the project will affect the environment. Care is taken to minimize the devastation of the surroundings and to integrate as much as possible with the existing terrain. The focus is on sustainable and green and the use of renewable energy sources.
When it comes to homes, how would you describe current demands on the real estate market? How hard is it to comply with them?
At present, residential architecture in Croatia is satisfying. However, if we are talking about the luxury segment, then Croatia does not meet the market needs. The demand is much higher than the supply, and the supply of supposedly luxury objects often does not meet the external standards. The partner company I work with, the Consilium Expert Group, is focused on that segment and the plan is to change the scene in the luxury real estate in the Republic of Croatia in the next ten years.
The goal is to offer superior solutions, exceptional design and a high degree of comfort, guided by global trends and environmental concerns. Globally, traditional construction cannot meet the needs of an increasing number of people, so other solutions are now being considered, and a revolution in construction and architecture is expected, as it once was in the IT industry, such as creating fast-folding homes on land to speed up the construction process. Regarding traditional construction, as I have already stated, people’s awareness increases and more and more quality natural materials are selected.
Taking future trends predictions into consideration, what would you advise to the investors?
When choosing a developer, look for the inspiring experience, projects that will make positive changes, make a difference. I believe that it is possible to profit at the same time, or to have a profitable story, and to do something new, better, different and of better quality. Then, the pleasure of both myself and my work is much greater. Indeed, in my work so far, I have noticed that the people who have the most are the ones who aspire to it. This is what we at Lotus and the Consilium Expert Group hold, and what you will always recognize in us. We are authentic in everything we do and therefore it is no coincidence that so many people contact us and want to work with us. Trust is the key ingredient of a successful collaboration.