Archi tect Q&A
Štěpán Valouch and Jiří
Opočenský, founders of the
Prague architectural studio,
aim “to find unique answers
to clients’ unique requests”
Who are your architectural heroes?
Štěpán Valouch (ŠV, pictured right):
If I had to choose just one, I’d single
out Peter Zumthor. His thinking
about nature, function, and structure
is really inspiring. His Bruder Klaus
Field Chapel is so innovative, but also
basic, that I find it astonishing.
When did you first become interested
in architecture and consider it as a
career? ŠV: I always wanted to do
something with sketches and drawing.
When I went for my university
entrance exam I took along just three
drawings. Once I started my studies
I really immersed myself in them.
When did you establish OV-A and
where does the name come from?
Jiří Opočenský (JO): We founded
our office 12 years ago. And regarding
the name, it’s not a complicated story—
it’s the first letter of our names, and
when we thought about a website
there was only one free domain
with a dash, so we took it.
What was your first project and what
did you learn from it? JO: We started
planning our first home, the Family
House in Svitavy, 13 years ago, when
we became a team. This was originally
Štěpán’s project and he invited me
to join in. We tested a collaborative
way of working, where we shared
the concept and applied it to details.
We discovered how each of us could
contribute to a commission and
how together we could manage the
whole process, from initial designs