Meet Jakub, Our New Project Architect with a Passion for Home Design
Jakub Skalimowski recently joined our team as our new Project Architect. It’s hard to think of anyone more passionate and dedicated to residential architecture, so we sat down with him to share his story with you.
How did you get into architecture?
I’m from Poland originally. I completed my education there, which works a bit differently: it’s one continuous master’s rather than a separate master’s and bachelor. In 2016 I received my Part 3 from RIBA North West here in the UK.
During my education I took an Erasmus year in the Netherlands, in Delft, which was a formative year for me, especially in developing my focus on residential architecture.
I participated in traditional design studios, as well as in theoretical research projects for an institute called The Why Factory, who develop experimental designs for high density urban contexts. I had a very creative year there, which also solidified the direction I wanted to specialise in.
In 2010 I got my first proper job in architecture here in London and stayed with that practice for seven years. While I was there I found I had a real passion for small-scale residential design and interacting directly with the people who will be living in the home.
What do you enjoy most about residential architecture?
I think it’s one of the most important types of architecture. We all know about it, we all interact with it on a daily basis, it’s very close to us and very personal.
In particular, I enjoy designing individual homes. In large scale residential developments, you don’t have as much creative freedom. You’re designing flats that will be repeated again and again, leaving very little room for originality and bespoke design solutions.
You also develop close personal relationships with the clients, rather than talking to a representative from a corporation who doesn’t have a personal investment in the design.
Residential architects are also involved in the entire project, from the concept design to construction and completion, whereas in commercial you might only be involved in a certain part of the process before it’s handed off to someone else.
When we’re designing a home we’re alongside the client throughout. We’ll visit showrooms with them to choose flooring, fittings, furniture – choosing every detail is a creative and collaborative process.
Why did you join Dyer Grimes Architecture?
For seven and a half years I had been working on fairly small-scale projects, mostly extensions and renovations. I wanted to work on bigger budget, larger-scale projects that provide more opportunities for creativity, using high end materials and ambitious designs.
The most exciting thought for me is an empty plot of land to build something completely new on. In this country, and in London in particular, it’s very rare to get to work on new builds like these.
When I saw Dyer Grimes Architecture had so many new builds in their portfolio, I knew I wanted to work here.
What do you do in your spare time?
Many things, I wish I had more time for my hobbies!
Photography and filmmaking are big ones, but photography is easier to find the time for as it’s much quicker. I’ve only completed a couple, one of them being a short film retelling the story of how my sister met her husband, which was shown at their wedding. Films take a lot of time and planning.
I also love travelling. I know everyone says that, but I really do.
For me, travelling isn’t so much about the free time and chilling out in the sun. I just love seeing other places, other cultures – with a focus on places. Looking at different cities, different types of buildings, how people live in them and then bringing some of what I see around the world back to London.
This is all in addition to architecture. I’m always thinking about it; not just buildings, also urban design in a broader sense. Architecture isn’t just my job, it’s my hobby and my passion.