We have recently welcomed our new Hamburg Studio Director Arya Sarabadani. Arya also heads up our Logistics Team in Germany, a role to which he brings many years of experience. To mark his arrival we asked him a few questions about himself, his approach to architecture and what he predicts for the German industrial sector over the next few years.

Why did you choose architecture as a career?
Architecture is something very special. Through my brother, who is an architect himself, I was able to gain many insights. You have the opportunity to turn your visions and ideas into reality. Architecture is part of life and the design of buildings can make a contribution to people’s perspectives and experiences. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

What are you most proud of in your career to date?
I’m proud of the fact that I have never given up and have constantly developed myself. I’ve worked in several areas of architecture in the past but my best decision was to move into the logistics sector. Here I have worked on some exciting projects and enjoyed very good relationships with major clients including Goodman, Segro, Prologis, Garbe, Dietz, Amazon and Zalando.

I initially picked the logistics sector because I have always seen it as bringing the world together. The pandemic has also proven this point over the last two years. It has shown that every country needs an operational logistics market, otherwise there is a supply bottleneck and society panics.

What has been the biggest challenge of your career to date?
As well as my best decision, my move into the logistics sector was also my biggest challenge. There is one steep learning curve for every architect that enters the sector: you have to understand quickly how the ins and outs of the logistics industry works – and it’s not something you learn at university. After more than nine years’ experience in logistics, I’ve learned a lot but I’m still hungry for more. Luckily, there will always be more to learn as the sector and the technology within it are constantly evolving.

Name your favourite building in the world?
That’s a difficult question because I have many favourite buildings, but for me the ‘Ibaraki-Kasugaoka-Church’ by Tadao Ando is an example of wonderful architecture. The ‘Church of the Light’ has a cross shape cut into the concrete, through which light from the east shines into the interior at sunrise.

Who do you most admire in the architectural profession?
Once more, I would have to say Tadao Ando. The combination of his minimalism and use of light shows me again and again how creative architecture can work with limited resources. Lack of budget shouldn’t hinder originality and innovation.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
In this day and age, it’s all about “quick turnarounds” and the essential focus on designing and creating can be lost. Architects need to be given more flexibility for their innovations, and interaction with nature needs to be more in the foreground, because without a secure natural world there is no architecture.

What is the most helpful advice that you have been given?
The most helpful advice came from my university professor. He told me that “a project is never over until you find an end”. His advice has saved me a lot of time and energy.

Please sum up your approach to design in 5 words
Creative, minimalist, futuristic, fast and orderly.

What is the most challenging part of a project?
The biggest challenge is attempting to understand the client’s vision in the available time – often projects have a very tight timeframe. I also like to challenge clients on what they want, sometimes they haven’t considered certain options as they don’t know they exist – especially around sustainability and technology – that is where taking the time to appreciate and evaluate the brief can be really rewarding, both for me as a designer and my client.

Do you have a life philosophy?
Think like a proton. Always positive.

What is your most prized possession?
My Family.

Who is your favourite artist?
Salvador Dalí.

Do you have a favourite book?
‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ by Timothy Ferriss

What’s something that would surprise people about you?
If I grew hair 😊

If you could live anywhere where would that be?
Barcelona. For me, the city provides the perfect balance of urbanity and vacation. I really like the mentality of the people and the architecture.

What changes do you predict in the German property market over the next five years?
I think the industrial sector will move more and more towards sustainability and multi-level mixed-use. The team and I are looking forward to designing and delivering some exciting and creative projects in collaboration with the Chetwoods Thrive sustainability experts and Works technology specialists.