In 2011, Croatian architect and interior designer Viktor Udzenija founded his eponymous studio in Dubai, UAE, and in Summer of 2020 expanded to Europe. In his global portfolio of projects, Viktor takes an artisanal, bespoke approach to high-end residential, retail and commercial design. Having gained his architecture degree at the Technical University of Munich, and shaping his career early on at Foster+Partners in London, his approach is rooted in his understanding of space. Proportion, functionality and sustainability guide all Viktor’s projects, whether in architecture or interior design. An understanding of matter follows, which is then supplemented by his devotion to craft and highly specialized artisans. These elements, combined with contemporary artwork and collectible design pieces, forge high-level, future-focussed, sustainable projects.
Since establishing the studio, Viktor has won a series of international architectural design competitions and awards, including Sustainability Initiative of the Year and Residential Project of the Year. He’s also been recognized by Architectural Digest in its Top 50 Interior Designers of the Middle East list and by Middle East Architect magazine as a Top Architect for several consecutive years.
Viktor’s interest in functionality and materiality has spurned a series of limited edition furniture and light installations that complement his projects, most notably ‘The Little Rocker’ rocking horse. First released in 2015, the piece has been created in both white Carrara and Nero Marquina marble editions.
This week Viktor joins us for Friday Five!
1. Mornings With my Dog
We have a morning ritual at home that’s been going on for years. She wakes up with the sunrise and walks over to my bedroom to wake me up. I need to lift her up on the bed, as she can’t reach, and then we snooze for another hour until we are ready to start the day with our breakfast.
2. Production Visits
I do regular visits to the production studios where my design pieces are made. The marble is made in a small artisanal studio in Carrara, where the Little Rocker is made. It takes a few weeks to carve out the piece from a solid block of marble and shape it to its final form. All works made of metal are, on the other, hand made in Germany in a state of the art production facility that also makes works for Jeff Koons. So, it is always very exciting to go and see how the production is doing and brainstorm on new designs and how to make them.
3. The Great Animal Orchestra
It’s an installation from United Visual Artists. I first saw it at Salone in Milan and spent a few hours inside. It’s a large room with the light installation following the recordings of animals in various exotic habitats around the world, including the Amazon. It’s really meditative and transports you to a place where you somehow virtually connect with nature, which is very much needed in our lifestyle today.
4. Rick Owens’ Moncler Buss
If there were a great item that I’d like to have for a few weeks during this lockdown, it would be the Moncler Buss by Rick Owens. I work a lot with Michele Lamy and Rick and their furniture for my projects, and I always love being surrounded with their aesthetic. It would be so much fun to go on a road trip with this great home on wheels and discover new places and people.
5. Vojtech Kovarik
I discovered this greatly talented Czech artist just recently, and was mesmerized by the bold shapes and colors in his large scale paintings. A lot of the works depict ancient mythological scenes, which I have always been drawn to. Like the Laocoon with the snake, one of my favorite sculptures at the Vatican.
Work by Viktor Udzenija: