Jakob Sellaoui
Global practice
Vienna, AT

Studio Jakob Sellaoui is an architectural practice based in Vienna and was established in 2016. Starting with a hotel commission in Nicaragua, the practice has grown internationally, carrying out projects in Austria, Japan and the United States. Currently, the studio, even through its space, aims to find a balance between work and daily life.


Hectic beginnings

It started with the first commission to design a hotel in Nicaragua. At that time I was still a graduate student in Tokyo, which then kickstarted a challenging but interesting process: juggling trans-pacific trips and late-night skypes while writing a master thesis. In the end it all turned out quite well. 


Finding a balance

The question of how to work, has from the beginning been as important to me as what to work on. In my opinion the work in the studio is not in opposition to private time. It's about finding a delicate balance between productive pressure and recreational openness. Sort of sustaining a “relaxed focus” as baseline-mode. Although the studio is still rather small in size, it nevertheless has two rooms. One with desks, computers and printer for daily work and one with a sofa, books and kitchen for breaks and research. This rather modernistic set-up—dividing activities to specific areas, has so far proved to be quite successful in finding the above-mentioned balance, just by moving your body and activity from one space to the other. 


Reality exceeding the expectations

Before entering university, I attended a five-year engineering school. It's program was trimmed to produce architectural drafters. Although CAD technology was already available, we weren't allowed to use it for the first three years, drawing all plans by hand. This type of training at a very young age I believe, set very realistic expectations to what is possible in built architecture. Over the years this has proven to be a good personal barometer, where more often than not, reality lies not below, but above the expected. 

small J S

studio 1 J S

20190103 ghh window J S

Photography Courtesy of Studio Jakob Sellaoui

a project powered by Itinerant Office

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