We invited Eszter Radnóczy, chief designer of este’r partners and Réka Harkay-Farkas, financial manager for this year’s closing interview: besides big hotel projects and high-quality private investments, they also talked about insight, loyalty, creative developments and renewal when they evaluated 2019 and expressed their expectations for 2020.
Eszter, how was this year for este’r partners?
Strengthening the international opening and implementing joint projects with our Italian partner studio was certainly an important goal that was realized as planned.
We spent much of this year designing community projects for the four major hotels, the A52, A3, Emerald and Art’otel, while also planning a number of private investments. Team building, project manager support, time management and the control and coordination tasks have all been very important this year due to the large volume of design documentation.
Colleagues who managed the hotel projects (Csilla Szabó, Mónika Szommer and Hajnalka Zellei) have taken great responsibility and their work was effective. I am proud of them and the whole team because we experienced real collaboration between our ambitious colleagues. As a financial manager, Réka has been in charge of the business for over 10 years, and her careful and accurate work is a perfect result for me.
Réka, what challenges did you face in 2019?
In all aspects, 2019 was a diverse, team-building and yet another milestone in our company’s life. The four big hotel projects meant a bunch of decisions. We had to realize that we needed to create positions and recruit new colleagues who had not yet been present in our company, but had proven to be essential to the workflow, both in terms of design and business.
What were your biggest start-up and closing projects this year? What feelings and ambitions do you attach to these projects?
Eszter: Several downtown and suburban high-end apartments were designed and executed from a single source. All of this was done in close cooperation with the owner. We are very pleased with the amount of trust we get from our customers, and it is a pleasure to see that a demanding, high-quality approach (which does not always mean luxury in financial terms) is a basic requirement of an ever wider customer base, so we can produce great work.
Whole big projects tend to be characterized by organized design that meets the requirements and close teamwork with architects and designers which definitely requires a very disciplined operation in the studio. All four hotel projects were carried out in parallel and the design process was completed by the end of this year. This does not mean that the design work is over. It is very important for us to be able to follow the process of constructions in the following years and help their execution with designer’s supervision.
Réka: It is probably the hardest thing for me to highlight something, because every project has something to do with me. It is impossible to do this job without emotions, and after a while I started to relate to each project. Besides the four big hotel projects, I cannot even count how many beautiful private investments we have worked on both the design and the supply lines.
How has the team changed and does it make you professionally more advanced?
Eszter: Due to the big projects, the number of people working in the studio has increased this year and now we work with twenty people. The complex service that our studio offers expects the division of tasks and strong teamwork. All this requires perseverance and motivation: our work needs dedication. This year has shown who and how can be loyal, who can collaborate with colleagues in a long-term project and see our results as a common success. People who do the design and technical, commercial preparatory works or even financial colleagues are important parts of the project, we are dependent on each other and it is important that all success is shared. Our studio is characterized by a pleasant and balanced atmosphere at the end of the year.
Réka: This year was also a milestone for me in terms of becoming a team with Kriszta and Éva. The continuous expansion of the design team and the size of the projects necessitated the division of tasks. It is also a self-awareness challenge: how I can hand over the work that I have done alone so far.
Can you highlight an important moment in the life of the company this year?
Eszter: It’s hard to highlight one. Success is in the process of work, we work on coordination and positive culture of debate every day and it produces visible positive results. The beginning of the design work and the creation of the concept are as creative for a good designer as the detailed drawing phase in the construction plans, preparing the consignment or coordinating the project.
Réka: As I deal with the finances of the company, I am involved in every project, all close to my heart, I have an insight in every project, therefore, I could not even emphasize one. My 10th anniversary here at the company was in October, it’s really an important moment for me. We often bring up our little rooftop office with Eszter and Csilla and the fact that how much the company has developed ever since. I’m proud to be part of this team.
Eszter, the opening of the Milan partner studio was a major step in the life of este’r partners. How do you feel yourself in Italy as the partner of the Waves Project?
Eszter: Our relationship with Italy and our Italian designers has a history of decades. Collaborative design work also offers new opportunities, raising awareness and exchanging experiences are the most important parts of being on the international market. We also have partnerships with some of our German colleagues, getting to know each other’s work, professional discussions and joint reflections are all professionally important for us.
If you had to describe 2019 in one word, what would it be?
What are your plans for 2020 and what are you most looking forward to?
Réka: 2020 is clearly going to be an interesting year, we expect big changes in the construction industry, because nobody knows when this big wave of construction and investment will slow down. We have already had a foreboding of this. However, I’m sure that este’r partners will be true to itself, it will also hold on in a more difficult period, as it has done so far. All it takes is our persistence, our flexibility, our market knowledge, and last but not least, this fantastic, tight team.
Eszter: Everything we have started this year we will continue. We are constantly working on the development our creativity, quality planning and organizational development. We have new and interesting projects for 2020, I’ll tell you more about them next year.