When developing Fashion Line, KOMA Modular's latest product line, the goal was to create "lego for adults." The module consists of frames, panels and facade elements that can be combined and dismantled. It was during the pandemic that these units represented a solution to isolate and, thanks to its mobility, also the possibility of staying in nature.
"We developed Fashion Line with the aim of relaxing, doing business and living flexibly," says Stanislav Martinec, founder of KOMA. However, the cooperation of the young designer with the manufacturer of modular systems started much earlier.
When did you first start thinking and designing "modularly"?
One gets to the general principles of modularity already during university studies. But in fact, it was only in the 5th year. We needed to get KOMA as a strategic partner for the Zlin Design Week project. It occurred to me to design a modular cafe for it and in the end it was my diploma thesis.
What projects did you further cooperate with KOMA and how long has your cooperation lasted?
We have been cooperating since 2016, it started with a diploma thesis of the multi-purpose modular building Lighthouse. Other atypical orders followed, such as the Czech Television House for KVIFF, modular workshops for children, a café for Světluška, etc. Later, I became part of the Koma development team and started working on the Fashion Line.
What was at the beginning of the Fashion Line?
It was the idea of Mr. Martinec, who is constantly trying to move modularity forward. He always wanted to develop a clever modular kit with a new look. I still remember the first meeting when he gave me the project. Mr. Martinec is a great visionary, so it was very interesting to tune in to his wave.
The product is intended for recreational, but also for business or office purposes, how will these solutions differ?
The core of the building is preserved. However, we want to come up with a new design again. We will gradually add new exterior elements, types of facades and interior tiling. Different uses of buildings require different material solutions.
The Fashion Line works on the principle of circular economy, are other technologies contributing to sustainability used here?
Not only the Fashion Line, but in general modularity contributes to sustainability. You can move or modify the modular building for another purpose. There is no unnecessary demolition, accumulation of rubble or the emergence of abandoned cities. The Fashion Line achieves an even greater degree of prefabrication, as it consists of a set of pre-prepared parts, so waste generation is kept to a minimum. However, we would like to address the issue of sustainability in more depth in the future.
How would you configure your own Fashion Line module?
I would suffice with the Double variant. I would choose a facade made of wooden slats, it blends best with nature. The interior is then in dark plywood, as it creates a cozy impression.
Did you have a chance to spend the night here?
Unfortunately, I haven't made it yet, but thank you for the reminder. I plan that to this summer.
Do you see in modularity the future of construction and building design?
Yes, for sure, mainly because of the sustainability that we have already mentioned, but also because of speed. Modularity is made up of prefabricated parts, which are manufactured in the factory, so everything can be better planned and produced faster. The assembly of the building on site is much faster, so the investor gains an advantage in the form of an earlier return on investment.
What are the biggest pitfalls of modular buildings?
I think the biggest difficulty is ignorance of this field. Many people still think that modularity is just a cheaper way to build, so they can't properly appreciate all the benefits. When designing modular buildings, it is also necessary to follow the principles, but an experienced architect and designer should help.
Where do you draw inspiration from and come up with new ideas?
I would also like to know that. The basis is always to properly understand the assignment. Occasionally go for a bike ride or to the woods to vent your head and then hope it comes. I also like to use materials from industry, but in a different way than originally intended.
What projects are you working on now?
With KOMA we are further developing Fashion Line Office and Studio. In addition, I am working on several reconstructions, such as a café in Zlín or a bar in Prague in Vinohrady. But I also deal with residential interiors. I am currently starting to design a new type of public lighting for a smaller company in Moravia.