JEMS Architects was founded in 1988 but the team who formed the practice have been working together continuously since the early 1980s. Starting up as an independent practice at a time of democratic change in Poland, JEMS joined the push for the restoration of a Polish architectural culture. Currently eight owners and partners form the team's core.
The partner cooperation pursued under the office-workshop formula, involving all JEMS staff, offers an inspiring space for discussions and quests, for an exchange of ideas and views. JEMS is a place for open discussion and debate. This is our fundamental value.
We treat reality both as a fabric in the creative process and as a framework for our activities. We are trying to read its complexity through a filter of culture, history and tradition, through the context of place. We seek inspiration in this multi-layered impression of reality, as well as in the limitations and conflicts inherent in our times. We venture into areas which often offer no chance to arrive at a quick, unequivocal and synthetic response to the design problem. We have never dreamt of having a universal method, a strategy. Through our studies and observations, we discover images, associations, feelings, orders and rules along the way, guided by experience amassed over the years, and by our intuition. Along the way we make surprising discoveries. It is these discoveries that give meaning to our efforts. In our work we try to find things that are specific to the individual projects. We try to define the object of our work in such a way as to make it the basis for our architectural quest. Our architecture avoids dazzling with form. We look for the essence of things as much as for things themselves. We refer to things that are timeless: order, massing, fascination with the natural properties of materials, light, the passing of time, proportions and the rules governing the structure of form. We get most satisfaction from designs which have emerged as coherent, comprehensive images, ones that were first described and then discussed, in terms of the sequence of spaces, structures, a search for a unique and user-friendly ambience, materials, textures, light and moods – and only then drawn and built.