After the first 3D model, I never wanted to do anything else
The Xella Group unites the Ytong, Silka, and Multipor brands. But we are more than that: 5459 people in 22 countries make an individual contribution every day with their diverse tasks that drive our companies forward. We introduce the minds that make Xella one of the most innovative and sustainable construction companies in Europe!
Pawel, you studied architecture in Copenhagen and Warsaw. Why did you become a BIM manager and not an architect?
I wanted to go back to Denmark after my master's degree in Warsaw, that's where I did my bachelor's degree. So I took a job in a Copenhagen architecture firm, where I was also already the "BIM guy," someone who knows about BIM, the software and everything related to the new technologies.
So I already separated myself from the role of architect after graduation. Then came the chance to come back to Poland and work for Xella. The position was very interesting – the person who advertised it knew exactly what was going on in the market and what direction the company wanted to go. Now I have been working for Xella for almost four and a half years. I started as a single specialist in Poland, then I got a small team. And now I manage a team of seven people in total.
Do you still benefit from your architecture studies?
Definitely. My job is less about being a manager and more about understanding the actual work of my team - which is essentially design. The BIM team in Warsaw consists of both architects and designers.
What excites you about digital design?
There was a moment in my architecture studies that got me hooked: In the first year, we were given the task of using different tools to draw building projects. Starting with hand sketches, we moved on to 2D digital drawings and finally we did some 3D modeling with BIM. This was 2006 or 2007, so the technology was still pretty new. I thought it was brilliant: after my first 3D model, I never wanted to do anything else. As soon as I created it, I already had the floor plan, all the perspectives, the sections – everything was ready! And I thought: Why would I ever do it differently again? What's the point of drawing and changing everything one by one – it didn't make any sense to me at all from that point on. I don't think I've ever done another project in 2D since, I've always stuck with 3D models. It was great to learn that in Denmark, because BIM was already standard there at that time.
What was it like for you to return to Poland, where BIM was less common?
Honestly, that's just what drives me here in Poland. When I joined Xella Polska almost four and a half years ago, everything happened at once in the beginning - we hired people, created working standards, set up the processes. I was coordinating production and marketing at the same time – it was all a bit hectic, but also exciting. But it was always important to me to take my experience from Denmark and apply it in Poland. I was convinced that if BIM technology works there, it will work in Poland as well. It's more efficient, it's faster. But I like it: We are changing the industry! It's fun to accompany this process.
How did you come to the decision to work for Xella and thus return to Poland?
It was a personal decision: When our first child was born, we didn't want him to have to move when he had already settled into Danish culture. It was a nice coincidence that the opportunity to start at Xella arose just then. In the meantime we have bought a house here, I think it is even built of autoclaved aerated concrete.
What other inspiration do you bring back from Denmark?
On the one hand, I really like the architecture. That was one of the reasons I studied there, all the Danish and Scandinavian design. It's a simple, elegant style. But mostly, what I learned about the Scandinavian way of life inspires me as a team leader. I would say it's more relaxed and laid back. In Denmark, I would say, the approach to family life is more progressive, the work-life balance. I'm trying to establish that in my own team.
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