Why Does This Manchester Architect Speak Funny?

Magda Haener

by Magda Haener

23/09/2016, in Manchester Blog

Magdalena Haener liverpool architect

Why does this Manchester Architect speak funny? Everyone in Manchester and Trafford that I meet will know what am I talking about.

I am an Architect working in South Manchester but as soon as I open my mouth everyone is wondering why my accent does not sound Mancunian at all – if I work hard, I could try to pass as Scottish.

For those readers that didn’t have a pleasure to speak to me I will reveal the mystery. I am from Poland, the country that sits somewhere between the Germans and the Russians. Here a few of the quirks that come from transplanting my Polish habits to this wonderful Isle.

  1. Although I have lived here for many years I am still far more direct and sometimes too quick and straight to the point in comparison to British standards.  Whether I come for a workshop or meet up for a coffee I do try to remember the formula of ‘How are you?’ and a chat about the weather before I ask you ‘Please could you show me around your house?’. It is not my intention to be rude. Poles a bit like the Germans: very direct. Similarly with the opinions. If they don’t like something – they will tell it to you. Poles as well as the Germans are used to be criticized and generally take it in their stride . In my case particularly, when discussing a proposed concepts or residential home design,  constructive criticism is very welcome. If one is too polite and don’t say straight away: ‘That won’t work for me’ , we will not get the most out of the design. Constructive comments develops the concept  best. And ‘the best solution’ is what I want for my clients.
  2. I am a busy person juggling my business with my family life and I write most of the emails and texts in a hurry. The words ‘a’ and ‘the’ do not exist in the Polish language at all and these are often omitted by accident. The combination of lack of time and directness ends up with me sending very dry emails. I think subconsciously  I have a target of using as little words as possible, to take as little time as possible for you to read it. Luckily, I still have a circle of friends that don’t get too upset about it.
  3. I don’t take milk to my tea. I know it’s an unforgivable sin, perhaps one day I will.
  4. I do approach the car from the wrong side.
  5. I think two taps and a carpet in the bathrooms are odd.

And why did I chose to move to the North West of England? For the weather of course. Where else one could get the best moisture to maintain flawless skin and curly hair.

In fact I love to travel and live in different countries. I  left Poland in 2007, moving to a Moscow office of the company I worked for. Ever since I lived abroad, enjoying and learning about different cultures. I also spent a short period of time in the Bavarian countryside, a pleasant change of pace after an intensive time in Moscow city.

Living in different countries is almost like doing an anthropological study. Through comparing the differences,  you discover your own culture and how different to others it can be.

To explain why I ended up in the UK, I simply followed Mr Haener who decided to move from high Swiss mountains to flat and rainy Manchester, and dedicate his life to study science at the University of Manchester.

I took my chance, and opened my own architectural business in 2012 in Manchester, then moved it and became a Manchester Architect in March 2016.

To cut a long story short – Lisa inspired me how to be a successful, active and fulfilled architect, while also maintaining a busy family life. And here I am, an Architect, working with people that love their gardens and neighbourhoods across the Merseyside but need to work out how to change their house in order to enjoy it. Through the years I specialised in transforming houses into better and more convenient places, that give pleasure and satisfaction as a space to live in – through the production of high quality, well tailored home architecture design.

I am happy to have an occupation that speaks an international language of the space, form and ergonomy. I am happy that my experience of different cultures I had luck to live in can be brought to my clients table and shared with them. I like weaving in the warmth and close relationship of Polish family lifestyle that I grew up and mix it with the German order and functionality that I got to know and learn through the travel with Mr Haener.

Love, your Manchester Architect, Magda


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