APA has been active in Poland in various forms of ownership since 1982.
1982-1990 - APA – Autorskie Pracownie Architektury PP
In 1982 a team of leading polish architects founded an architectural practice called Autorskie Pracownie Architektury (Chratered Architectural Practices, or APA for short). At that time, all companies were state-run and this was the only possible way to obtain substantial contracts, because all architectural contracts were exclusively issued by the Communist government. APA acted as the mediator between the government of that time and independent company activity.
The company was started by the architect Zbigniew Pawelski. Early projects included The Headquarters for The Brothers of The Order of St. John of God in Warsaw; a new Church in Otwock; apartments and workshops for The Polish Association of Blind People, and many other projects for corporate and private investors.
1990-1993 - The ownership changes
The removal of the legal restrictions in the early 90s let the APA group become more independent. As a result of these legal changes and also economic changes, the APA group was divided into separate private offices which resulted in a number of practices operating under the APA name. In 1993, after the retirement of Zbigniew Pawelski, APA Markowski Wojciechowski was founded.
The new economic situation in Poland was very difficult. With the introduction of genuine exchange rates, Western investors found Poland less attractive and APA Markowski Wojciechowski started looking for the new clients.
First successes and further development
Our first important project seemed like a metaphor for the political changes happening in Poland at the time. It was a redesign and conversion of part of the Polish-Russian Friendship Building into Amerbank’s Warsaw Headquarters – They were the first foreign bank to open in Poland. This project led to more work with foreign investors. The Lawyers for Amerbank, Vinson & Elkins, had hired us to design their premises, they recommended us to Coca-Cola, and so on. The list of our clients has been enlarged with many international companies including: Procter&Gamble, Volve, Shell, Texaco, Microsoft, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Nestle, AIG/Lincoln, Hewlett-Packard, ING Bank, Coty, Burger King.
Our initial successes were the combination of our professional approach, enthusiasm, CAD skills and English language skills. Understanding the formal aspects of the Polish contractual processes was also very important. All together it gave us the base for the quick and steady growth.
In 1994 there were 4 people employed, five years later 33 people, now it is 82, of which 75 are architects. For nearly 10 years APA has been in the top 10 biggest architectural practices in Poland according to The Book of Lists.
Join venture with Aukett
In 2000, APA started a joint venture partnership with Aukett - a reputable British architectural practice operating internationally and listed on The London Stock Exchange.
Aukett + APA Wojciechowski (A+A) started their company with the main aim of mixing the British specialists’ knowledge of European markets and our knowledge of the Polish market.
As a result of a developing interest in the Polish market, Aukett founded Aukett Polska, and we decided to finish the A+A partnership. As a result, A+A became APA Wojciechowski.
Changes in management board
In 1999, the partners Andrzej Markowski and Szymon Wojciechowski made a decision to split the company. For the first year we were working under the same name and until this day we still work together.
In 1999 Michal Sadowski became a partner and co-owner of APA Wojciechowski.
In 2008 the number of partners grew with two new partners Witold Dudek and Marcin Grzelewski.
At the moment the full board members are:
- Szymon Wojciechowski
- Michał Sadowski
- Witold Dudek
- Marcin Grzelewski
- Agnieszka Kalinowska-Sołtys
- Małgorzata Olczak
- Dżafar Bajraszewski
- Anna Korszeń