Dzan Karajica, 32, is one of the youngest members of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He was born in Sarajevo in 1988. He left his hometown during the war in 1992 when he was only four years old. After elementary and high school attended in Bahrain, he completed his faculty and master’s degree in architecture in Manchester.
He talked about projects that he is currently working on, what is the reason for investors to potentially avoid BiH, and why he is not designing anything in his native Sarajevo yet.
It can be said that you have more diplomas and projects behind you than you have years of life. Two prestigious faculties of architecture in England, master studies, you are a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. How did you manage to achieve all of this until the age of 30?
I had the opportunity to attend a really good faculty of architecture, which was the number one in the UK during my first year of studies. During my education, I managed to participate in various international competitions including the UN’s Program of restoration of the Turkish baths in North Africa and Jerusalem, which includes one small product for decoration that is my design, named HiSolar Ltd., which has already entered the stage of prototype that the University of Manchester is now funding.
I also had an opportunity during my studies and between my graduate and postgraduate programs to participate in several projects, some of them in England with famous English design houses such as Sheppard Robbson, and I worked mostly in the Middle East with the company that I am currently working with. These two things, together with a lot of effort, perseverance, and sacrifice, resulted in somewhat ‘extraordinary’ experience for my age.
Your name is linked to several impressive projects that you have been working on. There is the Assembly of Bahrain, Lydd Airport near London for which you, together with your colleagues, were awarded, then the Islamic Center in Manchester … What is your biggest preoccupation at the moment?
Karajica: Currently I am working on a project that occupies about 18,000 square meters in Qatar, which, believe it or not, is a private residence of a well-known family. More than 50 million BAM will be spent on the residency itself… In the meantime, a new project for a member of the ruling family was opened as well, but due to the nature of the project and the investor, I am not allowed to reveal more except that it is a project that will include even larger figures and surfaces.
I was engaged in a project in Sarajevo until recently, behind which were very serious “global” investors that are closely related to the very top of the Federal Government of United Arab Emirates. I emphasize the Federal Government and not the individual Emirate from the UAE. We persuaded them to come and take a look at BiH because they are currently investing in Africa, Great Britain, America, etc.