People from many different countries live, study and work in Eindhoven. Every week, E52 has a talk with an international about what brought them here and what life is like in Eindhoven.
Name: Piotr Szczesniak
Country of origin: Poland
In our search for internationals in our city, we ask people all the time: “Do you know internationals we could interview and photograph?” A few weeks ago we posted this question on our Facebook pages and the response was overwhelming. One of the suggestions was to speak to Piotr. A few days later we sat down in his fresh and stylish house. “I’m still a bit hyper,” he tells when we get comfortable on his couch, “I just passed my drivers exam this morning.” While Piotr is making coffee, we look around in the spacious room. “We have this loft since 2013. Only the bathroom and kitchen were in its place. We lived here a while before we made de design for our bedroom.” Piotr lives with his partner Tim Kouthoofd, who is also an architect. “We think quite similar about design, but Tim is more rational. We decided to make a construction with our bedroom hanging in the space.”
Piotr and the city of Eindhoven weren’t an instant match made in heaven. “I came here more than ten years ago and at first it felt like a step back for me. I was used to Warsaw, a capital with lots of stuff to do, lived in Rotterdam was going to a city that wasn’t very vibrant. It all started when I met Tim online. I was studying in Poland, went to Erasmus University in Rotterdam for my Bachelor, did an internship in Rotterdam and eventually did my Masters at TU/e. During those ten years, it got better here. Although Eindhoven wasn’t my first choice, I decided to look at the city and come up with things that can contribute, instead of thinking ‘What’s in it for me?’”
“During the summer there should be more cool stuff to do. There is a lot of green and space here”Piotr Szczesniak, Architect
“After my graduation, in the middle of the economic crisis, it wasn’t easy to find a job. I joined Tim at the company he started: Bygg Architecture. We came up with the idea to make an urban cable car between the Eindhoven city centre and the Strijp S area, named Luchtbrug Eindhoven. Currently, we are looking for ways to develop this plan further. A lot of people are very enthusiastic about Luchtbrug. We would like to do research the options to realise this plan. Next to work I also put my time in Plug in City. I’m one of the founders and being creative there is so much fun!”
Nowadays Piotr thinks more positive about Eindhoven but is he still sees some things that need improvement: “I really appreciate the size of the city, we are close to everything. And I like the vibe here. It’s easy to make a connection with people. What is lacking is more good cultural events that are accessible for free. I really like the event Muziek op de Dommel, I would like to see more events like that, please! And not just food truck festivals. During summer there should be more cool stuff to do. There is a lot of green here ánd space. The city should profit of it more. Let’s use it to have fun!”
Read all the internationals stories here.
Photography: Diewke van den Heuvel