Reinhard Busch and Helge Herbst join the management team
As far back as 2011, Harald Fugmann and Martin Janotta conducted a workshop to confront the issue of succession planning and the future of the firm. What will happen to the firm when the two of them retire? Who will be able to take over the firm and continue its projects on a lasting basis? How can the transition process be structured with the firm’s existing employees? After four years of restructuring and changes, including formation of the partnership in 2015, it’s time for a status report and some Q&A.
Both of you underwent training as gardeners before your studies? Why?
Reinhard Busch: I originally wanted to be a gardener so that I could work with nature. The desire to study it came only later.
Helge Herbst: Right after completing my university entrance examinations, I began to study Russian and English. After about one and a half years of theory-driven study, I began to develop the desire for practical work with a connection to nature. So I began an apprenticeship in landscape gardening.
Helge, why did you later decide to study landscape planning?
Helge Herbst: I was fascinated by nature and landscapes on a large scale. The ecological and scientific aspects in particular, excited me more than the landscape design aspect. The systematic nature of the planning instruments is what makes nature conservation a reality.
Reinhard Busch: For me, it was just the opposite. I found the legal aspect of landscape planning less exciting than the design aspect. The implementation and practical aspects were most important for me. That’s what I was, and continue to be, passionate about.
What in particular do you like about your work? What excites you?
Reinhard Busch: I find the creative principles of our work particularly exciting. It’s never boring. The work is always changing, and new fields of work are always being added.
Helge Herbst: The diverse array of projects at FUGMANN JANOTTA PARTNER is something I particularly like. Pragmatic solutions for planning spaces are developed in interdisciplinary collaboration with environmental and urban planners. That’s fun for me.
Why did you decide to become a partner at FJP?
Reinhard Busch: It just felt right. I’ve always felt good at FJP. I’m also fascinated by the combination of environmental planning and landscape architecture in a single firm.
Helge Herbst: Above all, I wanted to secure the firm’s generational change. My enthusiasm for the corporate culture and the firm’s professional range were also reasons. The early initiation of the transition process made it easier for me to come in.
What appeals to you in particular about this generational change? Has the work or atmosphere changed?
Reinhard Busch: I was involved in the transition process from the time I started in 2010/2011. The firm workshop in 2011 signaled the beginning of the restructuring and remaking of the firm. I think that the succession in the firm will result in a healthy generational change. The step towards efficient management through controlling software is also an achievement of the restructuring process.
Helge Herbst: The generational change made it possible to restructure work within the management team. The redistribution of project management and project organization tasks relieved the workload of the founding partners. It also helped the firm grow and added new planning dimensions. As a result, our firm is well-positioned for the future.
What do you do to relax and unwind after work?
Reinhard Busch: Long walks give me a sense of balance. When I walk 8 kilometers a day, I feel good.
Helge Herbst: What relaxes me after a stressful day is reading my children bedtime stories at night.
Do you have a favorite place in Berlin? What is it and why?
Reinhard Busch: I don’t have any specific favorite place in Berlin. The unfinished state of Berlin and the constant change in the city are what make Berlin, as a whole, my favorite place.
Helge Herbst: My favorite place is Teufelsberg. It has a nice view of the big city. Standing there, with the city at your feet, you can transcend the everyday routine for a while.
Describe the firm and the daily routine at the firm in five phrases.
Reinhard Busch: Laughing together, finding solutions, designing habitats, job fulfillment, creating something together.
Helge Herbst: Fun, teamwork, professionalism, stress, happiness.
What goals have you set for the coming years? What would you like to accomplish?
Reinhard Busch: I would like for more architects and developers to allow more room for good ideas in their construction projects. My goal is to create projects with a meaningful design and ecological content which are also sustainable. I would also like to win some competitions.
Helge Herbst: I would like to have more balance in our project work in the future. My goal is ensuring consistently high quality in ambitious projects, and of course for everyone in the office to be happy.
The interview led Marlen Mattäus.