Yes, I had a great time living in Italy. But I missed the laughter and banter with our Buch & Schudrowitz family.
Enthusiasm for our work.
How it all began.
In 1991, in a cold February night, a young man in a flimsy leather jacket is hanging around the Potsdam bus terminal. Jan-Marek Buch, aged 22, keeps in the shadows while observing a gaggle of young women boarding a bus. From amid the throng of females rises the tall silhouette of an extremely chipper guy with a youthful face. Andreas Schudrowitz, aged 19 and clad in a monster of a down jacket, talks loudly and animatedly, his laughter echoing through the night.
Jan-Marek quietly winces to himself. When the bus finally leaves the terminal, he steps out of the gloom and heads towards the display cases with the schedules. He shivers from the cold.
„I had to wait half an hour for the next bus, but I thought that it was worth it,” Jan-Marek remembers. It was the second day of the entrance exams, the gateway to getting accepted into the conservation graduate program of the Technical College. Andreas laughs: “120 applicants to fill 10 places. I was only trying to lighten the mood a bit. But I do admit, I may have come over as a bit on the manic side…” Many of the applicants found his antics funny, and at the end of the exam period Andreas had gathered quite the fan club. Jan-Marek wasn’t one of them.
March 15th,1995, four years later, finds the two men starting a company at Jan-Marek’s kitchen table: Buch & Schudrowitz Conservation Services unlimited.
And this is how it happened: One day, during their internship, Jan-Marek and Andreas found themselves working side by side, realizing that things were running quite smoothly. Says an enthusiastic Andreas: “Jan-Marek’s way of working was incredibly structured, which did wonders for my self-confidence.” Jan-Marek nods: “And I noticed that behind Andreas’ extroverted façade lived a subtle understanding for the soul of the structures we were working on.”
They start growing together: Jan-Marek, the meticulous researcher and thinker; Andreas the creative visionary whose enthusiasm simply carries people away. These days, when in meetings with clients, Jan-Marek stops short Andreas’ flow of words with a kick to his shin; a seemingly playful but well-rehearsed gesture.
„We’ve been together for more than 20 years now,” Andreas remarks almost tenderly. Jan-Marek grins: „We’re an old couple who still has a lot of plans together.”
*1968 in East Berlin, board certified conservator for architectural surfaces with a degree in stone conservation.
Jan-Marek has a systematic way of working that I could never match, even if I had two lives to learn it. He scratches away at his stones with a patience and love that simply seems unattainable to me.
Down in the yard stood the ruin of a 19th century warehouse, a remnant of the grand Wilhelmian days. It was a children’s paradise, the favorite playground for the project kids. But while the others played hide-and-seek among the rubble, Jan-Marek used his pen knife to explore layer by layer a long-buried past. “I always wanted to know what’s underneath.”
Jan-Marek‘s father encourages his son’s scientific curiosity. Together they sneak through the construction fence of the “Schauspielhaus”, a grand and famous but now derelict theater. As Jan-Marek lays eyes on the dilapidated remnants of the formerly opulent mouldings, a dream is born. He is seven years old at the time.
In the year 1985 there were only 12 apprenticeship places for stucco plasterers available in all of East Berlin. 16-year old Jan-Marek manages to snag one of them. After the Wall comes down, he finds work as a stucco plasterer in monuments preservation. But he’s more than ready to delve deeper.
The year 1991 sees Jan-Marek joining the degree program for conservators at the Technical College Potsdam. His work there means the world to him. He’s even living on campus, doing chores like heating the vast old art room in winter. Jan-Marek does attend all the student parties, but the only thing that really gets him going is peering through the microscope: the stone samples seem to speak to him.
When looking at the rows upon rows of project files in today’s offices of Buch & Schudrowitz, one immediately notices Jan-Marek’s signature trait: meticulous order. His world is one of diligent research, of careful documentation and cataloging. It is an inventory of the past, but always with a view of things to come.
*1971 in East Berlin, board certified conservator for architectural surfaces with a degree in the restoration of wall paintings.
„Andreas is a butterfly. He is flitting from construction site to construction site as if from flower to flower, leaving a trail of happiness and creativity in his wake. There is nobody like him, me least of all.“ (laughs)
The East German state educational system is taking over his training. Andreas is to embark upon a marathon journey through classes and courses at the renowned Weissensee art academy.
In 1988 he is a mere 18 years old but already burnt out: „All that schooling and cramming had simply washed away my creativity.” Andreas turns away from the fine arts and enters an apprenticeship as a stucco plasterer. In the rough environment of construction sites his old effervescence is returning to him. He feels comfortable with being a craftsman, working with his hands.
But his dreams of artistic achievement are not entirely gone: Andreas applies for the sculpture program of the Weissensee art academy and breezes through the entrance exams.
He seems to be right back on track towards the lone-wolf existence of the individual artist. But then his mother shows him a newspaper clipping: The Technical College Potsdam is looking for applicants for their conservation program!
Andreas applies, and is accepted. But where he expected art and artisanship, he only finds more schooling—this time it’s art history and nature sciences. This does, however, significantly widen his horizons. Every building, every structure and object is a new adventure. Every conservation or restoration job has its very own signature which he needs to understand and define.
Until this day, Andreas has never regretted turning away from the fine arts. The challenges and secrets of conservation work have truly become a passion with him. Working as part of a creative team is a way of life—and he would never trade it in for anything else.
*1983 in East Berlin, freelance conservator with a degree in conservation and restoration of wall paintings and architectural surfaces.
To conserve or restore an object is like solving a riddle. You need logical thought, patience, subtlety, and skilled hands. For me, there is simply no greater challenge.
Luise Krause knows exactly what she wants: an internship, and pronto! Looking at her, one is almost inclined to ask just who is applying and who is accepting.
Luise came, saw and conquered—and stuck around. The daughter of an artist fell in love with the interplay of creative and rational thinking that is inherent to conservation work. While studying at the Technical College Potsdam, Luise became a stalwart of our company. Since taking her diploma in 2010, she has kept working with us as a freelance conservator.
Luise is the prodigal team player, full of energy and with a spirit of adventure. Together with her colleagues, she applies her considerable know-how to comprehensive conservation solutions. Luise works the details with skill and passion, while keeping in mind that there’s always the big picture to be considered.
*1966 in Rostock, freelance conservator with a degree in conservation and restoration of wall paintings and architectural surfaces.
Is there anything more glorious than working with pigments and bonds that have been around since ancient times?
We met Yerma in 1991, during the entrance exam of Technical College Potsdam.
Andreas’ antics and jokes help her to overcome her insecurities while she also learns to appreciate his drafting skills. They soon work hand in hand. Yerma, who is a trained porcelain painter, has a phenomenally steady hand with the paint brush; she is also gifted with an immensely subtle feel for color.
After finishing her degree, Yerma moves to Italy where she works as a freelance conservator, deeply immersing herself into the rich traditions there: the craftmanship, the bold coloring, the complexity of the ancient structures and their overwhelming details.
In 2005 she returns to Berlin, now sharing her experience with the younger generation of conservators at Buch & Schudrowitz: there is virtually nothing Yerma doesn’t know about historic materials and color blends. For our interns, she has become something of a mother figure.
*1969 in East Berlin, freelance conservator with a degree in conservation and restoration of wall paintings and architectural surfaces, board certified conservator.
The morning sun highlights the opulent ornamentation of the Sophien Church. Standing on the scaffold, one is positively moved by the spectacle of this 18th century architectural wonder. It’s almost like a journey back in time.
We lovingly call Bernhard “Mr. Wikipedia”. He commands phenomenal know-how, and his intellectual curiosity knows no bounds. Conservation and restoration for Bernhard means to continually discover the ever new “old” stories of people, places and materials.
As early as 1985, during his carpenter’s apprenticeship at the East German Monuments Preservation Collective, Bernhard realizes that he is in the right place; Berlin has an abundance of fascinating ruins and remnants. For three years he works at the Collective as a carpenter, then joins the degree program of the Technical College Potsdam in 1991.
It was there that we met, and in 1992, with him still in training for his degree, we started working joint projects. Countless more followed, and we consider ourselves extremely lucky that it worked out this way. Because we would be lost without our well-versed and trusted companion Bernhard.
*1982 in East Berlin, freelance conservator with a degree in conservation and restoration of wall paintings and architectural surfaces.
Deep in my heart I always knew that I wanted to become a conservator. As with many in our profession, the job has evolved to become a true calling.
And what a great decision this turned out to be! When in 2001 Tina joins us, we quickly find that this intern always seeks get to the bottom of things. Tina never overlooks anything, and even seemingly redundant tasks are taken on with meticulousness and diligence.
In 2004 she enters the degree program at the Technical College Potsdam. While in training, she keeps working with us, and is gradually becoming a fixture in the Buch & Schudrowitz family.
Since taking her diploma in 2009, Tina is frequently freelancing for us. She is a true allrounder: from stucco marble to examinations, Tina knows all, proving her versatility at every turn. The precision of her work is simply incomparable.
*1982 in Rostock, freelance conservator with a degree in conservation and restoration of wall paintings and architectural surfaces.
It’s really delightful when we examine objects and expose hidden treasures. For example, discovering opulent paintings and decoration that were buried for decades underneath layers of old paint.
Annett seeks high and low for a suitable internship, and in 2006 finds just the right one at Buch & Schudrowitz. And we’re lucky that we’re the ones she chose. She immediately wins us over with her passion and relentless focus on attaining mastery in her dream profession.
In 2007 Annett enters the degree program at the Technical College Potsdam. An internship semester leads her to Taiwan, and there to the Shui-Xian temple.
In 2012 Annett finishes her diploma. The examination of architectural surfaces becomes her domain—first as Jan-Marek’s right-hand woman, and eventually as the lead herself. It is here where she finds fulfilment in tracking down the history of objects as diverse as the old Prater Theater or the Tegel Airport.
*1973 in West-Berlin, freelance conservator with a degree in conservation and restoration of wall paintings and architectural surfaces.
I simply love the smell of old construction sites. You take away something in your heart from all of these places.
In 1996 Tina starts her studies in art history at the Technical University Berlin, then in 1998 she transfers to the Technical College Potsdam. An internship semester leads her back to Italy, to the Tuscany town of Arezzo. Here, at the Studio Tre, she is gathering valuable experience, taking a murals class among other things.
Since finishing her diploma in 2003, Tina works as a freelance conservator for a host of different clients. And we’re counting ourselves lucky to be among those. We love Tina’s passion and efficiency. She’s always on top of the project while keeping in mind the grand scheme of things.
*1978 In East Berlin, freelance conservator with a B. A. and M. A. for the conservation and restoration of wall paintings and architectural surfaces.
It’s a great working atmosphere with this company. Being around the double act of funny guy Andreas and straight man Jan-Marek makes it a well-rounded affair.
After finishing high school, Christian studies computer science. But he soon realizes the theoretical approach is not for him. He becomes an architectural draftsman, specializing in monuments preservation. In 2003 he begins an internship at the Mühlenbein-Schelkle restoration studio.
He stays with the studio for six years, eventually becoming assistant conservator. In 2009 he enters the conservation degree program at the Technical College Potsdam.
Christian has been working with us as a freelance conservator since 2015. He brings a contagious energy to the team and every site he works on. Christian actively seeks out work wherever his breathtaking conservation knowledge might serve to further the project. And he’s simply our ace-in-the-hole when it comes to all things digital.
*1971 in Teterow, freelance conservator
Brick upon brick. Just imagine, people have been laying bricks since the neo-lithic age. That’s more than 13.000 years!
In 1990 he finishes his apprenticeship and starts working for „Universale Bau GmbH”, a construction company. Whenever he visits his family in the rural town of Rathenow, he is pulled towards the Romanesque church that lost its belfry during WWII. Trees are growing among the rubble where once the chancel was located.
One day, Holger sees the old belfry being rebuild. The past makes its way into the present! In 1994 he starts working for conservators.
Over the coming years, he assembles a trove of knowledge—with render and plaster becoming his specialty. Holger has been working as a freelance conservator since 2004, and we do everything to keep securing his services. No matter if at the old Berlin Opera House or at the archeological dig around Petriplatz—seeing Holger in action is watching an artist at work.
*1977 in East Berlin, freelance conservator with a B.A. in conservation and restoration of wall paintings and architectural surfaces.
Whenever you see something you have planned and worked on together going really well, we are simply happy as kids. This kind of attitude is forging a bond.
And the spark catches on: intellectual challenge in combination with hands-on artisanship—this is exactly what Micha has always been looking for. He throws himself with abandon at every project and object, while effortlessly blending in with the team. Micha is a perfect fit for the Buch & Schudrowitz family.
In 2010 he enters the conservation degree program at the Technical College Potsdam, while continuing to work with us. He’s a tinkerer and inventor in his own right, easily coming to grips with every conceivable kind of machinery. He has great imagination, which is invaluable when planning complex projects.
Abri und Raabe, architects
Alexandrinenstr. 2-3, 10969 Berlin
büro west, architects
Geneststaße 5, 10829 Berlin
Fachhochschule Potsdam (technical college)
Kiepenheuerallee 5, 14469 Potsdam
Jugendbauhütte Brandenburg/Berlin (youth center)
Wichgrafstraße 7-9, 14482 Potsdam
RWTH Aachen University, co-operation
Templergraben 55, 52062 Aachen
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin“
FEAD GmbH (contactors)
Königsheideweg 291, 12487 Berlin
Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz (monuments preservation endowment)
Brüderstraße 13, 10178 Berlin
Kulturstiftung Dessau/Wörlitz (cultural endowment)
Ernst-Zindel-Str. 8, 06847 Dessau-Roßlau
Deffner & Johann GmbH (contractors)
Mühläcker Straße 13, D-97520 Röthlein
Kremer Pigmente GmbH & Co. KG (materials suppliers)
Hauptstr. 41 – 47, DE 88317 Aichstetten
Remmers Baustofftechnik GmbH (materials suppliers)
Wittestr. 46 - 48 13509 Berlin
PROPOLIS Naturwerkstoffe (materials suppliers)
Oranienstr 19a, 10999 Berlin
Naturbaustoffe Berlin (materials suppliers)
Schlesische Straße 38, 10997 Berlin
KREIDEZEIT Naturfarben GmbH (materials suppliers)
Kassemühle 3, 31195 Lamspringe
Baustoffe CLAYTEC e. K. (materials suppliers)
Nettetaler Str. 113, 41751 Viersen
CAPAROL Farben Lacke (materials suppliers)
Roßdörfer Straße 50, Industriegebiet 1, 64372 Ober-Ramstadt
GOLEM-Kunst und Baukeramik GmbH (materials suppliers)
Alte Frankfurter Straße 2a, 15236 Sieversdorf
Liebscher Blattgold GmbH (materials suppliers)
Dohnaer Straße 22, 01219 Dresden
KEIMFARBEN GMBH (materials suppliers)
Keimstraße 16, 86420 Diedorf
KNCS Colour AB, Restaurierungsbedarf (materials suppliers)
Box 49022, 100 28 Stockholm
Rajasil Baustoffe HECK Wall Systems GmbH (materials suppliers)
Thölauer Straße 25, 95615 Marktredwitz
Manufactum Warenhaus (materials suppliers)
Hardenbergstraße 4-5, 10623 Berlin
boesner GmbH (materials suppliers)
Marienburger Straße 16, 10405 Berlin
Zollstraße 2, 87509 Immenstadt
Festo Vertrieb GmbH & Co. KG (materials suppliers)
Festo Campus 1, 73734 Esslingen
Hilti, Werkzeughersteller + Baustoffe (equipment suppliers)
An der Ostbahn 7, bei Dämmisol Baustoffe GmbH, 10243 Berlin
Makita Werkzeug GmbH (equipment suppliers)
Makita-Platz 1, 40885 Ratingen
GREGOMATIC AG (equipment suppliers)
Industriesstrasse 6, CH-6285 Hitzkirch
Mercedes Benz Nutzfahrzeuge (equipment suppliers)
Rhinstraße 100 - 120, 12681 Berlin-Marzahn
Dipl.-Ing. Helmut Gondek Gondek Sauerstoffgeräte (equipment suppliers)
Ernst-Thälmann-Straße 39, 16356 Ahrensfelde
fokus Gesellschaft für Bauvermessung Photogrammetrie und Bildverarbeitung mbH (surveyors)
Lauchstädter Str. 20, 04229 Leipzig
Kulzer GmbH (materials supplier)
Leipziger Straße 2, 63450 Hanau