We like to build homes that reveal themselves. We build homes with alternate paths, shying-away from the over-imposing norm. We create houses with life that is interweaved with space and distance. We erect living spaces that suggest different itineraries from the typical environments, always promoting the renewal of customs.
We´ve been told that our architectural work intensifies a place, ensuring that our projects keep one foot at home and another in nature.
We like to dilute the border between what is man-made and what is natural. We propose strategies that contrast interiors with exteriors, even with the color palette. We then connect the different environments giving them visual continuity. Our structures merge with the landscape when the terrain calls for it, which it almost always does when one looks into it.
We have learned a lot about architecture from our customers, always asking them for feedback. We even ask them about things unrelated to architecture; ´the doctor not only listens to you, but also carefully examines even the smallest of details of your body´. Even still, we absolutely always ask about the kitchen, which is the heart and essence of a home. In the end, design comes from the fire within. We believe that there are architectural styles that allow for completely different uses. While there´s no possible alteration of a typical 1970´s apartment; an early 20th century regal property has a multitude of absolutely outstanding transformation possibilities.
We like to renovate: it’s an attitude. Whether we have to preserve and reinterpret an architectural masterpiece, or recycle a plain structure because of legislation, or demolish and start over from empty space, to us its like an empty canvas: were always innovating.
The way we work changes and adapts. When we work with an open terrain with subtle limits and no distractions, we have to launch something new. When facing a jagged cliff with a crooked outlook, we let the local topography guide us. In the presence of the varying building rules of Barbados´ construction companies, we change our mental approaches…
We realize that the creative phase will come, only being a matter of time. The key is to be flexible, to question the project, go to the building site, and to put together and take apart it all apart like a toy, as a team effort. We constantly visit the project site. We go back and re-sketch the plan. We´re capable of redrawing the same solution twenty times like a litany, in which drawing is like turning on a water faucet that fills up glasses.
We listen to the suggestions given to us by the carpenters, plumbers, and construction workers. We refute our own plan if necessary, or we demonstrate how seemingly impossible feats can be made into reality. Sometimes we have to be persistent in our persuasion. Even if plumbers say that everything is possible on paper, we respond that reality sometimes bears surprises that we could have never drawn-up.
They say we are reckless because we don´t follow what´s fashionable, other groups of people, or even popular tendencies. In 1993, when we designed our first restaurant in Barcelona, La Fonda, we were questioned in terms of our ideas. How dare us for placing bronze painted lamps in a colonial shop, it was forbidden!
We aren´t picking a side, but we´re sure that if we act without prejudice that the playing field will always open up, offering lots of possibilities, even when it comes to style. Whether we invert the layout of a Mezzanine to soften the excessive Mediterranean lighting, or rearrange a house fanning-it-out to match-up with the sun, we always do it with our own anti-snobbish style. Even if we´re designing a Japanese restaurant based on clichés, everything ends up casually lining into place, forming a logical, practical and natural esthetic solution.
We have faith in challenges and their circumstances because they always end up deciding a project´s look. We follow the clues laid down by chance, if and when they appear. We even pay attention to those strange coincidences that might come up along the way. As we finish certain steps during the work process, we can change the storyboard and take out pieces of the main idea, leaving just a small trace of it, and create an opening for a whole new identity.
We don´t intend to say that we haven´t been influenced by other´s works. Vitrubio, Semper, and Melnikov´s Fractals, are just a few examples. Those role models, along with our belief in transversal principles of architecture such as flow, a concept we feel is key and adapted differently to each project, greatly influence us. Whether it’s a house or a nightclub, the flow is crucial. Because in the end, the interior design of a nightclub is made by the flow of its people´s bodies and faces…
Every time, we realize that the esthetics derived from a project´s beginnings enrich and diversify the final product. So, when a client comes to us with magazine cut-outs and tells us, “that´s exactly what we don´t want”, we point to a clause we sometimes include in contracts, yielding great results, “We have the right to spend a weekend at the client´s home, once finished.”