At ARK, they maintain that their goal is not to build homes, but to create experiences. To achieve this, the interior design department has a lot to contribute. Is it really like this?
Indeed, each of our villas are conceived on the principle that all the perspectives or disciplines, including interior design, play a very important role in the creative process. Together with our clients, we have the objective to create a magical universe in which all those emotions and dreams flourish. We create shelters, sanctuaries of peace where you are immersed in the architectural strength as well as the calm and placidity brought by light, rhythm, colour, textures and smells that come with the interior design and decoration.
How and when is this task integrated into the work process that the architects’ studio has developed?
In ARK we are lucky that all our projects are born thanks to the work led by the architects but they always work jointly and simultaneously with interior designers, landscapers and of course, the clients. In this way, every detail is taken care of to the millimetre and fully adapted to the needs of the future user.
The constant communication between all these people ensures a spectacular result that we can already visualise thanks to the impressive images generated by our 3D visualization team, images that we turn into reality when the house is built.
The interior designers are present at each and every one of the phases of the process, from the initial drawings to the positioning of the last work of art in the house, during the study of the layout, the choice of general materials, the analysis of the options for electrical installations, home automation and air conditioning and, of course, decision-making on the construction site.
To what extent does the architectural design of a house influence its decorative style?
Normally in a very direct way, and this perhaps explains that, since each villa is studied in an unitary way, the different teams or departments act in total harmony and with very clear common guidelines. But as in everything there are exceptions and we have had clients who requested a house of contemporary architecture, almost minimalist on the exterior but of a completely classic style for the interior. Even in that case, we have always tried to make sure that both disciplines are very connected and that it is something easily perceived and almost tangible. When you access one of our villas, you feel a total harmony between the architecture, interior design and landscape.
Light has a fundamental role in the Mediterranean. Is this reflected in the work carried out by ARK Interiors?
Yes, all our houses have a strong Mediterranean idiosyncrasy. We seek to make the most of that energy and strength with which light fills the spaces, always accompanying it, but never taking away its importance. From there we move mostly between natural and noble materials, often sourced from the area, soft colour palettes, relaxed and serene textures, creating natural environments, the sea and above all light.
What are the current trends in interior decoration?
We try not to rely on that when designing. It is true that we live in an over-informed society and it is almost impossible not to be aware of everything that happens. We are aware of the latest developments in brands, materials, techniques, we go to international design fairs … but I think the ideal and really complicated thing is to go one step further, to go beyond, seeking the balance between originality and the timelessness, since we are dealing with residential designs and not the retail or hospitality sector, which tend to blindly follow trends.
What are, in your experience, the rooms that re the most prominent in a home and that, therefore, demand a greater effort from the interior designer?
For me a first impression is of extreme importance and it is of course your calling card, so I can certainly say that the entrance hall matters a lot. We will always have imposing elements, whether architectural such as stairs or atriums, or decorative features such as large lamps or pieces of art. Still, I do not think it should be the main character in the story. I think this will depend a lot on the client and the lifestyle of his or her family.
In some cases, the kitchen becomes the heart of the house, becoming the meeting point for its inhabitants and in others the garage is the crown jewel, becoming an authentic automobile museum and it is the one space that requires the most dedication in design and execution. Experience tells us that in the majority of cases, the exterior rooms are the undisputed stars.
“WE LOVE TO PERSONALISE A HOUSE WITH ELEMENTS DESIGNED BY US AND SPECIALLY MADE FOR THE HOUSE.”
Can each space of the house enjoy its own prominence or is it more advisable to follow a line that reflects the same style throughout?
I am very fond of telling stories and that everything has a tangible cohesion. I think that this always contributes to the design and is very common in the profession, but, of course, at ARK Interiors we try to make each space special and with its own personality, a space where you can find something captivating that makes you remember it.
You define yourself as being eclectic. Is it about creating trends or eras?
I am very free-spirited, really, but I can also say that I am very contemporary, sometimes minimalist, other time I overelaborate … I let myself be carried away and be inspired by the place, the client and the context . I dream a lot but then you have to know how to turn those dreams into reality. That’s the hard part of residential design, at least for me. Of course, I consider myself an absolute fan of the masters like Jaime Hayón (I believe that originality emanates from his hands) and Lee Broom, whose objects are pure examples of beauty.
Tell me about five pieces you consider essential in any project.
We love to personalise the houses with elements designed by us and thanks to our network of artisans, carpenters, metalworkers, etc. we can develop totally exclusive and customized pieces. And as for the essentials, I would love that all our houses featured an artwork: a sculpture by Matthew Lehanneuro or Fernando Mastrangelo, a canvas by Paul Kremer or Matti Braun, as well as large table where one can sit with friends. I think that these are enough to fill a house.