Ramón Esteve Cambra – Ramón Esteve Estudio | Arquitectura y Diseño – Valencia (Spain)
Centro Congresos Myrtus, Vivienda en paz y comedias, Vivienda La Solana, Tienda Chapeau, Vivienda Na Xemena, Casa Prisma, Vivienda en Monasterios …
1 – Who is Ramón Esteve?
Someone who is stimulated by everything related to beauty and intelligence.
2 – When did you discover that you wanted to be an architect?
From very early on. At first it was intuition, because until you’re not very involved in the field, you don’t know well what architecture is.
3 – A reference in architecture…
The great architects of the 20th century, especially Le Corbusier and Wright. A little later Kahn and Lewerentz. If we speak of the contemporaries, I am very much interested in Koolhas, Zumthor, Herzog & De Meuron, also in vernacular architecture, in particular Mediterranean architecture.
In terms of design, I like the Eames or Jacobsen designs, but I’m also fascinated by many anonymous objects by their ability to leave their imprint from what is everyday and commonplace.
4 – If you had not been architect, you would have been…
Any discipline that had to do with ingenuity and creativity. I like cinema. I think there are many similarities between cinema and architecture, both of them surround you; on one hand the feeling in cinema is more direct but nevertheless in architecture it is full, since it involves all the senses.
5 – One defect and one virtue.
As a defect, I am quite perfectionist and obsessive, and as a virtue, the same things.
6 – What is your house like?
I designed and built my house in the historic center of Valencia. I have my atelier on the lower floors and live in the attic. It is very sober but amiable. It has an almost monastic austerity but with a hedonistic touch.
7 – Sunday is a day for…
I do thousands of things every day, so I try to save one day for a small change of habits. The truth is that it’s the day that I’m the most relaxed. I usually eat with my friends or my family. The time I have left over I spend doing a bit of sport, seeing an exhibition, going to the movies, or reading.
8 – A place to look for inspiration…
I love to travel; I spend much of my time doing it, so that whenever I do it I discover new things in other cultures and in my own. However, the Mediterranean is a constant reference for me.
Although actually inspiration is found in the most unexpected places. Often, even a few words can be inspiring.
9 – What is the last book that you have read?
“Decisive Moments in History” by Stefan Zweig, specifically the story of the creation of Händel’s Messiah.
10 – 15 Years from now…
Continue with the same eagerness and enthusiasm with which I approach any project right now.
11 – When you think of architecture you think of…
Emotion and reason, beauty and intelligence, concept and shape…
12 – Pencil or computer?
Both. I start all my architectural and design projects with freehand sketches, using color pencils or watercolors and later when I believe that I have a strong idea, I start giving it dimensions, and in order to do this I use the computer directly and I continue printing and correcting by hand on the printed drawings.
13 – How would you describe your work?
It is a very complex work that seeks to reach a very simple result.
14 – One project you would like to do.
I am interested in projects where I can create a whole universe, designing all the elements that make it up. More than the scale of the projects, I’m interested in their scope.
15 – Your opinion of Spanish architecture.
I think the level is very high; in fact it is internationally renowned. For me one of the most important qualities is that it achieves great intensity without the need for great means.
16 – How do you keep your own style while meeting your customers’ needs?
The challenge is to ensure that each project has its own character and that its residents feel represented in it, so every project is different. Each work is configured on specific initial parameters, including the needs of the client. A project begins when, while working on it, I manage to give it unity and identity, and finally soul.
17 – In architecture, what are you better at and what do you have more trouble with?
The truth is that I enjoy but I also suffer during all the projects. Large scale public buildings such as hospitals, research centers, libraries… have been very motivating challenges, but certainly the projects that I connect with the most are the small scale ones, such as single-family homes. There is a personal relationship established with the resident and it is in these projects that the potential of generating a unique and personalized universe emerges, a scenario that connects and stimulates those who live in it.
18 – Your recipe for success.
Enjoy doing things and seek that they empathize with those who use them.
19 – What is the role of natural products in your projects?
A project’s materials have to do with its character, and this is determined by external and internal factors such as location, representativeness, function, etc.
I have a special affinity for natural materials because with these materials, there is a greater ancestral connection with the natural environment. I would like to propose a revision of these materials, using new technologies for processing them, so that the result gives us a new contemporary vision different from the traditional one.
20 – Your flagship L’Antic Colonial product is…
Due to my affinity with natural materials I find that L’Antic Colonial has an endless number of options. I really like the mosaics but also the carved natural stone basins.