Name: Filipe Nunes
Company: Filipao Nunes Arquitectos
Position within company: Director
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc).
I´m a Portuguese architect, who started studies at U.Porto – Faculty of Architecture, and finished them at Valladolid School of architecture. 14 years later, I came to Monterrey, just to know the city, but I never imagine what would happen next…
I did my last project in Valladolid, Spain. There, I represented the city in an international award in Norway, which is called “Princesa Kristina de Noruega” this project consisted in a Chapel design in honor of Olav the Saint, there were 32 projects; and the jury composed by renowed architects from Spain and Norway, awarded honourable mention to 7 projects and three accesit, this was a very important platform to start working with Manuel Sanchez Vera () and Lucio Morini; where the activities were focused in award projects, some of this projects where “Estratos historicos”, which was the design of a elevated building, with four levels connected by a ramp, in which you can find a museum, a market, a sports center, and a plaza; another project was “Viviendas jovenes San Bernardo” this project consist in the design of a residential building.
After two years of living in Madrid, I had this arising desire to know more about Mexico. Since I had Mexican friends, I decided to go, and live a semester as an exchange student, once being in San Pedro Garza Garcia,a place in the northeast of Mexico, I had the opportunity to work with Agustin Landa Vertiz, for a year and a half, one of my projects back there, is Hotel Habitat; in this project I worked with Yousef Dirab.
Time afeter this, I wanted to start my own bussines, to start I partenet with Osiel Contreras for 8 years.
From there on, I started focusing on my own thing, by that I mean working in a market niche that I considered, it has something unique and different from the rest, this market being nightclubs, bars, restaurants, discotects, and hospitality in general
How would you describe your personal design style?
Despite Mies Van Der Rohe, being my favourite architect, Alvaro Siza and Souto Moura were my mentors, and they helped me to shape my design style. In our studio we believe in making projects with an integral concept while generating experiences.
Working in the commercial market, allows me to be more trendy and to take more risks than if I were to make a home, to us residential projects have to be timeless, with finishes, materials, and a neutral pallete color, I this projects we play more with the accents, because you can change them anytime you want.
Lazaro Casas Violan is such an inspiration with the mix of materials, and plasticity that has in all his projects.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Music, fashion, art and contemporany architecture
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I feel that the revival trend, is still really strong, and that there is an eclectic vibe that has been growing and that is going to be here for many years more, and that mixing antique accents with technology is really interesting in every design.
This year, show us something we were missing in all projects, from now on, I feel that the new projects may be more human, focusing in other people, and everything will reflect in the spaces and the occupation of them.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.
2020 has been a year with a lot of changes, a lot of new challenges even for the new designs, in which of course we have to care about the texture, the shape, the lightning, but now, more than ever, we have to include some of the preventive measures for coronavirus, such as keeping distance, cleaning accessories, and automation.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Be unique, authenticity is the key.
How important are The International Hotel & Property Awards?
Is a very important platform where you can show your job, and you can be inspired by the competition, the exposure that is brought by the platform, maybe is a little risky to say that it has made us have new clients. Thanks to be in the awards we were able to knew colleagues, who can we work with in the future.
Winning, last year brought to the office impact both at studio level and at staff level, giving confidence to the team and motivating them to give their best.
What projects are you currently working on?
Right now we are working, with different restaurant groups, all over Mexico, and after winning the Design et Al awards, be get calls to work with an international hotel group in Canada, Latin America and some other restaurants in Aruba, Bali, Phuket, Panama.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
In the following months we would like to materialize each of the projects that had to be stopped in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, we also want to resume the growth of our office and our brand
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your most treasured possession?
Some personal items, heritage by my grandfather, maybe the cigar case which has the picture of my grandmother
Your favourite holiday destination?
Holiday destination: Capri
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
Hotel: less and less Beverly Hills
Restaurant: Sketch, London
Bar: Has Poutin, Paris
Your favourite book, film & song?
Book: The alchemist
Song: A wonderful day
Your favourite food and drink?
Food: Bacalao tradicional sea bass dish
Drink: Gin and tonic
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Sailing with my wife and my child, it was a wonderful experience, that I would love to repeat very soon
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Would be a sailor, because Portugal is a place where the ocean is really important, and I just love it.
Filipao Nunes Arquitectos have been Shortlisted for Restaurant – The Americas Award, Bar/Club/Lounge – Global Award and Bar/Club/Lounge – Global Award (2 projects) in The International Hotel and Property Awards 2020.
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