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ESSENZA LIVING Developers of contemporary villas in Marbella 2013 路 Issue N潞1

I N S P I R AT I O N A L I D E A S I N T H E W O R L D O F M O D E R N A R C H I T E C T U R E A N D I N T E R I O R D E S I G N

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ESSENZA LIVING

REDEFINING DESIGN WITH INSPIRATIONAL MODERN ARCHITECTURE

We are pleased to welcome all our friends, colleagues and readers to the first edition of Essenza Magazine. This publication is different from others on the Costa del Sol, as we focus exclusively on modern architecture in Marbella and trends in the world of contemporary architecture, materials and interior design, and feature our most valuable partner companies – who all make an essential contribution to the completion of Essenza villas.

We hope you enjoy our style of architecture as much as we do. We are passionate about creating beautiful, high-quality properties, redefining design and giving new direction to modern architecture in Marbella. And also about bringing you up to date with inspiring new ideas from the worlds of architecture and interior decoration.

Essenza is a young company, but its founders have over 25 years of experience in the respective worlds of architecture and real estate in Marbella. Our motivation in launching Essenza arises from a desire to provide an answer to the poor supply, but growing demand, of modern, international architecture in Marbella: that is, properties that meet the improving, up-to-date standards of aesthetic appeal, layout, quality, finish of materials and installations.

Carlos Lamas Patrick van Dam

It seems strange in today’s market but finding these type of houses isn’t all that easy, especially not in the most desirable locations – the well-established areas in and around Marbella. There have been some attempts at modern architecture undertaken over the past few years, but only very few villas do actually appeal to this category of buyer: often younger, cosmopolitan, affluent… and discerning. Modern architecture seems simple: straight lines minimising the “frills”, and a focus on light, sense of space and clean finishes. However, creating a contemporary villa incorporating all these desired requirements – with an appealing and not too radical design to attract a broader market, and neutral finishes (for if you ever consider re-selling) in the right location – requires extensive preparation in the pre-design/construction stage. The first challenge is to find the optimal plot (nearly impossible in Marbella, as all the best plots have been built) or demolish or reform an existing house. Next is the process of planning and regulations, and technical assessment of the land or house and feasibility. For the final development of the villa we rely on a broad team of professionals and experts in the market, including interior designers who are involved in the construction from day one.

Published by Essenza Living Tel. (+34) 952 857 615 (+34) 609 572 275 · (+34) 619 534 815 info@essenzaliving.com www.essenzaliving.com

Produced by Spectrum Publicaciones www.homeandlifestyle.es Tel. (+34) 952 905 000 Publisher: Sally Cullens Editor: Peter Leonard Layout & Production: Pilar Anguita Photography: David Toms

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OUTDOOR COLLECTION Carlos Lamas - Arquitecto: Bvard. Alfonso Ppe. Hohenlohe. C.C. Marbella Real, loc. 25 y 26. 29602 MARBELLA (M谩laga).T. 952886970. F. 952886970 Head Office Kettal / Contract: Arag贸n 316. 08009 Barcelona. Spain. T. (34) 93 487 90 90. www.kettal.com


ESSENZA LIVING

Contents 2013 · Issue 1

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Marbella

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Market Outlook

Contemporary Glamour

Marbella Real Estate

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Essenza Living

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Market Advice

Global Styling Concept

Building in Marbella

Planning Permission

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Avant-Garde Style

Latest Trends in Design & Décor

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Marbella Lifestyle

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Property Showcase

Spectacular Symmetry

Verdant Tranquillity

Exceptional Project

Immaculate Modernity

Luxury Weekend

Panoramic Splendour

Creative Cuisine

Exquisite Sophistication

Alpine Resort

Beachfront Masterpiece

Elegant Refinement

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The Professionals

Seaside Chic

Essenza’s Preferred Partners

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MARBELLA

STYLE AND SOPHISTICATION

Marbella’s glamorous past dates to the 1950s, when the early “jet-setters” gathered at Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe’s luxurious beachside residence to party during the day and dance the night away. Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Maria Calla, Aristotle Onassis, Ted Kennedy, Gunther Sachs and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were among the wealthy and famous from around the world who sipped champagne by the sea and dined on exquisite Mediterranean delicacies at the sprawling finca that was to become Marbella Club Hotel. Over the past decade, that golden age has undergone various transformations but Marbella today remains a splendidly cosmopolitan, diverse and affluent area offering everything from trendy beach bars, select boutiques, Michelin-star restaurants, five-star hotels and exclusive nightclubs to picturesque marina

resorts, highly-regarded international schools and several worldclass golf courses… an incomparable mix of contemporary chic and traditional allure. Extending from Elviria to the east, home to some of the Coast’s finest beaches, through the venerable cobble-stoned streets of the Old Town, along the celebrated Golden Mile to sumptuous Puerto Banús and, just beyond, San Pedro de Alcántara, and into the verdant mountain hinterland, Marbella has become a home away from home for hundreds of thousands of expatriates. And, as the stunning properties featured in this first issue of Essenza Living highlight, they have found an exceptional range of homes… from lavish penthouses to palatial mansions. All (at least those showcased in these pages) built or renovated in a cutting-edge modern architectural style. Marbella… for truly privileged contemporary living.

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ESSENZA BUSINESS

ESSENZA LIVING

DEVELOPERS OF HIGH-QUALITY MODERN VILLAS IN MARBELLA’S FINEST LOCATIONS Essenza Living is a quality brand in the design and construction of contemporary homes. Created by leading architect Carlos Lamas and the founder of Prestige Estates Marbella, Patrick van Dam, ESSENZA is a unique design concept for clients who seek the development or refurbishment of high-quality, contemporary villas featuring up-to-date styling and standards. The concept is also tailored to investors looking to maximise returns by creating unique modern properties of superlative architectural design and finish set in prime locations.

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With this in mind, Essenza villas are becoming a reference point in the current market for leading-edge contemporary styling. These homes suit the ambient lifestyle of Marbella and resonate strongly with discerning international buyers, especially those from across northern and central Europe. With land resources limited and most of Marbella and its immediate surroundings fully consolidated, there is very little development land left. As a result, many of the properties offered for sale require either full reconstruction or extensive upgrading.

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Prime locations in the area are at a premium due to limited supply and strong demand. In such cases, and where the property has not been maintained to current standards, its value resides primarily in the land (location), and it becomes attractive for both end-users and investors to create stunning new homes in the most sought-after settings. Essenza assists clients in sourcing such opportunities and can create outstanding contemporary villas that meet the require-

ments and standards of a new generation of buyers. As a result, Essenza villas are only found in the finest locations within the consolidated residential areas of Marbella and surroundings. This, together with the uniqueness and pedigree of the properties created, ensures solid, long-term real estate investment. Essenza is involved in the entire process from sourcing and surveying to design, building, project management and the eventual marketing of bespoke modern villas.

ESSENZA SERVICES Developers: · Total design concept for new contemporary villas and refurbishments by Carlos Lamas Architects · Interior design · Landscaping

Project management: · Supervision on-site during construction · Tendering of builders · Regular reports · Purchasing of materials and installations

Real estate: · Marketing and sales of modern villas · Consultancy prior to development (for land or existing houses), specialising in sourcing optimum sites and projects for clients

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GLOBAL STYLING CONCEPT Carlos Lamas is an established and highly respected Argentinean architect in Marbella and is locally and internationally known as one of the most forward-thinking architects in southern Spain, with an impressive portfolio of contemporary houses, urbanisations and public buildings to his name. Carlos’ work has been featured in both national and international press, publications and architectural magazines. His architecture workshop has been established on the Costa del Sol for more than 20 years and offers a com

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plete service ranging from advice before purchasing a plot to main design concepts and site supervision during construction. Carlos Lamas’ work combines architecture and interior design in a global styling concept. You can find his distinctively designed villas in prime Costa del Sol residential areas including Sierra Blanca, Lomas de Puente Romano, Camoján, Guadalmina Baja, La Zagaleta, Los Monteros, Elviria, Hacienda Las Chapas, Marbesa, Los Flamingos and Sotogrande.

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OVERVIEW “Turn-key’ project from start to delivery FEASIBILITY · Find the right investment (location) for new construction or refurbishment · Assist with all legal and technical matters concerning the investment · Architectural Report & Construction Survey by the technical architect (engineer) in the case of an existing house · Design project and building project by Carlos Lamas Architects · Preliminary budget costing and planning of project PRE-CONSTRUCTION · Obtaining required licenses and permits to build or renovate a house · Tender between qualified and reputable construction companies and assistance in the selection process · Preparation of works planning, project cash flow programme and building contract CONSTRUCTION · Supervision on-site during construction process, including validation of works executed · Assisting in selection of suppliers and materials for kitchens, domotics, bathrooms, etc. · Project management: regular reports with updates, images, briefings, etc. · Gardening and landscape design project · Interior design · Obtaining First Occupancy Licence after completion to connect utility suppliers · Marketing property (if required)

CONTACT DETAILS Tel. (+34) 952 857 615 · (+34) 609 572 275 · (+34) 619 534 815 info@essenzaliving.com · www.essenzaliving.com www.twitter/essenzaliving · www.facebook.com/essenzaliving

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Located in Luxembourg, the company Keller developed his sliding windows system minimal windows in order to give a response to the necessities of the comtemporary architecture. After the successful installation of hundreds of minimal windows in all Europe, now you can enjoy our system in Spain. With our system you can install huge windows and move them effortlessly. And, as you can see in the pictures, you will get in your house the transparency of the glass with the insulation of a window. For us, it is not only important the high quality of our products but also the personal contact with our customers, we will be pleased to help you with the solutions of your project.

A window whose most visible innovation is its invisibility

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© Katharina Reckendorfer

© Irme Csany

Extremely slender profiles that don’t obstruct the view

Transparency

KELLER minimal windows® is a holistic concept based on sophisticated running rail and locking technology. The “roller carriage” and “locking systems” represent an absolute new development.

Transparent surfaces are integral parts of each building object. They also form a major part of the appearance of old and new buildings. Thanks to the high degree of flexibility, practically no design compromises have to be accepted.

The innovative KELLER minimal windows® system permits a low construction depth with maximum stability. The window frame is only 38 mm wide. The frame can completely be integrated into the masonry resulting in a fully frameless transparency. The profile width of the intermediate profiles only amounts to 21 mm.

In view of its slender and modular conception, the system is equally suitable for new buildings and modernisation projects, or large and small spans, for façades or interiors. A large number of very large sliding elements can thus be used that are either matched to one another or disappear soundlessly into an intermediate wall. Even when shut, the view from the light flooded room out into nature is unhindered.

Avenida Pablo VI, 9 local 2ª. 28224 Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid) Tlf (+34) 609 867 855 info@minimalwindows.es · www.minimalwindows.es · www.minimal-windows.com

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ESSENZA PROPERTIES

Spectacular Symmetry A stunning contemporary villa located in one of eastern Marbella most exclusive urbanisations, Hacienda Las Chapas, this unique property was designed by Carlos Lamas and completed in late 2012 – finished to the highest standards with meticulous attention to detail, technology and comfort. The symmetrically designed three-story villa is west-facing, offering great views to Elviria, Marbella bay and the

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mountains. The “overflow” pool accentuates these views, especially at night – the ideal place to dine under a large covered terrace. The main level comprises an ample living room (with the floors made from large pieces of light limestone) featuring large and solid windows from Schuco. There is access from the living area to a modern open kitchen, with slick white handle-free doors and a Corian worktop.

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In addition, a room connected to the living area (separated by sliding doors) could easily be used as an office or bedroom if desired – served by a bathroom. A staircase or lift leads to the upper level with the main bedroom en-suite and two other bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, all with vaulted ceilings. The bedrooms have access to an expansive open terrace offering stunning sea views. The basement comprises two additional spacious bedrooms plus bathrooms, and a garage for two cars, which can be extended. The installations room is also situated in the basement. The villa is fitted with the latest modern installations in-

cluding alarm, air-conditioning, under-floor heating (water), domotics system with iPad-docking (light control), music system with incorporated speakers, and gas fire in the living room. The gardens are landscaped in a contemporary style – in perfect harmony with the house. The high-quality and tasteful furniture – the whole interior is designed by a Belgium architect – is subject to negotiation. Hacienda Las Chapas is the most elegant villa district in the eastern part of Marbella. The residential community offers a 24-hour security service and is only 15 minutes drive from Marbella’s centre and 25 minutes from Málaga international airport.

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This exclusive area is situated close to the white sandy beaches of Cabopino and Elviria, as well as leading five-star hotels, exclusive beach clubs, numerous restaurants and extensive shopping facilities. Nearby are excellent tennis clubs and the Cabopino yachting port.

FEATURES n n n n n n n

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Year of construction 2012 5 bedrooms 5 bathrooms 635 m2 total built area (approx.) 1,790 m2 plot area (approx.) Garage for 3 cars For more information, visit www.essenzaliving.com

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Our Vision Essenza Living is a quality brand in the design and construction of contemporary homes – a unique concept for clients who seek the development or refurbishment of high-quality villas featuring up-to-date styling and standards. Created by leading architect Carlos Lamas and Prestige Estates Marbella founder Patrick van Dam, the Essenza concept is also tailored to investors looking to maximise returns by creating unique modern properties of superlative architectural design and finish set in prime locations. Essenza villas are becoming a reference point in the current market for leading-edge contemporary styling, with homes that suit the ambient lifestyle of Marbella and resonate strongly with discerning international buyers, especially those from across northern and central Europe.

CONTACT DETAILS Tel. (+34) 952 857 615 · (+34) 609 572 275 · (+34) 619 534 815 info@essenzaliving.com · www.essenzaliving.com

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ESSENZA PROPERTIES

Verdant Tranquillity IN ONE OF MARBELLA’S FINEST AREAS This contemporary luxury villa designed by Carlos Lamas is set on a large plot of nearly 2,400 square metres, overlooking the stunning coastline in one of Marbella’s most exclusive and wellestablished areas. Situated in a lush green, tranquil and secure area, Cascada de Camojan is only a few minutes drive from Marbella centre and Puerto Banús.

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The villa has a wide driveway leading to a large garage (four cars) and an imposing entrance door made of Iroko wood. Its three levels are connected by a lift and a main staircase, as well as a service staircase to the garage. On the ground floor a huge lounge with a modern open-plan kitchen (with Taso marble worktop) and dining area invites us to relax and enjoy the spectacular sea views, verdant greenery and

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Marbella city. A guest toilet, TV area and utility room (including a “freeze room�) complete this level. On the first floor are four bedrooms en-suite, with direct access to their own terraces. The master bedroom has its own dressing room and large bathroom. An extra room, currently used as a gym, could be converted into an extra bedroom. In addition, the house includes three guest rooms on the lowest level (-1), with en-suite bathrooms, and a one-bedroom guest apartment, fully-equipped and with an independent entrance next to the garage. A spacious future basement will be ideal for a variety of uses, including entertainment room, wine cellar, gym or indoor pool. The property has an outdoor infinity pool, large covered and

uncovered terraces, manicured gardens and an extremely stylish bar facing the pool area. Other features include natural stone floors throughout, airconditioning (hot and cold), under-floor heating, domotics (Crestron), alarm, gas fire and surround-sound system. A true masterpiece of modern architecture, this villa is perfect for permanent living.

FEATURES n n n n n

8 bedrooms 7 bathrooms 2,748 m2 plot 1,388 m2 built (including basement) For more information, visit www.essenzaliving.com

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Exceptional Project This spectacular contemporary project is located in one of the best areas of Lomas de Mijas. Offering 180-degree panoramic sea views, the property is licensed and approved for the construction of a 477 square metre villa with three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a garage for three cars, as well as the possibility of extending the house an additional 600 square metres.

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FEATURES 1,200 m2 plot 477 m2 villa n 45 m2 covered terraces n 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and garage for 3 cars n â‚Ź480,000 (plot and licence)ment) n For more information, visit www.essenzaliving.com n n

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Our Project Management ‘Turn-key’ projects from start to delivery, including: FEASIBILITY Finding right investment (location) for new construction or refurbishment Assisting with legal and technical matters concerning investment Architectural Report & Construction Survey by technical architect (engineer) Design project and building project by Carlos Lamas Architects Preliminary budget costing and planning of project

PRE-CONSTRUCTION Obtaining licences and permits to build or renovate a house Tendering for construction companies and assistance with selection process Preparation of works planning, project cash flow programme and building contract

CONSTRUCTION Supervision on-site during construction process Assistance with selection of suppliers and materials Regular project management reports Gardening and landscape design project Interior design Obtaining First Occupancy Licence after completion Marketing property (if required)

CONTACT DETAILS Tel. (+34) 952 857 615 · (+34) 609 572 275 · (+34) 619 534 815 info@essenzaliving.com · www.essenzaliving.com

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Immaculate Modernity 24

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Situated in the Monte Mayor golf urbanisation in BenahavĂ­s municipality, this contemporary villa was completed in November 2011. It is finished to the highest standards and features magnificent panoramic views. The villa comprises four bedrooms and three bathrooms, with 344 square metres of built area on a 2,800-metre plot. Other features include underfloor heating throughout, split air-conditioning system, modern fittings and fitted wardrobes.

FEATURES n n n n n

4 bedrooms 3 bathrooms plus guest toilet 344 m2 built plus terraces 2, 800 m2 plot For more information, visit www.essenzaliving.com

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Panoramic Splendour Absolutely stunning in every respect, this contemporary five-bedroom villa is located in the highly sought-after Marbesa residential area, just east of Marbella and within walking distance of the beach, restaurants and local amenities. It will be finished in June 2013. Aside from its exquisite attention to detail and high-quality architectural features – designed by Carlos Lamas and promoted by Lifetime Connection – the villa has a unique setting at the highest point of Marbesa, with exceptional sea views enhancing the “wow factor”. So what’s the story behind the villa, Marbesa 22? LifetimeConnection (LTC), a development company owned by three Dutch entrepreneurs, is the initiator behind this spectacular property. It was started in 2011, when Patrick van Dam (Essenza) sourced this unique opportunity for LTC. They immediately

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agreed it was a rare-to-find location that required a unique, highquality, distinctive contemporary villa, as it is nearly impossible to find comparable views so near the beach. With the assistance of Carlos Lamas and Jesus Martín (technical architect), and built by reputable constructor Aldema, Marbesa 22 is a classic example of bringing together a great team of professionals. Why was the product and location chosen for Marbesa 22? We realised after thorough market research that the existing supply of modern, high-quality villas near the beach was very

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limited, and most did not comply with modern, up-to-date standards of quality and/or did not represent a balanced value for money ratio. Therefore it wasn’t easy to find a suitable plot or property where we had the right opportunity. We chose Marbesa 22 because of its unique elevated position, stunning panoramic views and potential for development. Additionally, Marbesa (east of Marbella) is an upcoming, well-consolidated area, centrally located for Elviria, Marbella and the airport.’ What encouraged you to choose this style, architect and layout? We found in Carlos Lamas an established architect with many references, who was able to bring this project to a high level in terms of architecture and details, such as our requirement to enhance the sense of space and optimise light in an open plan layout. He really managed to translate all our wishes into a wonderful villa’.

How would you describe your experience of project development in Marbella, and the partnerships with Carlos Lamas, the builder and the suppliers? Carlos Lamas has, during both the design stage and construction, shown his strong involvement with and commitment to this project, very focused and aware of every single detail. Thanks to his project management and supervision, the building process has been a pleasant experience. And because of his close collaboration with Patrick (Prestige Estates) we decided to ask them to market the sale exclusively. What is your expectation of the “end product” of Marbesa 22? To whom would it appeal? Marbesa 22 has exceeded our expectations. It’s a spectacular property that definitely appeals to those who contemporary architecture with unparalleled views – a privilege to live in.

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We also asked Carlos Lamas to explain his philosophy behind the design of Marbesa 22… “The original house, built in the sixties, was a reference point at the time for modern architecture, very common in the US but hardly found in Marbella. “This strong aesthetic value I intended to maintain and improve to up-to-date standards and layout, keeping the original lines of the villa. This has resulted in a design whereby I carefully balanced open and covered terraces, plain volumes, windows (floor to ceiling) and comfortable distribution. “These details, for example, include the white natural stone applied to part of the building, the infinity pool to attract the Mediterranean Sea into the villa, and the exterior carpentry with minimal profiles and maximum heights. The villa has become a timeless property with Mediterranean influences, where the exterior is physically and visually in harmony with the interior, using the same contemporary materials and colour scheme.” And how did he envision the final Marbesa 22 product – when ready? “Marbesa 22 will be a showcase model for anyone who wants to really feel Mediterranean living. The exterior (covered) terraces used as a principal living area for relaxation and outdoor living, the spectacular roof terrace (lounge deck) and an attractive, surrounding Mediterranean garden… A property that fits into the modern lifestyle, for a family that wants all the comfort and amenities at hand, relatively low maintenance, and with the benefit of the beach and main amenities nearby.

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FEATURES • Air-conditioning (hot and cold) in each room • Under-floor heating in living room, kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms • Open-plan design kitchen with Miele appliances • Aluminium double-glazed windows from floor to ceiling, with Cristalit windows • Italian ceramic tiles for both interior and exterior in 60x60 • Design sanitary items from Villeroy & Boch, Loft & Bath, Dornbracht, Alape and A. Lupi • “Intelligent home” with sophisticated home automation pre-installed • Lift from Schindler connecting all floors (including roof terrace) • Gas fireplace • Incorporated speakers with pre-installation for B&O, Bose audio system or Sonos • Pre-installation for heated pool • Lounge terrace on rooftop finished in wood • Carport for two cars • For more information, visit www.essenzaliving.com

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Our Services DEVELOPERS Total design concept for new contemporary villas and refurbishments by Carlos Lamas Architects Interior design Landscaping

PROJECT MANAGEMENT Supervision on-site during construction Tendering of builders Regular reports Purchasing of materials and installations

REAL ESTATE Marketing and sales of modern villas Consultancy prior to development (for land or existing houses), specialising in sourcing optimum sites and projects for clients

CONTACT DETAILS Tel. (+34) 952 857 615 路 (+34) 609 572 275 路 (+34) 619 534 815 info@essenzaliving.com 路 www.essenzaliving.com

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Exquisite Sophistication This exceptional contemporary villa is centrally located in the heart of the Marbesa residential area, close to the beach, restaurants and shops. The striking design and modern lines that make up the architecture and interior of the villa are finished with meticulous attention to detail and quality. It features the highest standard of termination and materials, designed to the latest international trends to enhance a “boutique hotel” feel. Major consideration has also been given to optimising the property’s sense of light and space: floor-to-ceiling windows, with fine frames, allow for maximum light entry and unobstructed outside views. The sliding doors can be opened to create a 15-metre,

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brightly-lit area connecting the living room and outdoor terrace, with high ceilings (2.85 metres) enhancing the feeling of ample space. On entering the home, a large open-plan living and dining area, covering 100 square metres, is divided by a modern central gas fire and access to the kitchen. This is a sophisticated, exquisite and distinctive villa, innovative in its modern lines and standards – a quality not easily found in Marbella, especially for a property so close to the beach. It is ideal as a holiday home or a permanent residence, providing maximum comfort and enjoyment and a solid investment, thanks to its location, quality and style.

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FEATURES n

4 bedrooms

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4 bathrooms

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286 m2 built area plus 150 m2 terraces

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825 m2 plot

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Partial sea views from first floor

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Panoramic sea views from roof-top terrace

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Garage plus carport

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Pool with infinity edge

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Close to beach, shops and restaurants

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Centrally located between Elviria and Cabopino

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Completion: summer 2013

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For more information, visit www.essenzaliving.com

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Beachfront Masterpiece Rio Verde Playa is one of the most impressive frontline beach projects in Marbella, the only contemporary design on the Golden Mile, and within walking distance of both Puerto BanĂşs and the town centre. This modern villa, due to be finished by summer 2013, combines the very best of modern architecture with the ultimate in interior dĂŠcor, installations and technology. The approximately 1,000 square metres of constructed area is distributed on three levels with seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms. The living-dining area and an American kitchen, together with two bedrooms en-suite and a guest toilet, make up the main level. On the first floor is a spacious master bedroom suite with walk-in closet, as well as three bedrooms en-suite.

The basement consists of a laundry room, machine room, bar, cinema room, sauna, gym and guest bedroom en-suite, which can be used for staff. The garden area features a huge 80 square metre heated pool surrounded by decking.

FEATURES n n n n n n

7 bedrooms 9 bathrooms 1,168 m2 built 1,873 m2 plot Price on application www.rioverdeplaya.com

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Elegant Refinement IN LA ZAGALETA Up in the foothills of the majestic Sierra Bermeja mountain range a villa of exquisite taste, proportion and finishing is taking shape, occupying one of the very best locations in the prized millionaire’s retreat of La Zagaleta. Above all, this singular modern home is the product of a design concept that brings together some of the finest talents in Marbella. From its prominent hillside position, Villa Fortuna commands inspiring views of a broad swathe of coastline all the way back to the green hills amongst which it is so privately set. It’s a rare feat even in ultra-exclusive La Zagaleta, and one not normally avail-

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able to new-built properties, no matter how large and impressive they are. With all the best locations long since gone, most of the latter find themselves in newer, less ideal settings. You might say it’s the compromise of building a modern home entirely to your own desires, but what gives this elegant modern villa an edge is the fact that it does exactly that whilst occupying one of the choicest spots around. The ability to start from a blank canvas in a prime location and create a stunning modern home is more unique than many may realise, but it is exactly what is happening here. Once completed,

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the original property – the third villa to have been built in La Zagaleta – will be transformed into a new statement of elegance and refinement, but with all the benefits of an established position. To do such a project justice a team was assembled made up of outstanding professionals in their fields – construction, home technology, décor, landscaping and, of course, architecture. “This project represents an opportunity to create something truly special, so it needed the best team available to realise it,” says architect Carlos Lamas, whose role it has been to develop the design concept of Villa Fortuna. “We wanted to create a truly spectacular modern home that would be a showcase of refined contemporary living,” says Carlos, “but in this concept there was no room for compromise on location, so we found a solution that combines the best of both elements. “Our concept was not to create an avant-garde home that looks fantastic in magazines but would be impractical and unpleasant to live in. A true modern design reference is one that looks

amazing and sets new standards but also functions on a personal level. What we are creating here, after all, is not a public icon but a private villa where a family will live, entertain and feel at home. It is with this brief to ourselves in mind that we set out to design a luxury living concept that transcends fads and trends, and has the credentials to become a modern classic.” Know-how is something accumulated through training and experience, but when combined with innate talent this expertise rises above the rest to produce work of inspired quality and creativity. Add passion to the potion and you reach the pinnacle of every field and profession. It is exactly such a team of professionals that has gathered to contribute their respective skill sets to this project, with Udo of Atlas Group ensuring the highest standards of construction, Victor Periañez of Illusion responsible for state-of-the-art home entertainment and automated systems, and Gonzalo Moreno of Gunni & Trentino heading up the bespoke interior dressing of the villa.

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This desire to work with the best also ensures the collaboration of suppliers and companies such as Román Clavero, the leading window and door makers in this region. The villa that is the product of their combined skills occupies a convex contour of a hilly promontory, a fact from which it derives its imposing panorama – but in spite of which the property appears remarkably level. “We have resisted creating a cavernous house or one that is steeply terraced,” says Udo, “and have worked hard to create a pleasant flow to the home and its grounds, whilst incorporating all the space, amenities and luxuries you would expect of a villa of this stature.” The design and construction process have been far more complicated than is the case with a property built from scratch, whilst the setting has on occasion required inventive ways of finding solutions to technical challenges, but the end result is well worth it. “This is a very special project where we have employed a lot of uniquely-designed elements and the most high-tech construction methods along with the finest materials,” says Udo, “and it will show in what will be a modern villa of rare quality.” In a home of this kind everything is bespoke and made-tomeasure. “There are no standardised spaces so there are no standardised materials and components,” says Carlos Lamas. “It would in any case not fit in with our premise, so

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standardisation has no place in this project.” In modern luxury homes of this standard there is a tendency to revert to elements that are especially hand-made. Although this is a reversion to the individualistic craftsmanship of a bygone era one should not assume it results in classical styles. “The beauty of letting specialist craftsmen create things is that it can be whatever you want – modern or classical.” In this case the styling is contemporary and employs the latest technology and materials in combination with personalised production. As a result everything – from windows and doors, soft furnishings and the kitchen to the indoor pool, water features, lighting and electronic systems – is designed and created especially for Villa Fortuna. Under the guidance of José Carlos Román Ocaña, Roman Clavero are creating doors, windows and dressing rooms from the finest woods and modern synthetic materials. Renowned for their ability to produce frames and glazing to any imaginable style, configuration and arrangement, Román Clavero have fitted the most luxurious villas and resort hotels in this part of Spain, and are designing a series of features yet to be seen elsewhere. In order to set a mood for the home that is both modern and homely, Victor Periañez and his team are applying different lighting types and technologies that incorporate both techni-

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cal and decorative fixtures. Divided into ambient, functional indoor and outdoor lighting, they come together in an interplay that is designed with each individual area’s space, natural light and use in mind. In a seven-bedroom, six-bathroom villa resplendent with technology and constructed with super load-bearing concrete girders normally reserved for commercial buildings the decoration represents the icing on the cake. As everywhere the approach is a bespoke design fitted entirely to the shape, orientation, ambience and, above all, concept of this unique home. “Our challenge has been to create a refined and comfortable contemporary living environment that matches the stunning location and the architectural finesse of Villa Fortuna,” says Gonzalo Moreno, who leads the personalised design solutions being created by Gunni & Trentino’s interior architecture team. This high-end brand can draw on an inspiring range of products and materials for kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces, yet for this project Gonzalo is using a hand-picked selection of limited series collection items and custom-made pieces.

“A design like this is not made in abstract on a drawing board. You have to visit the site, get to know it, and in the process see how the light works and the views can be brought into the design. In doing this we realised that it is a sunny location, so we opted for high-quality mat ceramic tiles that retain the feel of stone combined with the ease of porcelain and no glare. Another challenge is to create a sense of style for the property that is subtly identifiable yet avoids repetition in different rooms. As a result, each and every room has an individual ambience and quality that is matched to its lighting, size and usage.” And so Villa Fortuna takes shape in the green hills of La Zagaleta, promising to become a singular property even here. In the words of Carlos Lamas, “It really is a transformation; in a few months time, where construction is taking place now you will enter a private domain created around a concept of modern style and elegance designed for the 21st century.” For more information, visit www.essenzaliving.com or Tel. (+34) 627 207 450

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Seaside Chic Scheduled for construction in 2013, this villa is a truly unique contemporary property, comprising four bedrooms and three bathrooms. With its modern look, neo-classic roof and excellent symmetry, it is certain to become one of the finest bespoke-quality properties on Marbella’s seaside. The ground floor includes the living area and open plan kitchen, with its high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and glass front enhancing the sense of space and light. There are large covered and uncovered terraces for outdoor living, and a rectangular pool with infinity border in front of the house. Upstairs are four bedrooms, two with en-suite bathrooms and a third bathroom to share. Two of the bedrooms have

separate access to the terrace, where stunning panoramic sea views can be enjoyed. This outstanding and distinctive property is set on a large plot – a rarity so near the beach in one of Marbella’s most highly desired beachside areas.

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4 bedrooms 3 bathrooms 1,400 m2 plot 320 m2 built area plus terraces (partly covered) For more information visit: www.essenzaliving.com

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Market Outlook What does the immediate future hold for Marbella and its important real estate market? Fortunately a lot of positive trends, such as solid demand for luxury properties in good locations and a rise in transactions in areas such as Sierra Blanca, Camojan, Los Monteros, Guadalmina, Nueva Andalucía, La Zagaleta and the Golden Mile. Demand for the very best locations here is such that there is even a shortage of supply, which in turn has led to more and more people choosing to construct new modern villas on existing plots – a great way to combine 21st century luxury with the finest locations, and create investment value in the process. Good news in the first months of 2013 is that the Marbella property market is looking healthier than it has for some years. These are tentative signs of recovery as yet, and for the most part restricted to the mid to top range of the market, but the encouraging feedback comes from a sector that has seen demand for luxury property strengthen, well-priced mid-range develop-

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FOR MARBELLA REAL ESTATE By Michel Cruz

ments with available financing sell well enough for small-scale construction to start again, and even well-heeled buyers struggle to find the right kind of property in the most desired locations. Catering for Young Families Another trend is the fact that today’s buyers are increasingly demanding modern homes, not just in terms of architectural styling and décor, but also modern construction standards, technical amenities and comforts. “In our experience buyers are getting younger,” says Patrick van Dam, founding partner of Prestige Estates. “A significant proportion have young families and come here to live permanently, so what they require of their home in Marbella is changing as well. As the majority are from northern parts of Europe, and in recent times especially from Scandinavia, the Benelux countries and central eastern Europe, they also have clear expectations in terms of style, comfort and homeliness.”

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Such buyers want homes that comply with the construction norms in their own countries, use high-quality modern materials, effective insulation, well-made doors and windows, provide warmth and comfort in the winter, offer high band width for fast internet access and use the latest domotics home automation systems in security, lighting and also home entertainment. What’s more, they have to be energy-efficient as well. “Most of our clients are very well travelled, so they are used to a modern international style in boutique hotels and homes, and expect the same standard here,” says Patrick. “Naturally there is scope to adapt the styling to the local setting, but modern contemporary architecture is very much what people are after now.” This extends to the internal décor and distribution too, where clean, open plan layouts, full-length windows and tall ceilings create the fresh, spacious environments characterised by light and views that are so in vogue right now. Satisfying a New Demand “The problem is that it is hard to find a good selection of existing properties that fit these requirements,” says Patrick, who has seen clients routinely reject even properties built in the past 10 years. “Although these properties are much improved in comparison to what was built before the mid-nineties, they very often fall short of buyers’ expectations because they were still primarily conceived as second homes. As a result, a lot of people who might actually prefer to buy an existing, ready-to-move-into property have started renovating and building their own villas.” It is out of this specialised niche that Essenza Living was born, catering to the tastes and demands of a new generation of buyers with modern contemporary architecture, building standards and interiors. “Through Essenza we help to satisfy this new demand and create 21st century villas designed around the wishes of our clients,” says Patrick. The desire to combine such homes with a great location leads many to effectively rebuild existing villas. “This is a growing trend on the Coast, and a bespoke service we specialise in, but converting an existing home into a modern one can have its limitations. You gain a prime location, and a rebuild costs around 80-90 per cent of a complete new-build, but you are more limited when it comes to things such as ceiling height and redistributing the rooms.” As a result, a lot of his clients opt for a completely new con-

struction, be it on an established plot or a new one. “In the current market buyers prefer consolidated locations to new areas, but already there is strong competition for the very best spots. Remember that empty plots in top locations are very rare, so if you want the latter in most cases you will have to buy the existing – often older – property on it as well. The value of such real estate is determined by the land and the intrinsic value of the structure, and to make a rebuild or renovation project feasible you need to find a property where the bulk of the value resides in the land.” Importance of Qualified Professionals Essenza are specialists in sourcing such locations, both for endusers and investors. “We source, do a feasibility study on the basis of a cost analysis of land and redevelopment, and if positive move on to the concept, architectural design, construction, interior styling and delivery of a stunning modern home. We also take care of the marketing of such a property on behalf of investors, for whom we compile cost, feasibility, marketability and projected sales cycle reports at the outset.” The management of such a project also entails complying with all the planning and building regulations, and obtaining the required permits. “The new PGOU planning directive offers clear and strict guidelines that can no longer be flouted as many used to do in the past. Add other new regulations, such as the new energy-efficiency certification, and you see the value of having qualified professionals take care of this.” Patrick also predicts a growing differential between such modern homes, entirely in tune with contemporary tastes and technical requirements, and the larger body of older homes in Marbella. “A great many older properties are being updated in this way, but those that aren’t will increasingly struggle to maintain their value in comparison. Well-built modern homes will pretty soon be the norm against which others are assessed, and are set to gain much more in value.” They are therefore popular with investors in an international market where luxury real estate is replacing the financial markets as a solid form of investment. “This is a trend that is adding fuel to Marbella’s slow but steady real estate recovery, and with the ‘baby boomers’ about to come of age in northern Europe who knows how strong that recovery may yet prove to be in the coming years.”

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Obtaining Planning Permission in Marbella Although the purchase of a property in Spain is a straightforward and transparent transaction, the process of obtaining planning permission – both for new construction and renovations – can be rather more complicated. What’s more, there are no all-encompassing national laws, as each autonomous region qualifies the parameters according to its own planning directives. The applicable planning guide, or PGOU (Plan General de Ordenación Urbanistica), in our region therefore is that of the Región Autónomo de Andalucía, and even it can be subject to further local regulations, so it is important to work with an architect and team with local knowledge and experience. We are often asked to source or inspect land or properties on behalf of clients wanting to build a new property or renovate an existing one. From the client’s perspective the most impor-

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tant factor is quite naturally the location, in terms of its views, orientation, the attractiveness of its surroundings and easy access to services. Different people have different preferences, and so we will be asked to look at rustic hillside locations and seaside settings, but also in conventional residential areas close to golf courses, schools and shopping facilities. While sourcing the desired property/plot in the ideal location we also look at it from another, more technical perspective aimed at filtering suitable candidates from a construction point of view. Our experience in this field allows us not only to assess the economic viability of the project, to see if it falls within the established budget once the purchase cost, construction and dressing of the home have been taken into account, but in the first instance to see if it fulfils the requirements for construction.

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TO BUILD OR NOT TO BUILD While we analyse construction-related issues such as gradient, soil type, drainage, access and technical infrastructure – and in the case of renovation the cost of rebuilding – we also check up on planning issues. After all, if you’re not allowed to build, or are very limited in what you can do or change in a particular location, it will likely eliminate itself as an option there and then. The first step in this is to ascertain the planning status of the zone that the plot forms part of, and ensure that it falls within a residential area where homes can be constructed. Next we request the specific planning directives relating to the area to obtain a full list of details, including the ratio of permissible construction to plot size, limits on vertical height, how close you can build to the perimeter of the land and yet more detailed requirements such as the topographical plan regarding access, garages, driveways, terracing, pools and how technical services such as waste, water and electricity will link into the grid system. In private communities such as La Zagaleta there may also be aesthetic rules limiting the range of architectural styles and materials that can be used. Few of us expect to be building an oriental-style pagoda, but you don’t want to be faced with unexpected restrictions that will force you to change your plans after the fact.

SPECIALIST EXPERTISE The process of obtaining information regarding the planning directives is just the first step towards getting planning permission for your new-build or renovated property. Once you know what the rules are concerning the land or home you have in mind, and know what can be done on it, you will be able to make an informed decision and draw up your design plans accordingly. The architect’s plans, once finalised and signed off by the client, will then have to be presented to the town hall’s planning department, initially to be signed off for technical approval by a technical architect to ensure they are structurally sound and conform with the overall building criteria. The next step is to submit the plans for actual planning permission, and now both the plans themselves, the construction/renovation project in concept, the land/property and their impact on the surroundings will be assessed and held up against the requirements set out in the local PGOU. Some adjustments and alterations to the plans may be required, but a successful application will result in the project being granted a building permit. In environmentally sensitive spots the process can be drawn out further by additional analysis and consultation with ecological experts, river departments, archaeological

departments or infrastructural authorities, though such cases will very much be the exception, not the rule. The overall process sounds pretty straightforward and, indeed, there are foreign buyers inexperienced in the building process who have taken it to completion, but usually they will be the first to tell you, “Never again. Next time I’m having a professional take care of it all for me.” The main reason for this is the requirement not just of speaking the language fluently, but also of being intimately acquainted with the rather complicated legal, technical and architectural jargon as well. In addition to being professionally at home with topics relating to architecture, engineering, construction, planning, accounting and law you also have to know how to deal with the local authorities in such a way to make the process as quick and fluent as possible. As people who deal with these issues on a regular basis and have long-standing contact with all the professionals and agencies involved, we are in a position to ensure it is exactly that. Contact Essenza Living Tel. (+34) 952 857 615 info@essenzaliving.com www.essenzaliving.com

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Building in Marbella While a lot of people might still associate Spanish – and in particular Andalucian – construction with white-plastered walls and terracotta tiles, the reality is that over the past 10 years the processes and materials used have been modernised and improved greatly. These days Spanish construction has evolved right up to the build standards common in other parts of Europe and, when it comes to bathrooms, terraces and pool areas, it has retained its traditional Mediterranean advantage in terms of quality, luxury and styling. Quality control, however, remains as important as ever, and today consumers are better protected as Spanish regulations have come into line with the rest of western Europe in defining the roles and responsibilities of the various parties involved in the construction of a property. These naturally include the construction firms, specialist technicians and suppliers of building materials, but also professionals such as architects and commercial entities like the promoters. Such clearly defined roles and quality, against which each of the above are expected to work, not only makes the entire process

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more transparent but also easier for those buying or building their home to redress possible complaints.

BASIC OVERVIEW OF THE STEPS INVOLVED You are free to play as big or as small a role in the design of your home as you wish, and the more experienced homeowners will sometimes come up with many of the ideas themselves, but ultimately you will need a qualified, registered architect to put these plans on paper and convert design concepts into technical drawings that form the blueprint for subsequent construction. For this reason the Spanish law requires homebuilders to appoint an official architect, who is a member of the College of Architects, to draw up the plans according to the prevailing planning directives, technical standards and operational procedures imposed upon all professionals involved in the building process. This design project is then submitted for review of compliance to the local planning authorities and will have to be signed off by their resident technical architect before a building licence is granted and it progresses to the status of a building project.

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The on-site construction process itself falls under the technical supervision of the Direccion Facultativa, a professional team made up of the architect and a quantity surveyor, or aparejador. The construction company contracted to do the building will have to work under the supervision of these professionals, with the design architect ensuring that the building is made according to the original designs and the terms of the licence granted by the planning authority, while the technical architect (aparejador) ensures that the technical specifications are adhered to as well. Commercial developers of real estate, known in Spain as promoters (promotores), are under legal obligation to take out an insurance policy on the project that covers the structure and its technical components for a minimum of 10 years from the moment of completion. This insurance covers potential repairs, large or small, as well as possible reparations made to homebuyers in the event of failures or problems caused by faulty construction or technical standards.

CHOICE OF BUILDER Who you choose to build your home is, of course, of prime importance. In most cases the decision will be taken either by the private owner or by the project management team of a commercial promoter, who will invite different builders to tender for the work and measure price against quality and reputation before selecting the construction firm they believe offers the best combination of these factors. Decisions of this kind involve a complex assessment that also has to take into account quantity surveying of the costs, quantities

and quality of the materials and technical systems required in the construction of the property. Given the number of options and variables, it takes skill and experience to get this right and ensure that the building project does not exceed the established budgets and that the end product conforms to the aesthetic, technical and quality standards expected of it. For this reason it is important to work with skilled professionals whose technical expertise matches their local knowledge and ability to get things done. Essenza Contemporary Living is a proven specialist in this field with a portfolio of projects and clients that speaks for itself. What gives their clients complete peace of mind is that they manage and quality control all the elements: creative design, surveying, costing and management of the construction process. Ensuring it is done to budget, to deadline and to your – and their – exacting standards. Their project management isn’t simply there to make sure the job gets done: it acts as on-site quality control over the entire process, from concept, design and planning through to construction, dealing with third parties and suppliers – right down to completion and the final dressing of the home.

ESSENZA PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERVICES: • Supervision on-site during construction • Tendering of builders • Regular reports • Purchasing of materials and installations

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Avant-Garde Style Essenza Living’s cutting-edge contemporary styling is stunningly reflected in its design team’s choice of products, materials and designs for interiors and outdoor areas… Here we feature some of the latest trends created and developed by preferred partners for Essenza’s exceptional contemporary homes in Marbella. 46

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BATHROOM CHIC 1 Natural inspiration… www.porcelanosa.com. 2 Relaxing harmony… www.villeroy-boch.com. 3 GEO bath from Kos… www.gunnitrentino.es. 4 Patricia Urquiola-designed bath from Viecques collection… www.gunnitrentino.es. 5 Ceramic innovation… www.porcelanosa.com. Opposite page: Rainsky shower from Dornbracht… www.gunnitrentino.es

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OUTDOOR COOL 1 Charming refuges from Kettal Cottage. 2-5. Cosy comfort from Kettal Bitta. 3-4. Outdoor sophistcation from Kettal Park Life. www.kettal.es

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LOUNGE CHILLING 1-3-5 Cool havens from Paola Lenti… www.gunnitrentino.es. 2 Relaxing comfort from Rimadesio… www.gunnitrentino.es. 4 Canasta collection from Patricia Urquiola for B&B Italia… www.gunnitrentino.es

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POOLSIDE SERENITY 1 Ambience poufs from Paula Lenti… www.gunnitrentino.es. 2 Free-form natural swimming pool built by Atlas Pool… www.atlaspool.eu. 3-4 Palomba-designed mini-pools from Zucchetti-Kos… www.gunnitrentino.es

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FUTURISTIC KITCHENS 1-3 Holistic craftsmanship from Bulthaup… www.panakuka.bulthaup.es. 4 Sculptural design from Gaggenau’s 400 series range… www.gaggenau.com. 2. Environmentally-friendly Berna… www.gunnitrentino.es

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SPATIAL STORAGE Poliform wardrobe combinations for convenient everyday use ‌ www.gunnitrentino.es

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NORDIC STYLE 1 Traditional flowerpot lighting 2-4 In Between chairs 3 Bellevue floor lamp www.gunnitrentino.es

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OFFICE MODE Inspirational working environments for the home… www.gunnitrentino.es

ECO-FRIENDLY MODERNITY Stunning and durable bespoke furniture created from recycled northern European wood… wardrobes, bookcases, tables, benches, chairs, beds and lounge sets. www.woodfactory.es

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Marbella Luxury Weekend FOCAL POINT OF QUALITY AND EXCELLENCE Puerto Banús will become a global reference point for luxury tourism in May when Europe’s capital of glamour hosts the third edition of Marbella Luxury Weekend. Officially presenting MLW13 during Fitur in Madrid, Marbella mayoress Ángeles Muñoz said the event would strengthen the city as a tourist destination of excellence. “Quality is the sign of identity of Marbella. We will remain committed to strengthening our brand internationally with initiatives like this.” For four days, from 31 May to 2 June, specially set up VIP areas and the famous boulevards of Puerto Banús will be a lavish setting for hundreds of events involving international top brands including Bulgari, Cartier, Salvatore Ferragamo and Gómez&Molina Jewellers, showcasing design, high fashion, fine jewellery, gastronomy, food, automobiles and sport. Part of this initiative, presented by La Zagaleta Group, will be the second annual Brands and Trends Forum, once again bringing

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together leading global executives to analyse (through presentations and panel discussions) the management of brands during times of uncertainty. Accompanying the mayoress at the Fitur presentation, La Zagaleta CEO Jacobo Cestino said, “We live in a global economy and it is imperative that companies and their management teams can adapt to new patterns that are marked by on the one hand their consumers, and on the other, technological innovation. Those who do not react or react late to these trends will no longer be competitive. The Brands and Trends Forum is an excellent opportunity to create synergies and learn new business solutions that will help us to advance.” More information at: www.marbellaluxuryweekend.es www.marbella.es

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How much can you take in between breaths? The New Continental GT Speed. Fuel economy for the New Continental GT Speed in mpg (l/100km): Urban 12.7 (22.2); Extra Urban 28.0 (10.1); Combined 19.5 (14.5). CO2 Emissions (g/km) 338. Bentley Marbella, Carretera de Cádiz 171, San Pedro de Alcántara, Marbella, Málaga, 29670 For more information call +34 661 575004, visit www.marbella.bentleymotors.com or email vkortscheff@bentley-marbella.com The name ‘Bentley’ and the ‘B’ wings are registered trademarks. April 2013 Bentley Motors Ltd. Model shown: Continental GT Speed.


MARBELLA LIFESTYLE

Photography: David Toms (www.davidtomsphotography.com)

Cappuccino CHIC RESTAURANT AND BAR ON MARBELLA’S SEAFRONT In Mallorca, Cappuccino can be found in many of the important towns across the island, and are popular meeting points among cosmopolitan sophisticates. Two years ago they brought their Mallorquín charm across the waters to the mainland, opening a Cappuccino in Marbella. Priding themselves on quality, service and good music, they certainly stick by their promises. Situated on the paseo marítimo in front of Hotel Gran Meliá Don Pepe, tucked neatly underneath the Michelin-star restaurant Calima, Cappuccino is in good company. With a comfortable indoor lounge and a sprawling outdoor terrace offering an uninterrupted view out to the Mediterranean Sea, those who visit Cappuccino can enjoy fresh simple food in a chic and relaxing environment, or just indulge in one (or two!) of the many creative cocktails that Cappuccino has to offer. The immaculately dressed staff buzz around unobtrusively and cannot do enough to ensure that your experience at Cappuccino is a perfect one. Cappuccino also have their own chill-out CDs comprising Latin rhythms, jazz, bossa-nova, Balearic rhythms and much more. They are played out all day and night, creating an ideal atmosphere for relaxation.

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The décor is natural, combining stone, foliage and wood to keep the look clean, timeless and unpretentious. The menu suits all tastes, with varied international options consisting of good quality fresh ingredients generously and beautifully presented on the plate. The dishes are colourful and fresh and you can enjoy anything from a simple crunchy Greek salad or scrumptious smoked salmon sandwich to an aromatic chicken Yakatori with rice. Living on the Costa del Sol or in Gibraltar, we have become accustomed to the usual cocktails served up in many of the bars dotted along the coastline, but Cappuccino have also brought some new ideas over to the peninsula to scintillate our tastebuds, such as the elegant Hendrick’s Gin and Tonic with rose petals and cucumber, the non-alcoholic Barman’s Special, which is a fruity blend of orange, strawberries and banana, and the Japanese Mandarin Caipirinha, crammed with baby mandarins, Bombay Sapphire gin, brown sugar and kumquats. Cappuccino Paseo Marítimo Marbella www.grupocappuccino.com

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Thank you for your love

M AL LO RC A · I BI Z A · MARBELL A · VALENC IA · BE IRU T · J EDDA H · DU B A I

www.grupocappuccino.com Cappuccino Radio Station Dow nlo ad our free App

CAPPUCCINO MARBELLA · C/ DE JOSÉ MELIÁ S/N · (HOTEL GRAN MELIÁ DON PEPE) · MARBELLA

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ESSENZA TRAVEL

El Lodge Ski & Spa Resort SUMPTUOUS NEW WINTER RETREAT IN SIERRA NEVADA Ski enthusiasts can now enjoy a sophisticated touch of Marbella luxury in the exquisite alpine mountains of Sierra Nevada. Acquired by Marbella Club Hotel Group, El Lodge Ski & Spa Resort opened at the end of 2012 following an extensive refurbishment designed to take advantage of its exceptional natural setting and capture the elegant essence of Marbella Club and the Suite del Mar beachside bar/restaurant of its sister establishment on the Costa del Sol, Puente Romano. El Lodge is the only “luxury ski-in/ski-out” property in Sierra Nevada – one of Spain’s most popular winter resorts, located just a two-hour drive from the Coast. Guests can enjoy a day on the

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pistes, right from the hotel’s front doorstep, relax après ski in stunningly picturesque surroundings and take advantage of a select array of other services and amenities. Constructed from seasoned Finnish timber and fully refurbished by Marbella Club Hotel Group and interior designer Andrew Martin, El Lodge comprises just 20 cosy, beautifully appointed rooms, thus giving it the feel of a private chalet. It can be booked by room per night or in its entirety for private parties, and the accommodation options range from family bedrooms to double and deluxe suites and rooms – ideal for families, couples or groups of friends.

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One of El Lodge’s signature features is the luxurious Suite Nevada terrace, an ultra stylish place to take a break from the slopes, offering authentic and charming Spanish service, a trendy ambience and freshly prepared Mediterranean cuisine, similar to that experienced at Marbella Club and the Puente Romano. Providing direct access to the slopes, with 45 pistes and six off-piste routes, El Lodge is located just 50 metres from the Chairlift Parador 1. Ski rental is managed in-house and the lodge’s five-star services also include boot warming and the provision of outdoor slippers, allowing guests and visitors to fully enjoy the terrace and al fresco dining. The spa and wellness centre includes a sauna, jacuzzi, ham-

mam, and four treatment rooms, offering a range of therapies to help ease aching muscles and enhance relaxation. There is also a heated outdoor pool, jacuzzi and sun deck for enjoying the Spanish sun, as well as a children’s club and ski classes. A sumptuous buffet breakfast of fresh, natural products (including home-made pastries) can be savoured in the MC Grill, and in the evenings the restaurant offers a selection of seasonal produce with the finest traditional recipes, including game and Caviar de Riofrio, the only organic caviar in the world. An independently owned property, El Lodge is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. More information at: www.ellodge.com / www.marbellaclub.com

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ESSENZA PARTNERS

The Professionals The Costa del Sol is home to a select group of world-class, cutting-edge companies covering the whole spectrum of property industry services and products and providing highly experienced professional support to the Essenza Living team. From conceptual ideas at the drawing board stage to bricks and mortar – contemporary décor to state-of-the-art furnishings – the professionals featured here are Essenza’s preferred partners. ESSENZA

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DESIGN CONCEPT

TIMELESS COMMITMENT TO AESTHETIC AND TECHNICAL INNOVATION Providing high-end solutions for all interior decoration requirements, Design Concept works with the most prestigious brands (kitchens, baths, spas, furniture and accessories, home appliances, and upholstery and curtains), looking after the whole design and renovation process from start to finish. In addition to showcasing latest design trends they also help clients get the most out of their new kitchens, organising cookery courses for both beginners and experienced cooks – “the best place to enjoy cooking among friends”. Fernando Fernández and Rosa Hernández, who constantly upgrade the store’s stunning displays and also attend the main fairs around Europe to stay abreast of cutting-edge innovations, give us an insight into the company’s wide and varied portfolio of projects, including private homes, offices and commercial premises. What were the company’s beginnings? Design Concept was launched in 1993, as a family enterprise. What are the basic principles behind the company? The foundation of our working philosophy remains the same as when we opened our doors 20 years ago: client satisfaction has always been our main objective. A commitment to perfectionism in our work, taking meticulous aesthetic care of each detail and

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developing personal projects… this is what has guaranteed our success, and consolidated it year after year. We love meeting challenges at Design Concept: nothing is impossible. We can create all kinds of projects on our drawing boards, from simple to the most complex. Our strong point is fulfilling our clients’ requirements – and continuing to provide pleasant surprises with our work. Timelessness is a quality we particularly defend.

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How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? As we all know, the situation is very difficult. In our humble opinion, we believe that the only way to face this crisis, and come out the other end, is to work hard and always have a smile. These have been important years of comradeship. Working with the industry’s various different professions is a major factor in enabling us all to gradually start seeing the light. Perhaps the key to adapting to the current market has been our ability to reinvent ourselves in recent years, while continuing to offer the quality our clients have become accustomed to. What are the inspirations and influences behind your work? Italian design is our main source of inspiration. They are the grand artists of style and exquisite finishes. Not to mention German methodology and the durability of their products. Being able to select what is important from these concepts and apply them to your own designs is what gives you a unique edge.

What is your vision for the company and tell us more about your passions? To undertake each project working as a team. Each member gives the best of themselves. Some people are more creative; others more technical. The perfect team is created by bringing together the savoir-faire of good professionals, guided by our extensive experience. What are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella and how are you involved? It is true that modern architecture hasn’t been the most common style until now, but it should be recognised that we are seeing more and more “brave ones” on the Coast – without wanting to undervalue any other architectural style, of course. Marbella has the great virtue of being home to a very cosmopolitan community, with room for all kinds of styles. Even though Design Concept undertakes all kinds of projects, we have probably gained a certain degree of renown for our

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involvement with modern architectural projects, as we work with many of the brands that are in the vanguard of design at an international level. How do you see the future of modern architecture (particularly in Marbella)? We believe it has a much more thriving future than a few years ago. Architectural concepts such as sustainability are becoming increasingly important, and it would be a delight to be able to enjoy more of these types of projects on the Costa del Sol. What does a “home” represent to you? When we think of a home we think of a comfortable place to take refuge… a place where we create our internal world. We like to develop interiors with a functional edge, without overlooking comfort. It is important to be aware that projects should be done for and by the occupants themselves. Each project is unique because clients have their own specific requirements. Knowing how to fulfil these requirements, to ensure clients feel that the project is truly theirs… that is how you create a home.

i BUSINESS FILE Design Concept Established since: 1993 Services/products: Interior decoration Calle Zinc, Marbella Tel. (+34) 952 828 657 mail@designconcept-marbella.com www.designconcept-marbella.com

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Hide and Reveal

+MODO We don’t just look at kitchens, we live and feel them. Our +MODO introduces sensuous emotions to the world of the kitchen through the interplay of open and closed elements. Place your favourite objects in stimulating open spaces. Hide and reveal as the mood takes you. The kitchen is now a platform for a journey of constant creation and discovery. poggenpohl.com

Design Concept SL Zinc, 3 29600 Marbella TelĂŠfono 952 828 657

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ILLUSION

KEY ONGOING COMMITMENT TO INNOVATION

An independent company based in San Pedro de Alcántara, Illusion Custom Home Automation Solutions specialises in design, installation and maintenance of audiovisual, lighting and home automation projects – from start to finish. As Víctor Periañez Mancilla explains in this interview, they work on both private homes and business premises, offering the support of an expert professional team and leading brands in each sector: Linn (audio), Loewe (TV), Lutron (lighting and curtain control) and Crestron (home automation). What were the company’s beginnings? Malen Horton and I founded Illusion in 2006. After eight years working for other businesses in the industry, in Spain and overseas, I decided to join up with Malen, who came from a completely different sector. We set up the headquarters in San Pedro de Alcántara, in the same premises we have now, incorporating the adjacent premises two years later. We see this as a key strategic area with a significant concentration of serviceorientated businesses involved in the design and construction of quality homes. What are the basic principles behind the company? Personal attention and a firm commitment to clients have been our foundations right from the start. We have also taken

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very much into account the need for continual improvement and an ongoing learning process, in order to keep offering an even better service to our clients. In recent years we have offered design as a key support to all the projects we undertake. We believed that the best way to honour our principles was to create our own team, and to that end we have project, installation, programming, design and after-sales departments. Of course, our choice of collaborators and suppliers has played a key role in the development of Illusion. How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? It’s true that there has been quite a lot of polarisation in recent years and, in spite of a drop in demand, there is still a niche

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market that requires considerable specialisation and quality. To position ourselves in this market, we offer our experience, service and products. For example, through the design department we offer fully-integrated and personalised solutions for lighting and home entertainment areas, such as cinema rooms, including decoration, furnishings and, of course, installation of audiovisual equipment. In addition, with our experience in home automation, we can offer improvements to the way these diverse home systems and installations are used. What are the inspirations and influences behind your work? Mainly our clients and their architects. They are highly demanding, which encourages us to be fully aware of and familiar with latest trends: we read architectural and design publications; our schedule always includes time for attending fairs and congresses covering the various different sectors, both national and interna-

tional, where we are able to compile a great deal of information on latest innovations in just a short period of time; and obviously these days we have many sources of inspiration through the internet – our team members use such tools as Twitter to stay abreast of the main reference points. Also, from our suppliers with their information, courses and seminars… What is your vision for the company and tell us more about your passions? We always see Illusion as being a long-term project. With that in mind our aim has been to build solid and sustainable foundations and principles although, as we have shown in previous years, we are prepared to adapt to the new times and demands. Even though this might sound clichéd, our main passion is satisfying our clients. Using design and our expertise to improve people’s experience in their homes is something that inspires us day to day.

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What are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella and how are you involved? Marbella has traditionally had a more traditional, or classical, architecture. Fortunately, in recent years this trend has been gradually changing, probably due to demand and thanks to certain architects in the area who have been able to offer an outstanding interpretation of how modern architecture can fit into our environment. We are involved with the architects and end-use clients on their projects right from the start, providing our experience in the fields of lighting, natural light control (via electric curtain systems), design of leisure areas, integration of systems and installations into one single remote control, audiovisual, networks and security. How do you see the future of modern architecture (particularly in Marbella)? We believe it has a good future in the medium and long term. The advantages provided by modern architecture mean it is gaining ground all the time on traditional styles. In addition, if we also take into account the expertise of local companies in seeing these projects through to fruition with a guarantee of quality,

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then success is assured. Over the past two years we have seen how developers of new homes, or complete refurbishments, have opted for simpler and more modern lines. What does a “home� represent to you? A home represents the personality of those living there. It is also a place that has to fulfil all their needs, and of course these requirements vary depending on the occupants or location. It has to be pleasant, comfortable, functional and safe. To achieve these objectives we believe it is very important to ensure good planning in the development of the project and to be surrounded by a team of professionals who are able to understand these necessities.

i BUSINESS FILE Illusion Established since: 2006 Services/products: audiovisual, lighting and home automation Tel. (+34) 952 781 669 www.e-illusion.es

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It has it all. Except precedents. 1 television. 12 colours. 2,160 design variations. The new Loewe Connect ID, 32”, 40”, 46” y 55” Combine the colours, screen size and the possibility of immediate customisation however you want. It could only be Loewe: brilliant image and perfect audio.

C/ Ávila, 17, Local 2 29670 San Pedro de Alcántara + 34 952 781 669 info@e-illusion.es www.e-illusion.es

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THE PROFESSIONALS

KABILA MARBELLA

NATURAL STONE WITH A HUMAN TOUCH

In this interview, owner Javier Herrero Jiménez talks about Kabila’s cutting edge design, production and distribution of floorings and artisan natural stone coverings, as well as the manufacture of mosaic tables. What were the company’s beginnings? I founded Kabila in 2000. We began designing and distributing artisanal mosaics made from natural stone and later expanded our activities to include high-end marble projects, for luxury villas and hotels. What are the basic principles behind the company? Kabila works closely with interior designers and architects with the aim of providing clients with the highest quality natural stone design, products and installation. How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? In recent years there has been such a significant market adjustment that only companies offering the highest levels of quality, in products and service, have survived. At the moment, only construction projects for high-end villas are being undertaken, which greatly benefits those companies that are focused on this market segment, penalising those that were previously dedicated to other segments with lower prices and quality. What are the inspirations and influences behind your work? Some time ago I left the world of economics and company finance to dedicate my time to only that which truly made me happy every day. I took a year off to determine what that profession would be and that was when I decided to return to an old project that had been put on hold: the distribution of artisanal materials for architecture and decoration. And that’s how Kabila was born. What is your vision for the company and tell us more about your passions? Our ultimate aspiration is related to the selection of projects

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that really motivate us, for their special beauty, complexity or client’s requirements. We are also particularly interested in working with clients who pass on a sense of positivity and confidence and have a human touch. For us it is not important where the project is being undertaken but rather the project itself and the actual client. What are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella and how are you involved? As a marble designer I am especially interested in the quality of materials and their installation within a home. For me, there is no modern or classical architecture, just good or bad architecture. In the past, there was a tendency to be too hasty with the architectural process, paying little attention to the details, from the design phase to the completed finishing touches. That was a mistake that we now have the opportunity of correcting. Kabila is a member of DOME (www.dome3.org); an association of professionals and businesspeople especially committed to improving the quality of high-end house design and construction. What does a “home” represent to you? In my opinion a house can be extremely attractive, but it’s only the inhabitants, and who they are, who can convert it into a true home.

i BUSINESS FILE Kabila Marbella Established since: 2000 Products/services: Integrated design in stone Parque Empresarial San Pedro Norte Tel. (+34) 952 799 398 kabila-decor.com

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INTEGRATED DESIGN IN STONE · IDEAS AND PROJECTS SUPPLY AND INSTALLATION OF MARBLE AND MOSAICS Parque Empresarial San Pedro Norte. C/. Santa María s/n. 29670 San Pedro de Alcántara T: (+34) 952 799 398 · comercial@kabila-decor.com · www.kabila-decor.com

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PORCELANOSA

SPANISH MARKET LEADER WITH A GLOBAL VISION

As part of its ongoing commercial expansion plans, in 2012 the Porcelanosa Group opened new outlets in London, Panamá, México D.F., Manila, Jordan, Sevilla, Beverly Hills and Dubai, and next year (2014) the company will open its first outlet in Manhattan, following the purchase of a six-storey building on New York’s famous Fifth Avenue. The premises will be renovated by Foster+Partners, the studio run by renowned British architect Norman Foster, and will become Porcelanosa’s flagship outlet. Interview with Málaga manager Ignacio Carmona… 74

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What were the company’s beginnings? They date to 1973 when José Soriano, a businessman who was a pioneer in setting up ceramic tile production companies, decided to produce ceramic tiling made from white plaster, together with brothers Héctor and Manuel Colonques. This first step was a major challenge in an industry where all production until then revolved around red clay. They were committed to a different kind of product, one that offered greater creative opportunities, and began to redefine ceramic tiles as a decorative object rather than a construction material. At the time, Porcelanosa had fewer than 100 employees in premises of just 25,00 square metres. Today, the group generates 4,600 direct jobs and comprises eight industrial companies that produce ceramic paving and tiling as well as stone

and natural wood finishes, kitchen furniture, bathroom sets and advanced construction systems for contemporary architecture – distributed throughout the world through a commercial network of 468 shops. What are the basic principles behind the company? The Porcelanosa Group is a pacesetting company in the national and international markets, with its main values based on innovation, quality and, above all else, confidence in an extensive team of employees. Production diversification has been a key foundation contributing to the group’s business growth since its beginnings when it was involved exclusively with ceramic tile manufacture. Currently, the eight company divisions offer an extensive range of products and the group has experienced constant growth in

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revenue thanks to its meticulous economic and financial management. This has enabled Porcelanosa to maintain its status as one of the industry’s most well consolidated companies, both at a national and an international level. How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? Since its birth, the Porcelanosa Group’s development has been marked by a decidedly international focus. Its clear transnational calling, with a presence in more than 80 countries at the moment, has not only given the group a distinctive stamp but also represented its main insignia and indicated the path that needs to be followed to ensure ongoing growth, even in difficult times when internal (national Spanish) demand is at a standstill but there is strong potential for growth in other countries such as the United States, Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates. What are the inspirations and influences behind your work? The environment that surrounds us is a constant inspiration. Nature is an endless source, often providing us with the starting point for our creations. In fact, many of the most contemporary ceramic tile collections emulate the surfaces of such natural materials as wood or stone. What is your vision for the company and tell us more about your passions? One of the group’s objectives is to maintain a firm commitment to design innovation and quality materials, in order to develop products that are in tune with latest contemporary trends – and

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guarantee clients’ maximum satisfaction. Another key goal is to increase the group’s presence in all markets. What are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella and how are you involved? We are always keen to maintain contact with professionals responsible for project designs, be they architects, interior decorators or interior designers, to know first-hand what their requirements are and to adapt our product range to their creative preferences. How do you see the future of modern architecture (particularly in Marbella)? An ongoing commitment to innovation in the use of materials that are increasingly respectful of the environment, as well as design modernisation. What does a “home” represent to you? A home represents a wellbeing area where you feel safe and protected. It’s the area reserved for your private life, to share with loved ones. So it’s important to create a space where you feel comfortable, that you can enjoy, with materials that fulfil our expectations and help us create the ambience that makes each home a unique space.

i BUSINESS FILE Porcelanosa Established since: 1973 Services/products: Kitchen & bathroom equipment Ricardo Soriano, 65, Marbella. Tel. (+34) 952 826 868 Avenida Velázquez, 77, Málaga. Tel. (+34) 952 241 375 www.porcelanosa.com

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THE PROFESSIONALS

BULTHAUP

SUPERLATIVE EXPERTISE… AND TECHNICAL PRECISION

Renowned worldwide for its architecture of living spaces, Bulthaup offers clients top quality and seamless design solutions. As Nacho Porras notes in this interview, the time-honoured company’s designs are planned holistically, based on the architecture of the room and the customer’s individual needs. What were the company’s beginnings? The company was founded 64 years ago by Martin Bulthaup, and is now in its third generation. The company innovates continuously, and over the past 25 years has become a trend-setter for the other brands. In Marbella we have been representing the brand for the past 10 years, as distributors for the whole of Andalucía, and we have undertaken both national and international projects.

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What are the basic principles behind the company? The main principles are essentially to develop modern, highquality kitchen projects, have a clear focus on clients and the finished product, and offer impeccable service. Our clients know what they are buying and have very high expectations. Our challenge is to be able to sell this dream to clients and satisfy all their requirements and preferences. All our projects are unique, the same as each client, so the challenge is ongoing.

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How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? I believe the market that is beginning to reach Marbella is very Bulthaup. What I mean to say by this is that there is starting to be a demand for modern architecture and in Marbella at the moment there isn’t much of a market for modern homes, so a company that has been faithful to a modern ideal for the past 60 years will fit perfectly into this new market model. I remember the first five years with Bulthaup, when selling a kitchen featuring modern lines wasn’t easy. Now, however, people are starting to identify much more with modern styles, perhaps because clients have changed and the average age of our clients has become lower, on the one hand, and because the market was definitely saturated. Fifty per cent of our projects are renovations: architects who transform a classically designed house into a modern or contemporary home.

What are the inspirations and influences behind your work? There are several influences. The first source of inspiration is Marbella itself, and what that entails. We work in an area with an enormous number of nationalities, mixes, different languages, our climate‌ In addition, clients provide us with a great deal of inspiration: many know exactly what they want and we learn a lot from them. They also take us back to their own countries to carry out work, and that is extremely enriching. Bulthaup is another important source of inspiration. Every year we have to complete a series of training courses, from the installer to every member of the team. We also attend all the main fairs, including Milan and Cologne. What is your vision for the company and tell us more about your passions? Our vision is to have continuous growth over the next few years, for the reasons I outlined before. The current situation is delicate but we are fortunate because up till now we have always found

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clients for our products. In Germany, they tell us that Bulthaup is a very fair product, and this is true when you compare the product that you buy with the price you pay for it. Quality, finish, technology, craftsmanship… Tell us more about your involvement with modern architecture in Marbella… We work with various architects in Marbella, and they all, in one way or another, identify with Bulthaup, so we have a very fluid dialogue with modern architecture in Marbella through them. We now have a department run by an architect which is exclusively for dealing with architects and providing the advice and support they need with their different projects. How do you see the future of modern architecture (particularly in Marbella)? As I mentioned before, we see a very bright future in the coming years for this kind architecture. There aren’t all that many architects who have dedicated themselves to modern architecture on

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a permanent basis. However, those who have done so for several years now are the ones who have most work. Carlos Lamas is one of them, in my humble opinion. What does a “home” represent to you? The key place where you try to express your dreams. That represents all your ideas. Your personal refuge, place of rest, enjoyment. Home sweet home.

i BUSINESS FILE Bulthaup Established since: 1949 (international), 2003 (Marbella) Services/products: Kitchens Avda. Cánovas del Castillo, Marbella Tel. (+34) 952 857 962 bulthaup@aol.es www.panakuka.bulthaup.es

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With bulthaup b3 interior elements, you can showcase your creativity on a whole new stage. These elements break away from the conventionally rigid structures within drawers and pull-outs, and you can reorganize them as you wish, time and again.

Cรกnovas del Castillo, 10 29601 Marbella Tel. +34 952 857 962 bulthaup@aol.es www.panakuka.bulthaup.com

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THE PROFESSIONALS

GUNNI & TRENTINO

FAMILY IS WHERE THE HOME IS

When Madrileños José-Manuel and Pilar Moreno started up their kitchen shop 42 years ago, they could never have imagined that, nearly half a century on, Gunni would have become such an important reference point within the world of decoration, with nine showrooms in mainland Spain plus others situated around the world including the United States, Canary Isles, Columbia and the Middle East – and plans to open more very soon. Essenza Magazine met up with son Gonzalo in their glamorous showroom on the Golden Mile to find out a little more about this exciting and highly successful family business. What are the basic principles behind the company? We are a family business who offer the best quality and very personalised designs. We try to treat every home individually as no one lives exactly the same.

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How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? The market has changed a great deal over the last six or seven years. We don’t want to compromise on quality so, whilst we

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are still in an economic crisis, we have worked hard to get the best prices possible from our suppliers and factories so that we can still maintain a high standard of service and products at a competitive price. We have expanded internationally and have offices in Miami, Mexico, Columbia, Morocco and Kuwait. We offer autocad and 3D designs as a free service – we offer a very professional service and don’t like to enter into price wars with other companies. What are your inspirations and influences behind your work? We always go to the Milan and Paris Fairs. They are our main fairs: 80 to 90 per cent of our providers are Italian as we believe they are pioneers. We are introducing suppliers who offer a Nordic style as this is very popular these days. The ‘50s and ‘60s style is coming back. My family travel a lot due to our expansion and we can accommodate all different styles. We are best known for our contemporary style but we have clients from all over the world so we must cater for all tastes. What is your vision for the company and tell us more about your passions? We used to have individual showrooms for furniture, wardrobes, bathrooms, flooring and kitchens, but since the

merger with Trentino we have brought all of the concepts together into large showrooms. Over the last four years we have started our international expansion and aim to continue doing so. We acknowledge that the Spanish market is not the strongest so we felt that expanding into new territories was a natural move for us – we now have 92 employees currently working for us. Another positive move forward for us was that we are now moving towards manufacturing our own products – our own kitchens, sofas, wardrobes and lighting plus much more. What are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella and how are you involved? Marbella has always been a place where Mediterranean-style houses have been constructed but now 80 per cent of our clients are moving towards more contemporary and designer houses. There are not many contemporary architects here in Marbella but I feel that we should embrace modern architecture more. I have worked with many well-known architects here who, in my opinion, have not moved on in their designs, which is a shame as I believe that the new generation demand more contemporary styles as they are travelling more and are more inspired than ever.

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How do you see the future of modern architecture (particularly in Marbella)? There is a great future. People are buying plots with old houses, demolishing them and totally rebuilding them. Kitchens and bathrooms have taken on more importance in the home and will continue to do so. Materials in contemporary homes have moved towards ceramics because the materials have now improved dramatically. Ceramics can now imitate other materials such as wood or cement, giving a lot of new possibilities for the modern home. Wood is not ideal in a bathroom or on a terrace due to issues with humidity and heat, but now you can use ceramics that take on the look of wood and are very durable. We still meet people who believe stone is a superlative material but this is not always the case. As well as ceramics, there are lots of other new materials out there now which are made up of a combination of materials such as wood with resin. For a terrace, these new materials are long-lasting and very versatile.

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What does a “home� represent to you? The way of living now has changed. The home is where people unite and relax. The kitchen is not only the place where people cook, it is also the place where the family actually live, and it has therefore taken on more importance in the home. We can see this in our projects as people are requiring larger kitchens as they are spending more time there. Also, the bathroom is more important than ever before. With our busy lives, it is a place where we can relax – a bathroom can be a sanctuary with your very own spa area.

i BUSINESS FILE Gunni & Trentino Established since: 1971 Services/products: designer furniture www.gunnitrentino.es

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collage studio - photo tommaso sartoti

DESIGN PORTRAIT.

Sophie ama a Ray y el arte contemporĂĄneo. Ray es un diseĂąo de Antonio Citterio. www.bebitalia.com

Gunni &Trentino Marbella Blvr. Ppe. Alfonso Hohenloe, s/n Marbella Club - Local 2 Tel. 951 968 771 - marbella@gth.es

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THE PROFESSIONALS

Danespan

COMMITTED TO QUALITY AND SERVICE

The kitchen is now being hailed as the most important room within the modern house. The days when cooking was the only function of this room are now very much behind us as, for most people, the kitchen has become a social meeting place where we eat, chat and entertain ourselves. As Danespan’s Flemming Frank Petersen notes in this interview, it has therefore never been so important to choose the right kitchen to suit our specific requirements and tastes: after all, we’re spending more time there than ever before. What were the company’s beginnings? I am Danish and started out working in kitchens with my father until I met my Spanish counterpart, Juan Antonio García Ramírez, in 1989, when Danespan was formed. Having a Scandinavian-Spanish partnership is a great advantage as we open up our market. We have been in this shop for 17 years and are very happy here.

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What are the basic principles behind the company? Service, service and service, which in turn means quality, quality, quality. Our aim is to always give the best to the client, and myself and Juan Antonio both have the same mindset when it comes to this. We are always happy and joking but we are extremely strict on timing. I believe we give a perfect service right from the start, offering advice and drawings with no

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pressure to buy. If they sign up, we have clients for a lifetime. We have clients that may call us after 20 years because they have a broken hinge or something, so we pop by and change them – which we do happily at no cost. We pride ourselves on after sales service. How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? We used to be in the mass market but I think now we are more positioned within the mid to high-range market. The market is tough because everyone says that Spain is in a crisis, so everyone talks about discounts, but this doesn’t matter because people come to us because they’ve been recommended by friends with an intention to buy. We know we have to find a balance between quality and price and we usually get there in the end. We cut down our costs five years ago so that we could be more competitive but without compromising on quality. We have clients from Holland, Belgium, Scandinavia and Russia and we are now noticing that more British are coming back due to the pound getting stronger again.

What are the inspirations and influences behind your work? We go to all the important fairs in Germany and Italy but I must admit a lot of my inspiration comes from my clients. As our clientele come from all over the world, they bring ideas that you’d never have even thought about, which is fantastic for me. I have clients from China, Scandinavia and Russia, to Australia, so they all have different tastes. From a technical point of view I get a lot of ideas from the fairs, but from a design point of view I learn a lot from my clients as they are very knowledgeable and informed and generally know what they want. What is your vision for the company and tell us more about your passions? We started out as a small company and then we grew quite large, with many sales staff, until 2007 when we completed a project and I was really unhappy. I liked the contact with clients and felt we had become too big and impersonal. I prefer to know the clients’ stories, know their faces and what they want.

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What are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella and how are you involved? Clients are becoming younger and their tastes are more minimalist. We are changing our showroom around to put a modern kitchen in the front, which is where I see the market moving. People are fed up with pillars and coving and want cleaner lines. Italian kitchens are becoming very popular as they are the most modern. How do you see the future of modern architecture (particularly in Marbella)? I see a big future in modern architecture, especially in the next five to seven years, because modern architecture brings the price down and creates more light and window space. It is a very northern European influence actually. Spain has to change its mentality. I have carried out several projects with

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modern architect Carlos Lamas, who I consider to be very progressive and a perfectionist. What does a “home” represent to you? I’m married with three daughters so the home is where I would like to spend more time. It is the frame of my whole life, where I am together with my family and friends, where I can really show a part of my personality. As a foreigner in Spain, I feel that my home is even more important.

i BUSINESS FILE Danespan Quality Kitchens. Established since: 1989. Services/products: Kitchens Marbella Showroom: Tel. (+34) 952 868 071 Estepona Showrom: Tel. (+34) 952 792 112 www.danespan.com

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AMC PROJECTS

HIGH QUALITY… WITH A PERSONAL TOUCH

Offering a complete and personalised lighting design service that includes planning and management of interior and exterior lighting projects, AMC Projects’ team of professionals has over 15 years of experience and can advise clients in English, Spanish and German on how to light a residence or business. One of their aims, as Alan McDermott notes in this interview, is to lead the way in introducing new energy-efficient technologies such as LED and low-energy lamps when viable. What were the company’s beginnings? AMC Projects was founded by Alan McDermott in 2003. What are the basic principles behind the company? The client should always feel satisfied with the service and materials supplied. How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? The market is in recovery, slowly but surely. We aim to remain a constant as the outlook improves. What are the inspirations and influences behind your work? I like to keep a professional eye open on an international level to see how different countries and cultures are developing; hopefully this keeps my work fresh. I am constantly looking at different methods and fixtures relating to lighting whenever I travel. What is your vision for the company and tell us more about your passions? We wish to grow steadily and continue to enjoy illuminating our client’s homes, gardens and businesses.

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What are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella and how are you involved? My personal preference is towards modern contemporary architecture and I guess my involvement would be finding new and interesting ways to illuminate it. How do you see the future of modern architecture (particularly in Marbella)? Marbella has been embracing modern architecture over the last decade and there has been significant growth. What does a “home” represent to you? Somewhere to relax, rest or play with family and friends.

i BUSINESS FILE AMC Projects Established since: 2003 Services/products: Lighting and home cinema consultant El Gamonal, Cancela de la Quinta Tel. (+34) 951 913 407 info@amcprojects.com www.amcprojects.com

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The place to go for contemporary building

ATLAS GROUP

RECREATING IDYLLIC ENVIRONMENTS

Atlas Group specialises in three key industry sectors through: Atlas Build, a construction company that undertakes a wide variety of projects on the Costa del Sol; Atlas Pool, which is the preferred choice of many architects and engineers, designing and building contemporary, formal and free-form natural swimming pools; and Atlas Art, which undertakes the finer, more delicate works of stucco, micro cement and decorative painting and murals. They are currently working on, and will very shortly launch, the latest division of the group: Atlas Garden, which will be dedicated to the design and building of spectacular garden landscapes. One of the partners, Mike, tells us more about this pace-setting company... What were the company’s beginnings? The Atlas Group was originally set up by the two partners who started out their lives thousands of miles apart, one in England and the other in Germany, and came together on the Costa del Sol to start what is now a successful well-organised swimming pool and construction company specialising in the design and build of luxury swimming pools and the building and refurbishment of properties in some of the most desirable urbanisations in the Marbella area. Between the two partners, they have over 50 years of experience in the construction industry, combining

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the knowledge and expertise gained from their respective countries as well as from the Spanish industry. The Atlas Group are the sole-licensed applicators of the natural pool finish technology, Pebbletec® and Beadcrete®. Pebbletec® is a natural pebble that provides a practical and economical way of producing beautiful swimming pools using the Earth’s natural resources. There are no manufacturing processes involved and therefore no polluting bi-products or harmful emissions are produced. With different types of pebbles, the water colour is produced by the refraction of

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the light from the pebble surface, resulting in deepening the shades to give the pool depth and the most natural look possible. Pebbletec® interiors will never need re-grouting and there is no possibility of tiles coming loose, osmosis (associated with fibreglass pools) or delamination, or the need for maintenance of painted finishes. What are the basic principles behind the company? Our basic principals are what we think is fundamental in running a business. Client customer care… we spend countless hours with our clients making sure that their wishes and dreams can be realised as smoothly as possible. Also our attention to details and finishes are second-to-none. We feel the little things can make a big difference and set us apart from the numerous other construction companies here on the Coast. Behind our basic principles we have a professional, highly-organised management team including our own in-house architect who is responsible for putting our clients’ thoughts and ideas into plans and 3D images that show exactly how the project will look when finished.

How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? At the moment the market is improving considerably – we have never been busier! However, having said that, the market has and is changing from how it was before in the boom years. Clients are more cautious when choosing who they work with, looking more scrupulously at the companies in the market. We can open our books to anyone and they will see a healthy company that the client can be rest assured is in a position to deliver a finished project. As a specialist construction company, the current market fits us perfectly as there are fewer new plots to build on so these days most of the clients are looking to reform an existing property or swimming pool. What are the inspirations and influences behind your work? We take our inspirations from our multi-cultural backgrounds and all our clients are foreigners, coming from different parts of the world, so when we mix in our experiences and tastes and the requirements of the client we get some fantastic results with our work, especially in the swimming pool sector. We are responsible for some of the most beautiful pools in this area.

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What is your vision for the company and tell us more about your passions? Very simple… We expect over the coming years to be one of the more prominent companies here on the Coast within the construction sector, and by saying that we don’t necessarily mean to be the biggest – big isn’t always best! We are currently very strong in Gibraltar, designing and building most of the new swimming pools there. In fact, we are the only specialist pool company operating at the moment in Gibraltar. What are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella and how are you involved? Modern architecture is very important at the moment, as it seems to be the “fashion”. Vast spaces, natural light and perfectly straight clean lines make for a very good quality of living for the owners of these types of properties. Many of our clients these days like to merge their indoor spaces with the outdoors, incorporating huge floor-to-ceiling windows that maximise the fantastic views they have surrounding the property. How do you see the future of modern architecture (particularly in Marbella)? This modern style has a great future here. It seems the typical “Andalucian style” has had its day and is now moving over for something new and exciting to reflect the types of lifestyles that

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we have now with the likes of iPads and iPhones controlling homes! Reforms seem to be more popular than ever, modernising many older properties and swimming pools to suit contemporary tastes. Homes are becoming more and more ecological. As a result, we work with upcoming materials such as Sto, for example – the first Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS). The trend now also seems to be packages on properties. We can offer a package house with an end product that people can buy straight off the hanger! What does a “home” represent to you? A home to me is somewhere you can go to at the end of the day and relax completely, feeling safe and sound while the outside world keeps on whirling past.

i BUSINESS FILE Atlas Group Services/products: Construction, swimming pools and specialist finishes Centro Comercial Diana Park, Estepona Tel. (+34) 951 272 140 info@atlas-group.es www.atlasbuild.eu / www.atlaspool.eu / www.atlasart.eu

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THE PROFESSIONALS

RENSON

CREATING HEALTHY SPACES

The signing of the Kyoto protocol at the end of the 20th century was an important milestone in Renson’s history. As Johan Debaere explains in this interview, the initiative encouraged managing director Paul Renson to develop the principles of nightcooling and the “Healthy Building Concept” – an energy-efficient solution for a healthy indoor climate. What were the company’s beginnings? Renson was founded in 1909, when Polydore Renson started commercial construction activities in Belgium. At the first factory in Holstraat (Waregem) Renson produced everything for moving doors and windows – locks, hinges, etc. – and from 1913 onwards Georges Renson continued his father’s work. During World War I he moved to England together with Léon Bekaert and, as Bekaert was already exporting products to companies in Egypt and India, this move opened the doors for Renson to do business there as well. This was followed in 1919 by the official founding of the

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Renson company, specialising in parts for opening and closing doors and windows, as well as metal windows. During the fifties the market changed from steel to aluminium and Jan Renson, the father of today’s managing director, felt competition from the major foreign companies was becoming too strong and he decided to change the focus to niche products, such as window vents (1968) and louvre panels (1970). Since 1982 Paul Renson has been managing the company with a strong interest in research and development, innovation, marketing and communication.

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What are the basic principles behind the company? Renson is a trendsetter in ventilation and sun protection, with an extensive team of R&D staff and product managers working on the optimisation of existing products and the development of new solutions. The company develops and manufactures innovative solutions and concepts that improve the working and living conditions of people, while at the same time cutting energy costs – creating healthy spaces. How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? As Renson is working all over Europe and even further abroad, we do find different market situations in every country. People’s investments are always based on the financial situation at that specific moment. However, each country has its own demands and the overall market is changing rapidly. Renson has grown constantly in recent years, and this growth is based on several elements: continuous development of innovative products and systems; looking for new market segments with new customers and sales channels; perfect quality, service and flexibility; developing solutions that

improve the comfort or well-being of the end user; and last but not least, Renson’s enthusiastic and motivated employees – today totalling about 500. What are the inspirations and influences behind your work – and your vision for the company? As mentioned previously, Renson’s strength is influenced by various elements that encapsulate the company’s vision. We want to face the future head on and this is why we work with the world’s leading scientific organisations to incorporate trends into new products. Renson listens to the market to develop the right solutions: 75 percent of the growth we are achieving comes from products that have been developed here during the past five years. Every year we have an average of six to seven product launches. We offer an extremely large programme of products as standard, which with other companies are only delivered made-to-order. In this way, we can easily deal with the requirements of our customers and guarantee a very short delivery time. Renson has a clear message: economise on energy but not on your health! Through the intelligent combination of ventilation

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and solar shading, Renson offers energy-efficient concepts for a healthy and comfortable indoor climate in buildings, and we also pay a lot of attention to users’ acoustic, thermal and visual comfort. What are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella and how are you involved? We have been collaborating on quite a few high-end housing projects in the Marbella area, both with sun protection and ventilation solutions. And we are always looking for new opportunities. Renson does not only provide standard solutions but also develops customised solutions for projects, devised in close cooperation with architects, constructors and owners. What does a “home” represent to you? A “home” is a place where people have to be able to live happily: healthy, comfortable and safe. Renson develops solutions that should allow consumers to have good air quality and appropriate temperatures in their homes. Through ventilation, the air in the home is continuously changing – fresh air is coming in as polluted air is pushed out of the building. Nightcooling and sun protection result in comfortable temperatures in the building, every moment of the day.

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Finally… People like to enjoy their garden. The weather, however, can make life difficult. In addition to promoting a healthy and comfortable inner climate, Renson has developed a range of terrace coverings, allowing people to use their terrace from early morning till late in the evening – every day, the whole year long. The Lagune is based on a patented aluminium construction and a roof structure which uses innovative wind tight, water tight, light penetrating sun screens that can be opened or closed depending on the weather. The Camargue and Algarve combine an aluminium structure with a roof with an inclination of zero degrees, made of blades. These 150-degree rotatable aluminium blades provide sun protection and ensure the necessary cooling and ventilation.

i BUSINESS FILE Renson Established since: 1909 Belgium Products/services: Ventilation and solar shading Tel. (+34) 675 098 677 espana@renson.net www.renson.eu

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THE PROFESSIONALS

AÑIL HOME TRENDS

MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE

The cornerstone of Añil Home Trends’ modus operandi is that they should not impose their criteria on clients. On the contrary, they carefully consider people’s requirements, contents and style and, in a resolutely professional manner, create elegant and comfortable spaces that reflect the personality of those living in the home. As Mili Benítez notes in this interview, they work with leading national and international companies, avant-garde designers and the most fashionable fabrics – all in harmony, to create “the house of your dreams”. What were the company’s beginnings? I set up Añil Home Trends in 1993. Previously I worked in the world of fashion in the Canary Isles, and studied in Barcelona, when still very young. I have always felt a close association with the world of design and décor, due to its creativity and the opportunities it offers. What are the basic principles behind the company? The main principles are professionalism, honesty and providing clients with a maximum degree of satisfaction, while always aiming to surpass their expectations. We are well aware of the importance of and effort required in giving life to a

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space, filling it with colour, textures and emotions. We are very serious about that and you can see it in all our projects. How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? Difficult and complex, with a pervading sense of pessimism. However, we inject optimism, are positive and are absolutely confident that the situation will improve. In spite of the uncertainty, we have maintained the confidence of our clients, who have been able to see first-hand our continuing growth – how we have avoided being stuck at a standstill – and that has provided us with a decisive and solid status in our profession.

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What are the inspirations and influences behind your work? The sources are endless. I observe my environment very closely, and the changes it is experiencing: the architecture, in particular, provides me with a great deal of information. I am also very interested in feng shui, and I aim to integrate all elements according to their energies. What is your vision for the company and tell us more about your passions? Añil Home Trends’ most important resource is the people working here. I believe I have managed to inspire in my team the necessity of working together. The success we have achieved is due to the efforts of everyone – the commitment is mutual. I express all my passions through Añil. I love travelling and

coming into contact with other ways of life, cultures and customs. I enjoy being with my family, my friends, in my immediate surroundings: I think all of that is a part of me, providing me with internal harmony, and I reflect that in each of my decisions and projects. I’m a very passionate person. What are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella and how are you involved? Marbella has a unique and individual architecture, very well defined, integrating new modern concepts without losing its essence. Añil has always been in the vanguard of design, following this same evolutionary path, and today we can justifiably claim to be one of the companies that best reflects this sense of renovation.

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How do you see the future of modern architecture (particularly in Marbella)? Perhaps Marbella – thanks to its location and climate, and the cultural diversity of its residents – is one of the main places in the world where a wide-ranging and modern style of architecture will always have a place. What does a “home” represent to you? For me, a home represents the space where I feel safe, where I spend the best moments of my life, where I construct my daily schedule. That’s why it’s so important to spend time on its creation, to ensure it continues to evolve with me. The choice of the finer points and details is a commitment to time and the moment, and we should see ourselves reflected in all those aspects. If we experience change ourselves, or change our circumstances, our envi-

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ronment should also change. It is important to be able to express our essence, our very own being. In conclusion… Añil Home Trends’ success is due to ensuring our clients’ continued satisfaction. We would like to thank them for being the main protagonists of each project.

i BUSINESS FILE Añil Home Trends Established since: 1993 Services/products: Interior design Urb. Las Petunias 27, San Pedro de Alcántara Marbella, Málaga Tel. (+34) 952 780 044 · 952 781 819 www.anilhometrends.com

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Hotel Marbella Club, local 2 Blv. Ppe. Alfonso de Hohenlohe 29600 MARBELLA (Mรกlaga) Tlf. 951.968.771

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THE PROFESSIONALS

SANEAMIENTOS PUYA

IN THE VANGUARD OF BATHROOM CHIC

From modest beginnings as a plumbing supplies outlet in the early days of Marbella’s transformation into an international resort, 45 years ago, Saneamientos Puya has grown into one of the Costa del Sol’s premier showcases of state-of-the-art bathrooms, including the first “House of Villeroy & Boch” in Spain. Paco Puya gives us an insight into the company’s development over the years and its ongoing determination to consolidate a prime position as an industry pacesetter. What were the company’s beginnings? Saneamientos Puya is a family company founded in June 1967 by Luis Puya Palacios. Initially the company sold plumbing supplies, before expanding its activities to sell construction materials. In 1982, we set up our first showroom of baths, tiles and bathroom wares, fittings and accessories. The first premises were in San Pedro de Alcántara, and since then we have also opened sales outlets in Marbella and Ronda. About five years ago, we introduced a range of top-quality Italian-designed kitchens and household electrical appliances and accessories.

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What are the basic principles behind the company? We are a very client-focused company, and this defines our business culture and style. We always aim for continuous improvements in our services and management organisation, ensuring that each employee finds his or her right place and function in the company. We promote an entrepreneurial spirit that encourages individual initiative and favours a strong commitment and participation by all staff members. In short, our focus is on supplying the best products and top international brands, mainly for high-end individual villas, as well

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as hotels and restaurants. In addition we offer qualified technical advice, thanks to our extensive product knowledge and staff training, specialist installation services, and a PR and marketing department that concentrates on promoting brands and products to architects and developers. We supply 200 brands, including Dornbracht, Hansgrohe, Duravit, Villeroy & Boch, Jacuzzi and Vola, and exclusive Italian ceramics brands such as Casa Dolce Casa and Antonio Lupi. How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? Today, in our area of influence, the Costa del Sol, the market is focused on top-quality homes: projects that are highly personalised, with broad technical support and product advice provided. Ensuring “excellence” is extremely important for us, both product and finished installation. We don’t like to talk about crisis because there are moments of opportunity in all different situations, so you have to adapt yourself to the times. What is your vision for the company and tell us more about your passions? The company is already well consolidated and we don’t have any plans to expand further but we will continue to upgrade our installations, with maximum innovation and improvements to ensure our clients always have access to the latest trends. It is

important to grow within your own sphere. That is the main challenge the company has had over the past five years, positioning itself in a prime position in the market. What are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella and how are you involved? Our challenge is always to have the right product that fits in with a specific architectural project. Fifteen years ago it was all about more traditional, or classical, villas, but now that has changed. Homes are much more modern, more open and lighter, so the products used inside have also changed. What we are working on now is expanding our range of products for high-end homes with saunas, steam baths, thermal showers, chromotherapy and aromatherapy – i.e. the home spa for private use – all of which can be adapted for use with home automation. As we speak this product doesn’t exist in the market – a shower that can be connected to home automation systems. In this respect we have just taken on a very exclusive product from Dornbracht, only three distributors in Spain (Mallorca, Barcelona and Puya for southern Spain). We believe that these products – spas for high-end homes – are very important in this sector. This is a cutting-edge innovation at an international level. Ambience Tuning Technique (ATT) comprises three pre-programmed shower systems, depending on the hour of the day. With this balancing system, the shower unit changes frequencies for rhythm, volume

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of flow and temperature, to achieve a state of wellbeing. Supplying these kinds of products – one particularly interesting novelty this year is a horizontal ATT unit – is truly what makes us stand out from other similar companies. What does a “home” represent to you? We believe that the bathroom is the most important place in a home. When you go into a hotel room what is the first thing you check out? The bed and the bathroom. If you find a great bed and a superb bathroom, you don’t look at anything else. In fact, it doesn’t even matter. So in your own home it’s the same. You decorate a home and the first thing you show a client is the bathroom.

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The bathroom is a place to find yourself, your spirituality, and part of that spirituality is contact with the most important thing in nature, water. And that’s where we are: in the bathroom, the shower, that state of relaxation you achieve there – in magnificent intimacy.

i BUSINESS FILE Saneamientos Puya Established since: 1967 Services/products: high-end bathrooms and kitchens San Pedro de Alcántara: Tel. (+34) 952 789 459 Marbella: Tel. (+34) 952 822 611 www.puya.es

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THE PROFESSIONALS

B. SOLÍS

RENOWNED FOR OPTIMAL BUILDING EXPERTISE

Synonymous with quality and reliability in the building industry, Construcciones Bonifacio Solís (B. Solís) has undertaken more than 500 projects, involving over 25,000 properties in all – business, private and public (civil service). As Jorge Martí highlights in this interview, the company is well-established throughout Andalucía, as well as in Morocco (Tangier) and Equatorial Guinea (Bata and Malabo), developing a diverse range of projects from luxury villas and tourist hotel resorts to golf courses and spas. What were the company’s beginnings? Twenty-five years ago, a building worker named Bonifacio Solís decided to set up his own company. He had a different vision for this time-honoured trade of construction. He warned that it could be a “traumatic” process for clients, full of surprises and uncertainty. He knew it was important to be committed to quality but it was also indispensable to listen to clients and give them personal-

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ised and straightforward service in all phases of the work. To give them peace of mind by offering guarantees, a serious attitude and commitment… and to convert the construction of their homes into a dream project, with no surprises. Over the years, this way of looking at construction has led to us becoming the leading building company in a highly demanding market such as the Costa del Sol.

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What are the basic principles behind the company? Honesty and a commitment to clients. It’s important to create a coherent business culture highlighted by our values – and this is ultimately passed on to the client. Adopting these principles, we have formed a multi-disciplinary team comprising 200 professionals identified with the company and sharing our concept of construction. That’s reflected in the quality of our work. How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? Very tough, challenging and extremely competitive. However, we face this market situation with serenity, optimism and professionalism. Throughout the company’s history, we have maintained controlled growth, consolidating a solid organisational structure and direct contact with our clients. We have had the opportunity to strengthen the company, to demand more of ourselves as professionals, and to become more competitive. In short, to be a better company and be able to give our clients much more value. All of these efforts have been rewarded with the confidence deposited in B. Solis by more than 500 clients. We have built more than 150 luxury villas in the Costa del Sol’s most exclusive

urbanisations (60 in La Zagaleta and the remainder in Sierra Blanca, Guadalmina, Sotogrande, etc.), more than 25,000 homes in multi-family buildings, hotels, commercial premises, complete refurbishments… that gives an idea of the experience acquired over the years. What are the inspirations and influences behind your work? We are a service business and we have to know how to listen to the market, to our clients, to maintain our leading position in such a demanding industry. We work and collaborate with excellent professionals and business people with extensive experience accumulated in various different sectors: clients, architects, engineers, project managers, interior designers, suppliers, etc. – of all nationalities. “Listening enables you to see further… Where the eyes cannot see.” With that in mind, we make a special effort to know people’s needs, to obtain feedback about our company, and to be aware of the degree of satisfaction. We exchange industry information, and consequently have a global vision that enables us to adapt our policies and anticipate market trends. And all with the aim of making sure our clients are completely satisfied.

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What is your vision for the company and tell us more about your passions? To remain faithful to our business philosophy: to be a highquality service company, offering personal service and a great deal of added value. To pay close attention to our warranty and after-sale service, as a specific quality to differentiate us in the industry. To improve our technical reliability and competence and, above all, to maintain our strong commitment to clients. To continue working internally in order to be increasingly efficient and to be able to offer high quality and guarantees at the best price. We avoid the “low-cost” positioning – low price, low quality, low guarantees – that other smaller companies with fewer resources have become immersed in. In short, to follow our business model and continue to enjoy a key role in the growth of a great city such as Marbella, of the Costa del Sol and of all Spain.

offer our experience in order to seek solutions that allow us to bring to fruition the proposals and designs that are presented to us. Our company has departments (Technical, Evaluation, Quality and Purchase) that are charged with seeking the most appropriate construction solutions and the best finished work for each project. For example, to achieve specific finishes required by our clients we have imported special products from various parts of the world: Barbados, Armenia, Pakistan, India, Brazil, South Africa, United States…

What are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella and how are you involved? There is a rich abundance of designs, specifications and materials. We work with clients from throughout the world (British, Germans, Dutch, Swedes, Russians, Arab countries, Asians…). They are global and cosmopolitan. In each project they add the latest trends from their own countries, and this has left a mark on and enriched local architecture. We can justifiably claim that, today, Marbella architecture is a reference point at an international level. As builders, when we talk about modern architecture, we refer to all the requirements and demands associated with this style of construction: materials, building systems, finishing touches, special installations… we need to work with the architectural studios and

What does a “home” represent to you? I love that word. For me it’s a state of mind, a combination of sensations that are related to comfort, tranquillity and security…. where I live and share intimate moments with my family. In short, where I want to be.

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How do you see the future of modern architecture (particularly in Marbella)? Even though there are major projects that have helped consolidate modern architecture in Marbella, the best is still to come. It’s no longer a trend: it’s a well-established style that cannot be stopped!

i BUSINESS FILE Construcciones Bonifacio Solís (B. Solís) Established since: 1987 Services/products: Building projects Aloha Pueblo, Nueva Andalucía Tel. (+34) 952 815 080 www.bsolis.com

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AMP CONSTRUCCIONES

EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE AND VIGOUR

Established eight years ago by master craftsman Ángel Martín, AMP Construcciones specialises in the construction and refurbishment of luxury villas, with a commitment to quality, efficiency and professionalism. What were the company’s beginnings? AMP Construcciones was born in 2005 as the culmination of a personal professional project. After working for different companies and learning the whole construction process from the basics – when I was young I combined my studies (building engineer) with working as a builder’s labourer during the holidays – I decided it was time to realise my dream. That is, setting up my own construction company where I could impart my knowledge and way of looking at a project, and share this vision with other professional colleagues I knew I could

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trust. We are a dynamic company involving people with extensive experience and, in that sense, combine the vigour of innovation and the wisdom of maturity. We have the capacity to provide very satisfactory results for our clients, as well as for our professionals and suppliers. What are the basic principles behind the company? For me there is one key principle: honesty. Working from that principle, our business commitment comprises three objectives: quality, price and deadline.

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How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? Personally, I don’t like to talk about crisis, and I always try to look at life from the positive side. The situation is difficult, yes, but these days there are no “intruders” in the industry – those of us who remain are very professional. To return to a balanced situation – which is what is desirable, in my opinion – the way ahead is forwards and upwards. Our business model is solid: it didn’t grow in size when the market was abnormally expansive and it will not shrink when the situation is abnormally restrictive. I believe we are very good at what we do, and in that respect we are firmly committed to maintaining our place among those in the industry who provide a proper balance. What are the inspirations and influences behind your work? Clients provide my inspiration. I am more of a producer than a creator, but I can claim to have executed projects for leading architects in a skilful manner. For me, true grandeur is

achieved by paying attention to the small details, as they are what ensure the greatness of the whole. And, above all else, I am inspired by the knowledge that, that when we are working on a project, we are not building a house or a building but rather a home, a living space. What is your vision for the company, and tell us more about your passions? My vision might seem to be naïve in business terms but I believe that companies are essentially about the people who form a part of them – so people are their main asset. I spend a lot of time getting to know the people I work with, both the professionals who – on a daily basis – work on AMP Construcciones’ projects and my suppliers. Not all problems that arise during a project are caused by people, but it is always people who find the solutions. I’m passionate about the construction process, about observing the growth of a building from its foundations and its transformation from an inert object into a living space, a home.

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What are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella and how are you involved? Honestly, I don’t believe it is easy to find places in the world where there is so much architecture committed to innovation, and Marbella – in its relatively small dimensions – is one of the few. I like working as close as possible with architects – the creators – making my own contribution to the final result with my knowledge and experience. I like it even more when a specific project contributes something to the overall residential and landscape complex within which it is integrated. For me, good modern architecture is that which provides a proper balance between the external areas that are created and the home’s interior spaces. If we achieve that balance we are making an important contribution to preserving the harmony of the natural environment where our home is located – and that in turn enhances our quality of life. At times, it seems incredible that – in spite of certain urban excesses – Marbella remains such a rich crucible of architecture. This may sound heavy, but I believe it is architecture that has alleviated the effects of an at-times perverse urban development.

that remains in abundance while other aspects have failed us; and a determination to progress, and I’m not sure if this is fortunate or unfortunate but recent experience has shown us that a direct line is not always the quickest path – and hardly ever the best path. If talent is once again valued highly, and the money supply values talent, if we recapture this balance, the future of modern architecture in Marbella and the future of Marbella in general will once again be closely linked.

How do you see the future of modern architecture (particularly in Marbella)? With a hopeful outlook... As I mentioned before, I always look at things from the positive side. From my point of view, there are two elements that are key in looking to the future with a sense of hope: the capacity to create, and fortunately talent is one quality

i BUSINESS FILE AMP Construcciones Established since: 2005. Services/products: Construction Marbella Tel. (+34) 952 786 271 www.angelmartinconstrucciones.com

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What does a “home” represent to you? It’s the most important thing. For me, your home is a space you dress up in order to lay bare your emotions and share them with the people you love. In conclusion? What I noted before, that’s what I believe is most important: honesty, people and commitment.

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www.yusto-giner.com GalerĂ­a Yusto/Giner, C/ Madera nÂş 9, 29603 Marbella, MĂĄlaga, Spain +34 951 507 053, galeria@yusto-giner.com


THE PROFESSIONALS

Las Medranas

THE ART OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

Offering more than 30 years of specialist experience in landscaping and garden design, San Pedro de Alcántara-based Las Medranas Garden Centre has worked on some of the finest villas on the Costa del Sol, as well as such emblematic projects as Parque de las Angosturas (for Benahavís town hall) and the Finca Cortesín golf course, clubhouse, commercial centre and hotel, and further afield in Lorca (Murcia), Guadalupe (Cáceres), Altarejos (Badajoz), Montoro (Córdoba), Madrid and Sintra (Portugal). In this interview, Juan Macías Magariño gives us an insight into the company’s philosophy and ongoing commitment to modern landscape architecture. 116

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Finca Cortesín in Casares

What were the company’s beginnings? The company was set up in 1981 but before then I worked for Don José Banus’ company, as assistant to the renowned landscape gardener Gerald Huggan. We worked on numerous projects together for five years and when he retired I carried on the business. What are the basic principles behind the company? Above all else, to look after clients at the high-end level: private homes in, for example, La Zagaleta and Sotogrande. We take care of everything related to landscaping, including outdoor lighting, and to that end work with various other companies, under our supervision. That’s our aim: to work with clients who imagine something truly beautiful and have the financial capacity to see it to fruition. Our philosophy is in tune with that of people in the countryside. The most important thing in a garden is the preparation, the soil. If you don’t use good soil and prepare the ground properly you’ll never have a garden. For me it’s not important if the plants are large or small: the most important thing is that there is a strong, solid base, in order to be able to create – over the years – a proper garden. How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? It’s difficult at the moment, as many people are spending less, but we haven’t stopped working. It’s less volume now but we make sure we maintain the quality. There are certain things that you can’t do cheaper.

What are the inspirations and influences behind your work? One of my main influences was landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx, who introduced modernist landscape architecture to Brazil. He changed everything – for me he was a revolutionary in design. Another was Gerald Huggan, who had a similar style. He spent a lot of time working in modern cities in the 1960s, in Nairobi, Puerto Banús… His was a very forceful style of landscape gardening, but also simple and straightforward. For me, this modern style is all about good sense and judgment, and effectiveness. Like, for example, the commercial centre we worked on at Finca Cortesín: olive trees, palm trees, native plants and grass – nothing more. It has a very high quality visual effect. I don’t like landscape gardening with a little bit here, a little bit there, lots of plants. I like three items: one here, another there and something else there, and that’s it. Of course, you have to know the right place to put them. That’s the art of it. What is your vision for the company and tell us more about your passions? One project we are currently working on, which is different to the norm on the Costa del Sol, is in Montoro in Córdoba. It’s a predominantly agricultural property, featuring a modern design adapted to traditional Andalucian style. It’s extremely attractive: cypresses, carob trees and fountains in the midst of farmland, as well as 2,000 rose plants, different roses including such English varieties as floribunda – and that creates a lovely effect. The

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owner has a house in Marbella where he spends weekends and holidays but he prefers to live at the farmhouse, and loves that kind of landscaping. We are always prepared to update a particular modern style, depending on a client’s preferences. On that same subject, what are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella? A few years ago there were architects designing “modern” homes that didn’t particularly impress me. I worked on two or three houses that mixed modernity with old terracotta, and it didn’t work. Carlos Lamas, on the other hand, is a genius. He has found the right harmony. A garden should be designed in symmetry with the home. For a modern-style house, all you really need is green: just a few plants but effectively laid out. You don’t need colour. That’s the way I see it and Carlos apparently loves that style as well. We worked with him on a villa in Las Chapas where we planted some large olive trees, 400 to 500 years old, and grass. Practically nothing else… I don’t believe you need anything more. I also loved the way the house was decorated, with a huge wooden table on the porch, for example. For the interior areas, with the help of the Belgian designers, we introduced very strong colours because all the paintings were dark – black and white. We attracted attention with the plants. These are elements you can mix very well in a modern home: colourful plants in straight, geometric pots – it all ended up looking very attractive. How do you see the future of modern architecture (particularly in Marbella)? Ninety per cent of homes here are Andalucian or colonial style but this is changing. When things start to move again, there will

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be young people, especially, who want these kinds of homes. They don’t want overly complex designs. For me, La Finca urbanisation in Madrid is a very important reference point. Another architect in the vanguard of modern architecture is Joaquin Torres, and he has been commissioned to design some stunning homes at La Finca for wealthy footballers and other celebrities: expansive modern homes with large grounds, costing €15 to €20 million. What does a “home” represent to you? It depends on the family, their age, and other aspects. When you have young children, you ideally need a large place with space. A true home is created by family, friends, people… The type of garden depends on the house. I had a modern house with a fairly modern garden, and strange plants that no one would have seen before – they certainly attracted attention! At our house in Benahavís we had avocados, olive trees, what you would expect in the mountains. The same as a fashion designer looks at a woman and knows what shoe or dress is best, I have to look at a house to know where to place things, to hide things…

i BUSINESS FILE Las Medranas Garden Centre Established since: 1981 Services/products: landscaping, garden design and projects San Pedro de Alcántara Tel. 952 782 565 / 607 924 068 info@hortiplan.net / www.viverolasmedranas.com

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THE PROFESSIONALS

ROMÁN CLAVERO

IN THE VANGUARD OF MODERN CARPENTRY

Wood is Román Clavero’s passion – and creating innovative, high-quality carpentry products has been their business for three decades. From doors of the future to customised accessories, they offer the latest in components and design. In this interview, Marcos Oliver Román Ocaña explains how Román Clavero have mastered all the process stages to ensure a fast and effective service, cutting-edge design prototypes, and enduring, high-performance products. What were the company’s beginnings? It was founded in 1979 by José Luis Román Clavero. What are the basic principles behind the company? Above all else, the quality of our products and meticulous client service. We use the most innovative technology in the market in order to be able to offer a practical product, and optimum results, without losing even a tiny shred of the charm and natural beauty of wood – while also taking special care with every

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design detail to create an exclusive product for each client. Another very important basic principle for the company is our guarantee and after-sales service. All Román W&D products are made from the highest quality materials and objects available in the market, strictly in accordance with European Union quality norms (EN) and labels (CE). We cover all our work-installed products with a one-year complete guarantee, covering repairs or replacements for faulty pieces or components, with no labour or home-visit costs for clients.

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How would you summarise the market at present and how you fit into this market? The current market is very difficult, bearing in mind the overall economic situation. In general, sales of our kinds of products are mainly to the Russian market and clients from the Nordic countries, as well as the Arab market, not to mention Britons and the rest of Europe – they have always sustained our local economy. We mostly cater for the top end of the market, those with high spending power, and they demand exceptional quality, design and exclusivity. We fit into that market perfectly, as our services and products are aimed specifically at that kind of market: it’s very familiar territory. To that end, in spite of the delicate situation society is going through at the moment, our company has made a strong commitment to the future. Last October we opened our new showroom in Puerto Banús, where clients can check out a wide range of the products and styles we manufacture – an excellent facility for us as well as for architects and clients. What are the inspirations and influences behind your work? Latest-generation German technology and meticulous selection of materials. Our influences range from styles highlighted by pure and refined lines, geometric shapes and art deco to

neo-classical, new rustic and even neo-baroque. In addition, we create exclusive designs for clients if a project requires it. What is your vision for the company and tell us more about your passions? Román Clavero Windows & Doors is a company with a sound future, and our priorities are to improve from day to day and to position ourselves as a market leader in Spain, while expanding our frontiers and promoting our products outside our borders, with exports to other countries. Our passion is wood. We make products using other materials, such as aluminium and bronze, but always ensuring wood remains the main protagonist. And, of course, our main passion is our clients. What are your thoughts about modern architecture in Marbella and how are you involved? In recent years we have been witnessing a change in trends. Previously it was very rare to see projects that were different from the Costa del Sol’s traditional architecture: that is, Andalucian or rustic style – grilles, windows and doors with shutters, staves, nails, etc. Only occasionally did a “different” – more modern – project emerge. Few of us knew then that they were just the first ones to be following a trend towards “cubic”, archi-

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tecture: flat roofs and ceilings, straight lines, aluminium-wood windows, pure and refined lines – simple homes with modular designs. Now this has become the current trend, and it’s no longer strange to see these kinds of projects. Our company has been able to adapt to this style with such new products as our 0 Line, passageway doors up to three metres high, made without cover plates or flashing, and with frames level with the wall and hidden hinges; aluminium-wood windows, our IV-88 Mira and IV-88 Mira Therm Series; and finger-jointed entrance doors.

ties that might arise in a specific project. These kinds of projects that are being undertaken now, and in the future, are a long way from the carpentry products produced to scale, and at low cost, for major apartment and house developments built in Marbella in previous years – before the current crisis.

How do you see the future of modern architecture (particularly in Marbella)? Our personal opinion is that we are going to see two diametrically opposed architectural styles. In accordance with the current market there will be projects featuring “cubic” architecture, and we will probably start to see neo-classical and neo-baroque. It’s already the trend in interior decoration and we wouldn’t be surprised soon to see projects for houses with large Greek-style columns – and consequently that style will also find its way into carpentry. It is important to offer personalised architectural projects and, to that end, also provide completely adaptable carpentry services, not just aesthetically (shape, varnishes and ironwork) but also technically, with constructive solutions for any difficul-

Finally… We would just like to add that, throughout the years since Román Clavero Windows & Doors was established, the company has been able to adapt to changes in architectural styles, and adapt to Marbella’s current market – in which clients with high spending power are the ones setting the trends.

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What does a “home” represent to you? An extension of the personal nature and manner of those living there…. a comfortable place that invites you to live in it.

i BUSINESS FILE Román Clavero Established since: 1979 Services/products: Doors, windows, carpentry accessories Plays del Duque, Puerto Banús Tel. (+34) 951 775 175 / 646 761 242 www.romanclavero.com

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BUILDING EXCELLENCE

atlas group ltd Market leaders in construction and specialist refurbishments

The preferred choice for the design & build of swimming pools

(+350) 540 20464 路 (+350) 540 20475 路 info@atlasgroup.gi 路 www.atlasgroup.gi

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Tel. (+34) 952 857 615 路 (+34) 609 572 275 路 (+34) 619 534 815 Avda. Arias Maldonado, 8 - local 1 29600 Marbella, M谩laga - Spain info@essenzaliving.com 路 www.essenzaliving.com

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Essenza 01  

Essenza Magazine. Issue 01, 2013.

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