2_4_DiscoverBenelux_Issue16_April2015_ALL_Q9_Scan Magazine 1 20/03/2015 20:35 Page 32
Building on experience - and on time Architect Manuel Sequeira’s ever-expanding portfolio of projects demonstrates apparently boundless creativity and energy. But for him – and his clients – his practicality and punctuality are equally powerful drivers. TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON | PHOTOS: MANUEL SEQUEIRA
“I’ve been involved in construction since I started technical school aged 13,” Manuel explains: “And when I was an architecture student I worked on site surveys and as a site foreman, which makes it easier to understand how long the various stages of the process should take, what obstacles may arise, and how to deal with them to reduce the potential impact on deadlines.” It’s a skillset that makes him much in demand, not just in his firm’s base in Paris but with satellite businesses in London, Lisbon, and Madrid. A current project in the French capital shows that skillset’s value in winning business: “We’re working on a medical centre for a private company. They came to us with a very tight timetable to have the building ready for use: all the design work and plans were
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prepared within six weeks, and the construction is on schedule to complete in nine months where normally it would take two years. The design is time-efficient, but also very aesthetically pleasing,” he says. That aesthetic side of his creativity has led to another strand of Manuel’s work: with two colleagues he’s opening ‘MAMA’S’, a limited-edition furniture and lighting company in London: “The lamps integrate LED technology of course, and the pieces are fun, playful, very different from what the ‘big’ suppliers can offer.” He clearly relishes a range of challenges: “I’ve been lucky to have worked on villas, office buildings, apartment blocks, and
individual apartments,” he says. Teaching commitments and consultancy are also included in his exceptionally varied programme. And speaking of programmes, over the last couple of years he’s been involved in making many with Tv channel Canal+, collaborating on design and architecture shows with them: “It wasn’t something I was looking to do, but they approached me and I’ve really enjoyed the experience.” There’s an old saying that if you want something done, give it to a busy man. Few are busier than Monsieur Sequeira, and for a reason. He gets things done. And done on time. www.manuelsequeira.com
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