WOOALIA Â· NUMBER 2
SANTA MARIA DEL MAR / MYKONOS / GUILLERMINA BAEZA NORMAN VILALTA / CHOPARD / CARTIER / PAOLO MICELI OBJETO DE DESEO / INVEST IN SPAIN / LEXUS / GRAND SOLEIL
L I F E S T Y L E M A G A Z I N E & U R B A N C U LT U R E
2017/18 OPERA CONCERT VERSION
IL VIAGGIO A REIMS
ROMEO AND JULIET LE BALLET DU GRAND THÉÂTRE DE GENÈVE November 2017 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
September 2017 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19 and 20
December 2017 1 and 3
UN BALLO IN MASCHERA GIUSEPPE VERDI
October 2017 7, 8, 10, 11, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28 and 29
TRISTAN UND ISOLDE RICHARD WAGNER
November 2017 28 December 2017 2, 4, 7, 10, 12 and 15
L'ELISIR D'AMORE GAETANO DONIZETTI
January 2018 7, 9, 12, 14 , 16, 18, 22, 24, 26 and 28
ROMÉO ET JULIETTE CHARLES GOUNOD
February 2018 14, 17, 19, 22, 24 and 27 March 2018 2 and 4
ANDREA CHÉNIER UMBERTO GIORDANO
March 2018 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 27 and 28
DI POPPEA CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI
ANNA KARENINA EIFMAN BALLET ST. PETERSBURG December 2017 20, 21, 22 and 23
POLIUTO GAETANO DONIZETTI
IT DANSA February 2018 17
ARIODANTE GEORG FRIEDRICH HÄNDEL
CONCERTS AND RECITALS
January 2018 10 and 13
March 2018 14
ATTILA GIUSEPPE VERDI
April 2018 6 and 8
LE SONGE LES BALLETS DE MONTE-CARLO May 2018 16, 17, 18 and 19
MAGDALENA KOŽENÁ LOVE: BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL October 2017 14 JORDI SAVALL «ENSALADAS» October 2017 27 JOHANNES BRAHMS A GERMAN REQUIEM November 2017 10 JOSEP BROS 25 YEARS November 2017 26 ALBERT GUINOVART A CHRISTMAS CAROL December 2017 30 TENOR VIÑAS CONTEST January 2018 19 and 21 RICHARD STRAUSS DEATH AND TRANSFIGURATION FOUR LAST LIEDER April 2018 28 PLÁCIDO DOMINGO ZARZUELA! May 2018 20 J. BRAHMS / R. STRAUSS PIANO CONCERT NO. 2 THUS SPOKE ZARATUSTRA June 2018 15 EL PETIT LICEU
EL JOVE BARBER DE SEVILLA October 2017 14, 15, 21, 28 and 29 ALLEGRO VIVACE November 2017 18 LA PETITA FLAUTA MÀGICA December 2017 2, 3 and 10 ROMEU I JULIETA AL LABERINT MÀGIC January 2018 20, 21 and 28 GUILLEM TELL March 2018 17, 18, 24 and 25 ELS MÚSICS DE BREMEN May 2018 5 and 6
ANTON RUBINSTEIN April 2018 23, 26 and 29 May 2018 2, 5, 8 and 11
MANON LESCAUT GIACOMO PUCCINI
Junio 2018 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21 and 22
July 2018 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 24
Symphony Orchestra and Chorus del Gran Teatre del Liceu TICKET SALES
liceubarcelona.cat app Box office. La Rambla 51-59
An out‘ st‘anding season
Designe: Lluís Palomar | Photo: David Ruano Fotografía
Ronei Kolesny, Editor
A jam-packed edition We have arrived at our second edition in the midst of Spring! It’s a great time of year: nature shows its colours and intensity, daylight hours are longer and happiness breathes through the streets. We are also thrilled to showcase Paolo Miceli on the cover, a leader in communication and business strategy. We introduce Norman Vilalta, one of the world's finest shoemakers, making unique creations from his Barcelona shop for customers worldwide. We are also introducing the new project by the multi-talented Jorge Subietas, and his essential guide to discovering unique decorative and interior design pieces. We tour the heights of Santa María del Mar, with its beautiful display of Gothic architecture, and we travel to Mykonos, one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan tourist hotspots.
We take to the seas in the new GS58, the Italian-designed vessel that combines speed with luxury and comfort, and, continuing with luxury, we present the latest in jewels and accessories from Cartier and Chopard. We also leave space for a current economic analysis, focusing on the Mediterranean, as well as new perspectives on Spain’s property sector. As always, we offer the best property investment options in Barcelona, Ibiza and Florida.
Thank you for accompanying us in this new edition of Wooalia.
Real value in a changing world R E A L
E S T A T E
El Moianès El Bages El Vallès Oriental El Vallès L’Anoia El Maresme Occidental El Barcelonès L’Alt Penedès El Baix Llobregat Barcelona El Garraf
WOOALIA · NUMBER 2
Summary SANTA MARIA DEL MAR 10 / MYKONOS 14 / HOTEL ALMA 18 EMIRATES 22 / GUILLERMINA BAEZA 24 / NORMAN VILALTA 28 CHOPARD 34 / CARTIER 36 / RABAT 38 / EDITOR'S CHOICE 42 / CULTURE 44 OBJETO DE DESEO 48 / PAOLO MICELI 52 / INVEST IN SPAIN 60 REAL ESTATE 64 / LEXUS IS 300H 92 / GRAND SOLEIL 58 96
Staff Editor: Ronei Kolesny. Editorial director: Guillermo Neffke. Contributors: Miriam Almanzar, Alberto Álvarez, Julio Casares, Reyes Faulo, Ixe Jeschke, Meritxell Ràfols, Luis Romo, Ángela Sánchez, Bojan Tercon. Project direction: Estudio Q. Art Design: Raül González. Publisher: Wooalia Editorial S.L. Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org +44 20 8068 3448 | +34 933 285 252
Travel & Places
Santa Maria del Mar THE ‘CATHEDRAL OF THE POOR’ OPENS ITS DOORS FOR TOURS OF ITS TERRACES AND MAGNIFICENT VIEWS OF THE EL BORN DISTRICT Text & Photos Meritxell Ràfols
It may be known as the ‘cathedral of the poor’, but it is no cathedral and its community of parishioners is far from financial ruin. The name dates back to when the walls of Santa María del Mar were first erected, and the humblest of people took great pains to build it. The temple is the best exponent of Catalan Gothic architecture, which was characterised by its austerity towards other styles. Visitors to the terrace go up a stairway that leads to one of the towers (left).
The first stone was set in place on 25 March 1329, a date known so precisely thanks to its inscription on a plaque that still stands on Carrer de Santa Maria. Unlike other temples, this church was not sponsored by a religious order: it was the inhabitants of the district, at the time called Vilanova del Mar, who decided to build it. And since many of them were unable to put up money, they contributed with their physical effort. Anyone who has read La Catedral del Mar by Idelfonso Falcones will remember the story of Arnau, a young servant boy who escaped his tough rural life to survive in Barcelona and whose jobs included being a ‘bastaix’, a name given to labourers who carried stones to the port from the Montjuïc quarry. The temple that passed through sorrows and triumphs The origin of the site dates back to the year 303, when tradition has it that the martyr St. Eulalia was buried. The primitive chapel of Santa María de las Arenas was
Travel & Places
extended over the years, until the commercial and maritime expansion of the 13th century led to the idea of building a new temple. What is now El Born or La Ribera was once a district of fishermen, longshoremen, labourers and craftsmen, who lived with the feverish pace of a Mediterranean port. The nearby Carrer Montcada started to become the centre of gravity for bourgeois families, competing to see who could build the most lavish palace – even if there were no more than two metres separating one from the next. Pressure for a new church forced King Pere III to give permission for its construction, and the project was conceived by masters Berenguer de Montagut and Ramon Despuig. In a record time of 54 years the final keystone in the vault was installed, near to the main door, bearing the coat of arms of the city. The project was completed. And the temple was consecrated by the Bishop of Barcelona, Pere Planella, on 15 August 1384. The temple suffered multiple acts of vandalism and destruction throughout its centuries of history, but its worst moments were to come on 19 July 1936, the second day of the Civil War, when Santa Maria del Mar burned for 11 days straight, a fire which destroyed its baroque altar, countless
images and all of its archives. From the destruction only the walls, columns and highest stained-glass windows survived. But thanks to ongoing restoration efforts, the Catalan Gothic style has resurfaced. The best example of Catalan Gothic Experts in the history of architecture consider Santa Maria del Mar to be the best exponent of Catalan Gothic, a style that reached its peak in the 14th century and which is seen in the sober horizontality of its creations. The side naves measure half the span of the centre nave, demonstrating that the geometric composition of the project was based on the system known in the Middle Ages as “ad quadratum”, in one of the most prominent examples throughout Gothic history. On entering the temple the visitor experiences a feeling of lightness, as though the 16 octagonal columns – 1.6 m thick – had disappeared and the roof were floating. The temple measures 80 m in length and 33 m in width, including the central and side naves and the chapel naves. With the central nave also measuring 33 m in height, from the front, it seems as though the overall design is enclosed in a circle. Its upper stained-glass window dates back to
The terrace offers outstanding views of Barcelona, and the gallery gives visitors a new view of the inside of the temple.
1459, created by craftsmen Pere Joan and Andreu Escuder with glass made by Antoni Lunyi of Toulouse. The other windows, made over the centuries, show scenes of the Last Judgement, the Last Supper, the day of the Pentecost, the fountain of living water, the Annunciation and the betrothal of Mary; the most recent, built in 1992, shows a singular representation of the grid of the Eixample district with a flaming dove at the top. There is also a small stained-glass window bearing the crest of Barcelona FC. This is not meant as a joke; it derives from the club’s contribution to the repair of several stained-glass windows in the 60s. A different visit Visits to Santa Maria del Mar outside religious hours include a tour of the terraces, as shown in these images. Visitors can touch its pillars and witness the still-visible traces of the fire of 1936 and the earthquake of the 15th century, particularly on the façade, rose window and vaults. But best of all, of course, are the views of the Born district, unobstructed by tall buildings, which extends to Plaza Cataluña, Diagonal Mar or Montjuïc. From above, viewers can take in the district's labyrinth of alleyways, one of the most characterful parts of the city,
as well as the Fossar de les Moreres – the ancient cemetery where many of those who fell in Barcelona’s defeat in the 1714 War of Secession are buried – and the modernist silhouette of the Born Market, on the lower floor of which lie the ruins of the citadel which was razed following the same war.
Santa Maria del Mar Plaça de Santa Maria 1, Barcelona T: 933 102 390 email@example.com www.santamariadelmarbarcelona.org 55 minute tour: €10. Includes rooftop visit + gallery visit + entry to the crypt. 45 minute tour: €8, follows the same route. Guided tours are given every hour in Spanish, Catalan and English. Opening hours: 12:00 pm to 5:15 pm.
Travel & Places
Mykonos A DISNEYLAND FOR HEDONISM? Text & Photos Bojan Tercon
Everyone wants to visit Mykonos, a byword for elegance, distinction and sophistication. But, is a visit really worthwhile? What will you find there?
When I was last in Mykonos, in 1999, I remember leaving and thinking ‘Wow! What an amazing and hedonistic experience!’. And it was hedonistic. We partied our face off! It lived up to all my expectations of debauchery and recklessness. And we did it on zero budget. Coming back after so many years, older (and hopefully wiser), this time having spent five days on Mykonos, I’m leaving with a different observation. In many ways now I feel the island is a bit of a cliche. It’s a Disneyland for hedonism. Attracting a specific type of crowd that comes here for the allure that they read about. The reputation certainly exists. Mykonos as a brand is coveted. Everybody wants to have a glimpse of the playboy lifestyle. For those few days, you can be part of the jet set as well. For me though I now found that it somehow lacks authenticity. For one, there is barely a local community in existence. The only people living on Mykonos are supporting the tourist season which lasts from April – October, after which the island boards up and is pretty much deserted. So what do you come here for? The brand. The revelry. The experience.
Arriba: Mykonos is one of Europe’s most exclusive tourist destinations. But the hordes of tourists may somewhat diminish the experience. Pàgina siguiente: Relaxing on the terraces is a required pastime when visiting this Greek island. The island’s sunsets are famous while its windmills were the few observers of village life before the arrival of tourism.
Travel & Places
To be able to say I’ve been there. However, if you’re not here for the partying, of which there is plenty, you can get the same experience at a much better price at many of the other nearby islands. That are just as beautiful, if not more, and definitely more authentic. Yes, you have amazing restaurants on Mykonos. We had some outstanding meals at Catari and Bakalo in the old town, one serving up authentic Italian cuisine while the other one is a more laid back Greek eatery. Witnessing the sunset by the windmills is a picture perfect way to end each day. Spending the afternoons at Jackie O at Super Paradise beach is decadent. The nightlife starts late and rolls on into the morning. Walking through the thick evening crowds is like parading on the catwalk. Everyone is looking. At themselves. We even rented a car and drove around the island. Gosh, it’s very dry. Coming from the tropics, the isle looks very barren. To see something different we went to neighbouring Delos, the birthplace of Apollo. If you want a great view of Mykonos, climbing to the peak of Delos is the place to be. Mykonos as a backdrop is very memorable. The beaches. You can go from super glam Super Paradise beach to some very quiet and secluded ones like Fokos. The options are countless. And the water, there truly are very few places in the world that have this kind of clarity. The sea here is crystal clear, transparent, versus the turquoise water of the Caribbean. Both spectacular. But different. We even stayed at an amazing hotel. Cavo Tagoo on the outskirts of the old town is close enough to town so that you feel like you’re part of the action, but far enough from the centre to give it exclusivity and quietness. The hotel is splendid. But when you look at the price that you pay in peak season (July and August) for everything, personally I’m not sure the value proposition justifies the experience. This is the difference between being 27 and 42. Different priorities for different stages of life. I also have 15 more years of travel experience, so I have lots more to compare to. Don’t take me wrong. Mykonos still has the allure. But during peak-season you better be here because you want to feel and act like you’re part of the quick-mix jet set. Ready made hedonistic experience a-la Disneyland? Otherwise you may as well come during off season. Same beauty. Less people. More authentic?
Travel & Places
The hotel that reveals the ‘alma’ (soul) of Barcelona IN A HISTORIC BUILDING IN EIXAMPLE OPEN TO CLIENTS AND THE WHOLE CITY. THE COMPANY HAS ANOTHER PROPERTY IN PAMPLONA Text Ixe Jeschke
Located in a unique building in the Eixample area of Barcelona, near Passeig de GrĂ cia, AlmaBarcelona is a true reflection of bringing something new to urban tourism. A special way of experiencing and discovering the city of Barcelona based on personalised service, highest quality, cultural elements and a peaceful atmosphere. The flavour of journeys past AlmaBarcelona goes beyond the boutique hotel concept and differentiates itself by offering the virtues of a contemporary, highcalibre urban hotel with all the trappings of journeys and hotels from the past. The privileged location allows guests to reconnect with Barcelona and enjoy the urban surroundings in one of its most characteristic areas. AlmaBarcelona is a hotel of the highest category and is made up of seven stories and 72 bedrooms, among its many spaces the
fantastic exterior garden, the spa area and the 24-hour gym really stand out. It also has a large roof terrace with views of the main touristsâ€™ attractions and a Mediterranean themed restaurant. At AlmaBarcelona, the owners wish to highlight their empathy with each visitor, and the hotel has, therefore, been designed solely to meet the needs and expectations of the contemporary client. The visitors get the feeling is an invitation to return, to savour their stay step by step and immerse themselves into the personality of the city.
Travel & Places
A hidden garden treasure tributes the former urban planner of Barcelona AlmaBarcelona’s location is no coincidence. The location is one of its strengths; near Passeig de Gràcia - one of the most luxurious avenues in Europe. Also, the area that revives Cerdà’s original idea when he planned the district, of opening out to the city. Before Cerda’s plan Barcelona was suffocating as it was constricted by its medieval walls. As there was no more land left inside the city walls, all kinds of inventions were used to build more lodgings – houses were literally being created on empty space. Into this came Cerdà. His plan consisted of a grid of streets that would unite the old city with seven peripheral villages (which later became integral Barcelona neighborhoods such as Gràcia – nowadays one of the most vibrant neighborhoods of the city). On his plan, he calculated the volume of atmospheric air one person needed to breathe correctly. And so, gardens were set in the centre of each street block. Therefore, AlmaBarcelona retook the idea of having a garden courtyard that would create a calm atmosphere in the centre of the city. This hotel makes a private place public, sharing a fantastic patio and garden, typical of the Eixample area, with the city’s residents and giving them a different perspective of their surrounding urban environment. The garden is an intimate area, a haven of peace right in the centre of the city, a true green heart in which to relax, enjoy the hotel’s culinary offering or a cocktail. Tables for breakfast, lunch or dinner mix with comfortable sofas and hidden corners amongst the lush, leafy vegetation. The hotel also has a roof terrace with views to the main tourist attractions of Barcelona such as Casa Milà or Sagrada Familia. Interior duality with a game of lights AlmaBarcelona, a project by Habitan Arquitectos and Studio Coriumcasa, opened in Barcelona with the clear aim to restore the splendour of the city’s most celebrated and well known urban project, the Eixample area. In addition, the architects who designed the interior of the hotel, Nori Furlan and
Paco Llonch of CoriumCasa, managed to integrate the hotel naturally with Barcelona’s modernity. The combination of these two concepts is best illustrated by the design of AlmaBarcelona. The hotel is divided into two areas, which meet in an atrium; a point of transition that brings natural light into the corridors: there is the part of the hotel overlooking calle Mallorca, with its traditional Eixample façade and classical design, and the part facing the garden with a more modern façade and contemporary style. This duality can also be seen in the design of the rooms. In the classical area, the style of the rooms revives Eixample’s essence from the beginning of the 20th century. In contrast, the rooms facing the garden were designed with a more modern style, but using the same materials and tones as the classical rooms. Nonetheless the two different decorative styles at AlmaBarcelona still create a single atmosphere. Thanks to the soft lighting, creating an atmosphere of semi darkness through the artificial sloped light, and the fine materials presented in their raw state AlmaBarcelona offers comfortable surroundings that makes the guest feel as if in their own home. Perfect summer nights in Barcelona AlmaBarcelona is getting better and better with its gastronomy and cocktails offer al fresco. The gastronomy from AlmaBarcelona is clear: Mediterranean seasonal food of the highest quality. They are focused to offer to their customers the best fresh product. And therefore, you can easily find locals enjoying their faveolus restaurants. Furthermore, the rooftop has become one of the funkiest attractions of the Hotel. Since last year, AlmaBarcelona is collaborating with El Paradiso Cocktail Bar winners of the WorldClass Bartender of the Year in 2014 and ‘Best New European Bar’ (Mixology Bar Awards 2016). Together, they have created a very special menu of cocktails that merge perfectly with Alma roof terrace. Also, you could easily enjoy these cocktails with live music. The perfect combination after a hot day of summer in the Mediterranean city of Barcelona.
Travel & Places
Emirates COMFORT ON BOARD THE A380 Text Ixe Jeschke
Photos Emirates Press
The Onboard Lounge was presented to the world at the Berlin Tourism Fair, and it will make its operational debut in July 2017. This year, Emirates is to launch a range of improvements and new in-flight products on board its A380 and Boeing 777 fleets. The multi-million cabin interior upgrade programme includes an enhanced Onboard Lounge for its flagship A380 aircraft. Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, said that â€œThe A380 Onboard Lounge is hugely popular with our customers, and has become an iconic feature of Emiratesâ€™ A380 offering.
Particularly on long-haul flights, our customers tell us they appreciate the opportunity to stretch their legs and mingle in the relaxed, yet classy lounge area. Since we first launched the product in 2008, our A380 Onboard Lounge has gone through small but successive enhancements in line with customer feedback. In our latest revamp, we have taken inspiration from private yacht cabins, and amongst other thoughtful
In the lounge, the passengers can enjoy gourmet canapés, specially selected wines from around the world and limited edition fine spirits, and will be able to sip on signature cocktails prepared by the bartender.
touches, we have increased the seating space, and also made it more intimate and conducive for our passengers to socialise or enjoy our lounge service”, Clark explained. The new A380 Onboard Lounge made its first public appearance on the Emirates “Infinite Possibilities” stand at ITB Berlin, one of the world’s largest tourism trade fairs. It is currently being installed onto one of Emirates’ brand new A380 aircraft at Airbus’ facilities, and will make its operational debut in July 2017. Emirates Onboard Lounge Features While the bar maintains its trademark horseshoe shape, the new Onboard Lounge will provide more space for relaxing thanks to the new seating arrangement, along the windows on both sides of the bar. Inspired by the cabins of private yachts, each seating area will have a
table and a window with a view. Overall, the lounge will accommodate up to 26 people at a time, including eight seated. Emirates is to introduce soundproof curtains to partition the Onboard Lounge from the other cabins. It will have new, soft, ambient lighting, window blinds with LED lighting and subwoofers for a surround sound. The lounge will have a 55-inch LCD screen so that the passengers can view the latest flight information or watch live TV broadcasts, including the news and sporting events. All of the 93 A380 currently in service will be feature an Onboard Lounge. The enhanced lounge product will be located, as always, on the upper deck of the aircraft, for First and Business Class passengers.
Guillermina Baeza KEEP ON DREAMING Text Ixe Jeschke
Photos Guillermina Baeza
A career spanning 50 years is testimony to Guillermina Baeza’s passion for celebrating the female body, which she confirms in her new 2017 collection, named Dreams of Paradise. Colour, optimism and a sense of fun have always defined Guillermina Baeza’s work. She is one of Spain’s leading swimwear designers and aesthetics and beauty are the two cornerstones that sustain the Guillermina Baeza swimwear, accessories and lingerie firm. The designer was born in the Spanish protectorate in Morocco but moved to Barcelona in the 1960s, where she began to give substance to the dreams of women stifled by the dictums of Franco’s Spain. Life wasn’t easy for women at that time, but through perseverance, courage and ingenuity, Guillermina Baeza managed to build up a company that became an emblem of femininity. She achieved the impossible. Hers was the first Spanish label to launch with its own swimwear fashion parade. This is the
opportunity that Barcelona gave her. Following that, she took part in the Gaudí, the Paris prêt-à-porter and Madrid Cibeles fashion shows. Today her international expansion has brought the company to Mexico, Colombia, Russia, France, Italy and Portugal. In recent years, her daughter, Belén Larruy, her creative director, has spearheaded the drive to rejuvenate the brand. The new Summer 2017 Collection, called Dreams of Paradise, is where “beauty is conveyed through colour, new textures and new fabrics”, said Guillermina. In this new collection, the accent is on delicate fabrics such as embroidered and open-cut fabrics, stretch organza, metallic touches and crochet transparencies that reveal the skin, seeming to recreate the exclusive “boho” spirit.
An advocate of bright colours, including classic black and white, (Guillermina Baeza has never favoured dull shades), in this new collection she has opted for an exquisite exotic palette, ranging from pink to deep blue, taking in mauve, yellow, and orange, all elegantly combined with black. Guillermina Baeza has always designed for a female prototype possessing three basic attributes: self-assurance, femininity and lots of personality. And everything is enveloped in a world of dreams, because, for Guillermina Baeza, to keep on dreaming of an everlasting summer, with its far-away, unspoilt beaches, and exotic idylls is a luxury not to be relinquished. Despite the years, they continue to dream, aspiring to that remote place and
time, which is their motivation to continue creating garments that make women desirable and admirable. For Guillermina Baeza the female body has always been an emblem of beauty and inspiration. The firm believes that all bodies have an element of beauty, so they recommend that two basic garments â€”a bikini and a swimsuitâ€” become our permanent wardrobe staples.
Guillermina Baeza managed to build up a company that became an emblem of femininity. She achieved the impossible: hers was the first Spanish label to launch with its own swimwear fashion parade. This is the opportunity that Barcelona gave her.
Norman Vilalta THE VALUE OF WHAT WE DO NOT SEE Text Luis Fernando Romo
Photos Julio Casares (Yul & Mi)
Being an artisan is a philosophy of life. Master cobbler Norman Vilalta creates masterpieces for men's feet that can be worth up to â‚Ź7,000. For this Argentine, settled in Barcelona, the main goal is to advance in the art of craftsmanship.
In the history of fashion, 5 is a magical element. Since mademoiselle Chanel created her famous perfume by becoming the lover of Tsar Nicholas II, the sensation of feeling unique through the eroticism of power has been perpetuated over time. Almost a century later, this sense of being part of the status system still continues. Upon entering Casa TĂ pies at door no. 5 on Calle Enric Granados, Barcelona, one leaves behind the frenetic pace of social networks to breathe in the peace transmitted by the harmony of the shoe. Norman Vilalta is an artisan shoemaker, who gives men attributes that until only recently had belonged largely to women. His creations emit sensuality, beauty, balance and authority. By his side are two workers with great dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism: Krysia and Alfonso.
It is a philosophical process with a spiritual component in which the shoe is a vehicle for seeking out perfection, although it is never achieved. “I am interested in the beauty of the imperfect, because it is a superior type of beauty”, affirms the former lawyer from Patagonia, drawing on the ancient Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi. Vilalta makes a point; “Being an artisan doesn’t mean doing things with your hands. It means knowing… knowing the order in which they need to be done. Someone who sews soles is not an artisan, but a manual labourer, a worker who works with his hands. The hands were the tool used by shoemakers 500 years ago, but had they had 3D printers they would have worked with them because those are the tools of today. For an artisan, what’s most important is what you do not see, especially learning, which consists of the number of steps you have to repeat in order to get the right technique so you can achieve the right result. Everything is authentic, and nothing is superfluous. That which is most essential, like in Saint-Exupéry, is invisible to the eyes. To make a custom-fitted shoe you have to complete 150 or 200 steps, each of which determines the result of the next. Even decorations have the function of bringing greater or lesser quality to the shoe, and every outer structure is a product of an inner structure”, he affirms.
The exclusiveness of craftsmanship In his workshop there are two lines made from the most exquisite of French calf leathers. “Bespoke” is the most exclusive, as each shoe is a work of art in which more than 200 hours of work are invested, starting with an interview with the customer to learn about their tastes, after which his mind starts thinking about the design. He then transfers the idea to a wooden mould for each foot bearing the name of the client, who is sent a video of the entire creative process, which uses unique and artisan materials such as linen thread from a wild boar sow, with patinas invented to create a colour never seen before, and with different types of glues used to secure it. Mounting is done by hand, while toecaps and heel stiffeners vary. It is such a laborious process that only 100 pairs can be made each year. The price? Easily around €5,000, but some can reach up to €7,000. Fame does not follow him, and no names ever leave his lips, but some of those treading firmly around the world wearing his famous designs include chefs, architects and royalty. And he confirms: “For me it is the same”, when I mention these names, “as it is just one more pair of shoes leaving the shop. Our goal is not for celebrities to wear them. I want people to wear them because they like them, because they understand what is behind the process, because it is something unique, there is nothing like it”.
The reinvention of traditional shoemaking The other line is “Ready to Wear” (RTW), a reinterpretation of traditional shoemaking with the same quality leather. The soles are painted by hand and each patina is applied manually, although the number of hours invested by hand is lower, which brings the price down but it still varies between €750 and €3,500. Again, Vilalta clarifies: “To bring costs down, our RTW shoes are sewn by machine. It takes one minute, compared to three hours for a bespoke shoe. But it is the same stitching; if it is a double stitch, a boudoir. The quality does not change with the price, but the time does”. RTW is an example of what Vilalta was talking about regarding the value of what you do not see. “When we decided to make the Ready to Wear line, it took us two years to develop everything you do not see in the shoe and to actually get somewhere, and it meant having to innovate on a tradition that dates back to the year 1200”. Officially he is referring to the founding of the Brotherhood of San Marcos of the Master Shoemakers of Barcelona, one of the oldest in the world. But he inserts an historic subheading stating that, from his perspective, the shoemaking tradition was born in southern Spain with the Arabs in the 8th century, based on how they would sew the shoes and rivet them with metal pins that would later rust and decompose. During those two years of research before launching RTW, Vilalta looked into which components
were the best for creating glues, inventing new patinas for colouring the shoes and adapting the rubber sole from a hiking boot to convert it into a sole for normal shoes. His shoes are alive. It is a product that evolves over time. The leather moulds to the foot and the cork between the sole and insole ends up sinking to create an anatomical insole, and most important is the bond between the creator and the customer, which will never be broken. “For example, here we show them how to shine and maintain the shoes and to make their own patinas”, states Vilalta, indicating that in his shop they insist on smart consumption. Origins in the world of footwear Vilalta learned this philosophical way of understanding this part of the fashion framework in Florence. He was a lawyer working at a prestigious office in Buenos Aires who, at age 30, suddenly asked himself the million-dollar question: “Are you happy?". An opportune trip to Florence gave him his answer. He joined the workshop of Stefano Bemer (whose customers included Julio Iglesias, Andy García and Gianfranco Ferré) where he worked under Frenchman Stephan Giménez. An anecdote? In 1999 Bemer had as his disciple/apprentice for almost a year one Oscar-winning actor named Daniel Day Lewis, a faithful customer of John Lobb in London who, in fleeing from fame, found refuge among leather and hides. “That made Stefano very famous
and it went really well for him. At the same time, it was also very positive for all of us who passed through the shop. It enabled Stefano to sell more and to hire more apprentices”. From his Italian master, who in 2012 passed away prematurely at age 48, he learned three basic things: “The first thing is that you do not know, and that is easy because when you start, you quickly realise that you do not know. The second was harder to accept because it takes several years to realise that you have to learn, and the third is technique”. It took Vilalta five years to understand that he started to learn. After this arduous process, he reached a fourth phase, that of love; “not the romantic sort of love, but the love of giving something else what it needs”. With all the back-and-forth about whether it is the brand, the social stature, the design or the price that gives a shoe its value, to Vilalta “the most important thing is invisible to the eyes. What gives it value in our case is following tradition, and having improved the structure of the shoe in some way. When I say tradition, I mean innovating. Each of the boxes we send to most of our foreign customers bears a printed phrase: ‘The only tradition is innovation”. His leitmotiv is to ‘learn, perfect and change’, but “without detracting” from the traditional. Innovation, a constant key During his career as an artisan, he has never stopped innovating. Since leather has a limited life span, he is
currently researching genetic leather: he has changed the structure of his shoes using components that were not seen in traditional models such as rubber soles, the moulds for RTW derive from a custom mould, he has modified the symmetry of his shoes without ruining the harmony, and his immediate challenge is to find another way to create the boudier. He values beauty over luxury, “since every time someone defines luxury, I pay no attention as it is something that I have never understood”. As for his visibility in the media, Vilalta is not obsessed with being a brand; his name is not inscribed in his designs, though he understands they have been compared internationally with names such as Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo or Louboutin. In this respect “I would have to study more into the sociology of consumption as it is a very interesting subject”. On the subject of his contemporaries, he affirms: “Blahnik is a great designer and shoemaker; he makes shoes that look beautiful, he has done well and gained success. Of course, Sarah Jessica Parker gave his brand a boost. And Louboutin is fun. The highheel shoe is very important and it gives a woman power”. After this stroll back in time, Vilalta comes back to the present and firmly admits that blogs have generated fantastic levels of consumption, but bloggers do not realise the power they hold because they measure everything based on how many visits they get. “That is why they have to aim well and make sure they hit the right target. Our target is to focus on beauty and to change consumption to create happiness”.
Chopard A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE Text Ángela Sánchez
This season, Chopard presents Happy Hearts, the new collection designed by Caroline Scheufele, centered around the symbol of the Swiss firm – the heart.
Delicate white gold and rose gold jewels with large hearts set with moving diamonds and malachite, dancing in harmony with other smaller gems. The vibrant green of the malachite, contrasting with softer and deeper greens, make this range dazzlingly energetic. The versatility of these jewels and the diamonds’ mobility lend it a sophisticated identity, imbuing it with personality. The For You collection, features jewel watches inspired by the spring which pay tribute to cherry blossom. These watches, in white gold and set with diamonds and emeralds, will accentuate the elegant appeal of every woman. Chopard, a luxurious Alchemy of elegance, femininity and know-how.
Cartier THE ROAR OF THE PANTHER WATCH Text Ixe Jeschke
The Panthère Collection, launched in 1980 to reaffirm the style of women who know what they want in life. The Panthère de Cartier watch is an icon of the 1980s, an unforgettable emblem of an era. The watch wows with all the exuberant decadence of the decade, and its sensual bracelet and intuitive design impressively command the spotlight. In this re-issue of the original Panthère de Cartier watch, the cult timepiece is looking edgier than ever, for any time of the day or night. It is made in the image of the woman of today: she has impeccable taste and knows exactly what she wants. This gem of a watch slinks onto the skin in a rippling celebration of triumphant and carefree femininity. The supple chain-link bracelet curls up to the wrist, flowing and feline. A gleaming statement piece to mix and match, the Panthère de Cartier watch never fails to turn heads.
1 Panthère de Cartier watch, small model, quartz movement. 18K yellow gold case. Dimensions: 22 mm x 30 mm. Thickness: 6 mm. Crown decorated with a blue sapphire. Silvered dial. Blued-steel sword-shaped hands. 18K yellow gold bracelet. Water-resistant to 3 bar (approx. 30 metres). Price: 19,400 € 2 Panthère de Cartier watch, small model, quartz movement. 18K rose gold case set with brilliant cut diamonds. Dimensions: 22 mm x 30 mm. Thickness: 6 mm. Crown decorated with a diamond. Silvered dial. Blued-steel sword-shaped hands. 18K rose gold bracelet. Water-resistant to 3 bar (approx. 30 metres). Price: 23,000 € 3 Panthère de Cartier watch, medium model, quartz movement. 18K rose gold and black lacquer case. Dimensions: 27 mm x 37 mm. Thickness: 6 mm. Crown decorated with a blue sapphire. Bluedsteel sword-shaped hands. 18K rose gold and black lacquer bracelet. Water-resistant to 3 bar (approx. 30 metres). Price: 28,100 €
4 Panthère de Cartier watch, small model, quartz movement. Rhodiumised 18K white gold bracelet and case set with 497 brilliant cut diamonds totalling 4.12 carats. Crown decorated with a diamond. Blued-steel sword-shaped hands. Dimensions: 30 mm x 22 mm. Thickness: 6 mm. Water-resistant to 3 bars (approx. 30 metres). Price: 79,000 € 5 Panthère de Cartier watch, medium model, quartz movement. 18K yellow gold and steel case. Dimensions: 27 mm x 37 mm. Thickness: 6 mm. Crown decorated with a blue synthetic spinel. Silvered dial. Blued-steel sword-shaped hands. 18K yellow gold and steel bracelet. Water-resistant to 3 bars (approx. 30 metres). Price: 7,900 € 6 Panthère de Cartier watch, medium model, quartz movement. Rhodiumised 18K white gold case set with brilliant cut diamonds. Dimensions: 27 mm x 37 mm. Thickness: 6 mm. Crown decorated with a diamond. Silvered dial. Blued-steel swordshaped hands. Rhodiumised 18K white gold bracelet Water-resistant to 3 bar (approx. 30 metres). Price: 28,600 €
Rabat Wedding Jewellery YES, I DO! Text Ixe Jeschke
Photos Rabat Press
True love is worth sealing with a unique piece of jewellery, an enduring token of the fabulous moments you will be sharing with your loved one, a piece that will become a lasting reminder. Rabat proposes unique and original wedding rings in rose gold and white gold to seal your special day. The bride is sure to shine when wearing our solitaires or wedding rings with white diamonds combined with our riviere bracelets or white diamond earrings as the perfect accessory to your wedding outfit.
1 White gold solitaire ring with a white diamond. 4,570 â‚Ź
White gold and rose gold wedding ring. You&Me Collection. 860 €
White gold half-round wedding band. Poetic Collection. 670 €
White gold wedding band with white diamonds Always You Collection. 3,100 €
Wavy rose gold wedding ring. Rose Collection. 690 €
Two-colour white gold and rose gold wedding ring. You&Me Collection. 780 €
White gold half-round wedding band. Poetic Collection. 670 €
Wavy rose gold wedding ring with a white diamond. Rose Collection. 730 €
Rose gold half-round wedding band. Always You Collection. 540 €
White gold earrings with pearl and white diamonds. 5,970 €
White gold wedding band with half-circle of white diamonds. 3,555 €
Half-round white gold wedding band with white diamonds. Bridge of Love Collection. 935 €
Half-round rose gold wedding band with five white diamonds. Always You Collection. 720 €
White gold earrings with a white diamond rosette. 1,995€
White gold monarch earrings with white diamonds. 3,995 €
Riviere bracelet in white gold with white diamonds. 2,250 €
White gold ring with a rosette of diamonds and pave of princess diamonds. 2,650 €
Editor's Choice LAS MIGAS
DISCOVER AQUITAINE BY BOAT
Las Migas make music for the soul; it is poetry in motion, with each note rousing your emotions. Every song is played with an intensity that you can feel throughout. The best way to describe them is that they live, suffer and celebrate their art and that each song is pure poetry. What strikes me most about Las Migas is that they are a group that transmits power and energy, and also maturity. Testimony to this is their third album, “Vente Conmigo”, in which Marta Robles continues at the helm after twelve years, during which several of the group’s members have jumped ship. With guitarist Alicia Grilla, violinist Roser Loscos, and singer Alba Carmona, they deliver music with an aura of flamenco, occasionally drifting towards pop, romanticism, and even a hint of Caribbean notes. They also venture into including two versions of the same song on the same album, as they have done with “Ojos Grandes”. The first, sung by Alba, has a more intimate quality, and the other, by the singer Miguel Poveda, takes on the air of a copla. Note the Cuban influences in “Carmela” and also “La Plaça del Diamant”, which their fans will recognise, since it is played at all their concerts, and which is now finally recorded. These four women give it their all in each performance and presentation, so please check them out.
The Périgord region of France brings to mind medieval legends and stories, where fact and fiction merge into one. A land of castles and enchanting villages, the Dordogne river threads through the region along a picturesque route that passes by fortified towns with traditional drawbridges and battlements awaiting enemies that no longer attack. This region of countless vineyards produces – as you would expect – some of the best wines of Aquitaine. This part of France also has a long tradition of duck and geese breeding so exceptional patés as well as duck confit are counted among some of its prime delicacies. The best way to explore this region is on board one of the traditional boats, called gabares. As you navigate the Dordogne river you will pass by the pretty villages and castles that were built along its banks. More energetic travellers can follow the course of the river, up or down, by bike. Either way you will ride through many villages, including Sarlat-la-Canéda, the fascinating Roque la Gageac, and Beynac and its castle. Talking of castles, don’t leave without visiting and photographing the Castelnaud la Chapelle, Monbazillac and Chateaux del Milandes castles. The latter was once the home of the singer Josephine Baker.
THE VOICE OF FADO MUSIC
ART ON THE WALL
Fado, the melancholic music and the sound of Portuguese “saudade” has a new muse in the singer Cuca Roseta. Her voice, warm yet classy, follows in the footsteps of other fado greats such as Mariza, Cariminha, Ana Moura, Raquel Tavares, and of course the great Amália Rodriguez. In addition to her acclaimed singing skills, Roseta is also famed for her beauty, which has opened the doors for her to a modelling career and a contract with Guess Her first album, ‘Raíz’, was produced by Gustavo Santaolalla, winner of an Oscar for his sound tracks, and her latest work, ‘Riû’, has been her entry ticket into the so-called fado-world, as her fado adaptations of other artists’ work, including songs by Bryan Adams, Jorge Drexler and Ivan Lins, have transformed it from a local genre, bringing it to the attention of rest of the world. “I was born to sing fado. It feels like a made-to-measure suit. It isn’t sadness or happiness, it’s simply a feeling,” she explains.
Softheads was initiated in 2011 in Barcelona by theartist and designer Sergio Roger and was soon joined by Cristina Olivé as business partner and sales & marketing manager. The idea consists of creating objects which put a pacifistic and humorous spin on the once fashionable practice of displaying taxidermic hunting trophies. All pieces are textile-based, soft, handmade and locally produced. This project was inspired by a sculptural series produced by Sergio Roger in 2004 which was exhibited in various international galeries. It has been attempted to introduce the idea to the industry of design and handicraft. Apart from new seasonal collections and models, Softheads offers custom-bult projects in all areas of interior design while collaborating with other brands,designers and artists. Softheads present the Collectors Edition, a series of pieces produced using a selection of high quality fabrics. Some of their designs date from the 19th century and are produced using traditional processes and techniques. Some of the fabric houses featured in this collection are William Morris & Co. and Sandersson & Gancedo.
The Peralada Festival shines once more Taking place this July and August within the mediaeval walls of this northern Catalonia castle is the Castell de Peralada Festival, presenting lyrical, classical and pop artists, poetry readings and gastronomy. Actress Juliette Binoche, singers Katie Melua, Malú and Ainhoa Arteta, and pianist James Rhodes are just some of the artists included in this year's line-up at the Castell de Peralada Festival, which also includes Seal, Simply Red, Lang Lang, Bryan Ferry and Franco Battiato, and the opera "Madame Butterfly". The Festival is set to open on 6 July with Béjart Ballet Lausanne, who will pay tribute to the great French choreographer Maurice Béjart, with dance featuring heavily in this year’s edition with performances from the Malandain Ballet Biarritz and Acosta Danza dance studios. Georgia-born British singer Katie Melua will open the Verano Musical de Peralada (Peralada Summer of Music), the event’s most ‘crossover’ segment, which will also include performances by Diego el Cigala and Jarabe de Palo. The Parallels segment will highlight French actress Juliette Binoche, who will recite texts from the biography of the French singer Barbara together with pianist Alexandre Tharaud, along with a concert by James Rhodes, making his debut at the Festival with a live piano recital. This edition of the Castell Peralada Festival includes two opera performances: a semi-staged version of Purcell's “Dido and Aeneas” by director Paul Agnew, and the world concert-version premiere of “The Amazing Life of Sugar Blood”, the new opera by Alberto García Demestres, who this year will receive the Festival's Medal of Honour. This last production, whose central theme is diabetes, will benefit from the collaboration and culinary know-how of the Roca brothers and will serve as a tribute to Luciano Pavarotti. Juliette Binoche will perform in the ‘delicatessen’ segment of the Festival together with James Rhodes, while Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta will introduce his new studio and, according to Aguilà, "will dance, despite having already hung up his shoes”.
More information Festival de Peralada 7 July to 23 August Villa de Peralada, 8 km from Figueres
Tel: 972 538 292 Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.festivalperalada.com
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The road to Guernica Pablo Picasso's most emblematic work is turning 80, and the Reina Sofia Museum has organised an exhibit for visitors to discover how the Malaga artist managed to reflect the horror of war after the bombing of the Basque villa of Guernica.
To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the creation of Guernica (1937) by Pablo Ruiz Picasso, and its introduction to its halls 25 years ago, the Reina Sofia National Art Centre Museum has organised ‘Piety and terror in Picasso. The road to Guernica’. This exhibit travels through a set of works that were difficult to bring back together, narrating the personal and historical circumstances and the radical artistic transformation of Picasso from the end of the 20s that led him to compose the mural as he finally did. After several years of research, the Museum has carefully selected around 180 works that are fundamental to breaking down and understanding the discourse of the exhibition, and which derive from funds from the Reina Sofía museum itself and from some 30 institutions and private collections from all over the world: primary contributors include the Musée Picasso and Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Tate Modern in London and the MoMA and Metropolitan Museum in New York, with secondary contributions from Nahmad and Menil, having made very special loans for the occasion. Highlights include works such as ‘The Three Dancers’ (1925) from the Tate in London, or the sculpture ‘Woman in
the Garden’ (1930) from the Picasso Museum in Paris. Those sent from New York include ‘Woman Combing her Hair’ (1940), from the MoMA; ‘Nude Standing by the Sea’ (1929), from the MET; ‘Mandolin and Guitar’ (1924) from the Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum and ‘Monument: Head of a Woman’ (1929) from a private collection. Divided into ten rooms, ‘Guernica’ is the epicentre of the exhibit comprising earlier and later Picasso pieces. It begins in the 20s and 30s in the room entitled ‘El mundo es cuadro’ (The World is a Painting), with still life and cubism. This is followed by ‘Belleza y terror’ (Beauty and Terror) with ‘The Three Dancers’, considered by the painter to be his ‘best painting’. ‘Monstruos y Monumentos’ (Monsters and Monuments) is the next room, showcasing some of the most important and baffling examples of the Malaga painter's early works. ‘Qué sucede en la tragedia’ (What Happens in Tragedy), ‘Mater dolorosa’ (Mother of Sorrows) and ‘Las cosas se desmoronan’ (Things Fall Apart) – where Guernica is exhibited – are the other rooms concluding in three final areas presenting aspects of the persistence of ‘Guernica’ today.
More information Museo Reina Sofía Sabatini Building, 2nd floor Santa Isabel, 52, Madrid Open until 4 September
Entry: 10 euros Tel: 917 911 330 Web: www.museoreinasofia.es
Botín Centre of Art The Botín Foundation is set to open a striking cultural centre in the port of Santander, a masterpiece by architect Renzo Piano housing exhibit halls, auditoriums and a highly-recommended marine tavern.
It's been over three decades since it started promoting art and culture (especially modern art), but now the Botín Foundation is taking a giant step forward with the forthcoming inauguration of the Botín Centre, in the port of Santander. The building is covered by 270,000 circular pieces that reflect the light and the changing colours of the sea and the sky. Divided into two sections, the west dedicated to art and the east to cultural and educational activities, the building has two large exhibition halls (totalling 2500 m²), a 300-seat auditorium, classrooms, a work area, a marine tavern called “El Muelle” run by double Michelin star chef Jesús Sánchez, a shop and a rooftop offering a new lookout over the city and the bay. The new art centre is situated in the historic Pereda Gardens which, as part of the project, have been completely remodelled and extended by renowned landscape designer Fernando Caruncho in collaboration with Renzo Piano. On 23 July, the Botín Centre will open its doors with three major exhibitions scheduled for this year: Spain’s first-ever exhibit of Carsten Höller, one of the leading artists on the international contemporary art scene; the country's biggest exhibition dedicated to the drawings of Goya, held in More information Botín Centre of Art Muelle de Albareda s/n, Santander
collaboration with the Museo del Prado, and the most striking Julie Mehretu retrospective held in Europe to date. The Botín Foundation's art collection will also have its own space in the Botín Centre, with multiple presentations throughout the year. Höller, born in Belgium, is presently one of Europe's most important artists. Renowned for his giant slides and interactive creations, the Botín Centre will host the artist's first-ever exhibition in Spain. His works include ‘Y’ (2003), which consists of a boardwalk passing through circular bulb-lighted arcs; and ‘Elevator Bed’ (2010), allowing visitors to spend the night at the Centre, which will construct a bedroom with luxury details in which they can sleep in a bed raised 3.5 m off the floor. ‘Ligereza y atrevimiento. Dibujos de Goya’ (Lightness and Daring. Drawings of Goya) will be the most prominent exhibit dedicated to the illustrations of the Aragon painter ever held in Spain. The exhibit will include 18 selected drawings from the Museo de Prado's collection. The Julie Mehretu exhibit, a painter considered to be one of the most outstanding of her generation, will include 30 paintings and 40 drawings, including gigantic canvases combining complex surfaces and diverse architectures.
Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 9 pm +34 942 22 60 72 www.centrobotin.org
Objeto de Deseo “I LIKE DISCOVERING RARE TREASURES!” Text Miriam Almanzar
Photos Julio Casares (Yul & Mi)
After eight years in his Balmes street establishment, Jorge Subietas unveils his much anticipated new venture Objeto de Deseo, Deseo Interior and Deseo Gallery; three clearly defined spaces that co-exist elegantly.
Objeto de Deseo is the concept that echoes the pattern that was previously so successful. It is a clean, blank space in which the pieces are displayed on pedestals, putting them on centre stage to show them in their best light. Jorge has created a strong visual impact by creating a central area split into separate spaces to replace the window displays from Balmes. The window displays are organized by colour schemes. “It is not what I like doing most”, comments Jorge Subietas; what he likes to do is to mix things up, “but that’s more risky and innovative”. His customers come in looking for pieces and it does not matter if it is a vase, or a candle holder, whether it is green or brown, it is just the same to them. All they want is something that fits in their
home. The philosophy of Objeto de Deseo (OdD) is still the same: only objects. Deseo Interior is the central room, which is decorated the most, because apart from being the reception, it gives a greater insight into the aesthetic world of Subietas. The painted wallpaper is by Coordonnè, who collaborated with Deseo interior as sponsors. The wallpaper designs are displayed at the entrance and in the central room, where there is a mural by Lara Costafreda. What makes this wallpaper so unique is that the design is never repeated. Deseo Gallery is a gallery of objects, a cut above what is already displayed in OdD. “People have suggested I exhibit photographs, paintings, but there are other galleries already doing that. I wanted a gallery of objects”, says Subietas.
Subietas plans to change the exhibition every three weeks. It will be very dynamic! It is a well thought out way of getting people through the door into a completely pure, clean, white space. Subietas had initially planned to fully decorate the room, to create more of a domestic setting, like a living room with a sofa, and bookshelves. In doing so, the public could see the pieces on display and give them a sense of what it would look like in their homes but finally he decided to leave an absolutely clean space. How did Objeto de Deseo come about? I studied fashion design and I was already very adept with fabrics. The worlds of fashion and decoration are separated only by a thin line. Instead of pursuing decoration as an interior designer, I thought it would be more interesting to have a store in Barcelona, I decided to open a decoration space. To make it more special, I thought it would just have objects, which is something I am passionate about. What do you like most about your profession? Right now, what I like most is being a kind of hunter. I really enjoy meeting the public and being in the shop, but what I like most is going to look for objects. I fall in love with all of them; I am always saying that I like everything I have here. I have never purchased anything for its price, or with the customer in mind. Everything in this space has to be something that I really like for it to be in the shop, and something that I would perfectly have in my own home. What do you look for when choosing an object to sell in your shop? Primarily the emotion. I like pieces that surprise me, pieces that are humorous. They are not easy to sell, but they bring fun into a home with a more casual focus. I really like noble materials, I am passionate about ceramics. I like rare, different pieces, creating still life displays and bringing it all together. What do your objects need to have to bear the name Objeto de Deseo (OdD) by Jorge Subietas? They have to make me fall in love with them. Is all very emotional, it is really all from the heart. They are â€œcoup de cĹ“urâ€? pieces, as the French would say. I do not have a template, meaning I do not buy things repeatedly because they work or because I like them; I prefer the new, the surprising, the different... I do not like to be repetitive.
Now you are starting a new adventure with OdeD Gallery. What do these new pieces offer? I wanted a gallery that was different from a typical gallery. I do not visualize it as an art gallery, but a gallery of objects. It is a level above what I have in the store, with pieces that are a little more exclusive, not only in terms of price but in format, pieces that do not need to emit such a sense of still life. I especially like to discover new artists and impressive pieces. What can customers expect to see in the new OdeD? The first thing is the space. The space would be something new… three in one. Finding a shop with a decoration studio, with an art gallery, I do not think that exists, and in a more decorated setting. The building is very beautiful. It is more private. The attention can be much more personal and less cold than before. The new OBJETOdeDESEO continues with the same philosophy, but the gallery enables me to further develop styling projects and to bring a greater element of surprise. What brands of pieces or what manufacturers do you work with? I stay away from brands; I prefer to surprise people with pieces they are not familiar with. I really value the work of the anonymous craftsman. I try to obtain special objects. One of the things I enjoy the most is when people come in and say “you have things here that I have never seen before!” Even professionals from the industry, decorators who visit all the trade fairs, they all come in and say “where did you get this?” Which are your favourite pieces? The human figures. I love them! Busts and bodies. They are fun because it is something that not everyone likes. A lot of people have many preferences and phobias for decorative pieces. There are people who do not want human figures in their home, nothing that looks back at them. I am, on the other hand, passionate about them. What advice would you give to someone looking to decorate their space with your pieces? Objects! I always advise my clients to group them together, unless it is a very big or visually striking
piece. I think it is prettier to group the rest of them on bookshelves, instead of having just a single piece on each shelf, creating a dialogue between the pieces. I like that very much. I like giving lots of tips when it comes to displaying them. Glass, for example, is very receptive to light and it does not have to be natural light. Meanwhile, ceramic for a bookshelf or somewhere darker, is strong enough to stand alone. How would you define Deseo Interior? DESEOinterior is an interior decorating studio more than a styling studio to put it one way. Initially, I walk in on the final stages of a project so I can dress it up with objects. Objects have driven me to create little corners, to decorate houses by displaying painted wallpapers. I bring focus to a wall with a stroke of colour, bringing in some point of light to illuminate a piece and even complement it with a piece of furniture that was missing. I started off by placing objects and now I do entire rooms. I have clients that have asked me to do their entire living area. The space is already finished, with its flooring, then that is when I go in and decorate it. I still have not decorated a kitchen or a bathroom to this day. In the future, if everything goes well, I would like to collaborate with an architect. Initially for now, DESEOinterior is an interior decorating studio that has more to do with styling that with projects. We are now also evolving into designing entire houses by bringing an architect into the studio. Which pieces are absolutely essential in every space? Mixing without a doubt! I like to display pieces in the home that describes a journey through a person’s life. Not everything works, but by following certain criteria you can manage to mix pieces from Africa with pieces from Asia and Europe. That is what I love most about my job. I divide the decoration of a home into three forms: the classical home, the modern and then there is the contemporary home, which is my favourite. This type of home is defined by its combinations; for example, a toy, a humorous piece, furniture pieces from different eras and different preferences. To mix is much more complicated, but visually is much more pleasing.
The entrepreneur who keeps going back to his roots Text Reyes Faulo MartĂn
Photos Julio Casares (Yul & Mi)
There are two sides to Paolo Miceli: one is the founder of IT Communication, one of the biggest companies in the lifestyle world, and the other is the managing director of Finca Gramanosa, a farm dedicated to olive oil production. Sicilian by birth Barcelonan by adoption, dynamic by nature, his passion for work has been the key to his professional life. There is no formula for measuring success. At best, we can follow the definitions given by the Real Academia: “The positive outcome of a deal or action”; “positive acceptance of someone or something”. These key words may be the secret of Paolo Miceli, who turned his passion for work into his life. Miceli is a founding partner of IT Communication and managing director of Finca Gramanosa. An affable character, he is neither boastful nor inclined towards false modesty. He likes to be seen as
someone connected to the land, yet he recognises that he is chained to a mobile phone that can ring at any time, with calls from his different teams. Airports and hotels are his everyday landscape and his suitcases full of olive oil samples follow him round like travel companions. A native Sicilian based in Barcelona, he sees the city as an orderly place that is easy to live in. However, every once in a while he is drawn back to spending a season in his Italian chaos, in which he
takes great pleasure. Though Barcelona is home, his haven of tranquillity is Munnia (Sicily). In his Catalan home, close to Passeig de GrĂ cia, Miceli has recreated part of his native Sicily, with its private gardens blessed with the yellow hue of the sparse lemon trees we find dotted around the heart of the city. Then there is his faithful friend Jeppino, his dog, with whom he loves to take long walks amidst the hustle and bustle of the people. Having graduated with a law degree from the University of Florence, Paolo Miceli became Italy's youngest-ever councillor at the age of just 22, perhaps thanks to his tenacious and restless nature. At what point did you decide to leave Florence for Barcelona? Love brought me to Barcelona, and to be truthful, once I got here, I also fell in love with the city. I feel fortunate and grateful, as there is no greater gift in the world than to find your perfect travel companion. I was granted that gift. What were your beginnings in Barcelona like? Having an insatiable appetite for progress since
I was born, I needed to look for new challenges, and I quickly found a position with the agency Acero Media Planning. I started at the agency from the lowest rung on the ladder, and within ten months I became the managing director. After that experience, I decided to start my own agency along with Mickey Rivera and Sergi Sensat. That's how DO Communication was born. We soon dissolved the agency to start lT Communication, of which I am the founding partner together with Sergi Sensat. Based in Barcelona, IT Communication has become the biggest lifestyle-specialised communications and public relations agency in the industry. With a broad and high profile selection of clients, with sectors ranging from luxury goods to motors, hotels and restaurants, this PR agency is a true leader in Spain. How did IT gain such prestige? If you look at all of the companies we did not want as clients, you will find the answer. The fact that we choose our clients based on what we like, and not on financial criteria, is something we have stuck to since the beginning. A communication agency
has to be consistent with what you would use and what you would do. I do not see myself as capable of conveying the values of a brand that I do not believe in. We know that we do not take on too many projects and the things we do get involved with happen because we believe in them, in the brand, in the products. The success of IT Communication can be attributed to the times we have said ‘no’. What have you received from the world of communication? The greatest gift this job can give you is being able to meet public figures with vast personal wealth in person. One of those characters was Leopoldo Rodés. He always found a space in his schedule for us. One of my saddest and most difficult days was the day he passed away in 2015. A true master of excellence, perfection, class and attention to detail, Leopoldo Rodés was one of the great figures in Catalan civil society, a driving force behind the ‘92 Olympic Games and winner of numerous awards such as the Creu de Sant Jordi. It was a real honour to organise his funeral in one of the most beautiful Cathedrals in the city, Santa María del Mar. On another level is the pride you feel at having complete faith placed in you to organise such a special event as a wedding or a three-day birthday, with the illustrious guest list including the cousin of King Philip of Belgium. These are situations that enrich you on a professional and personal level, and the surprise effect of being able to entertain the guests at an event is an indescribable feeling. Is the lifestyle sector like any other field? All sectors are competitive and complex, particularly with the evolution of communications. I think that a good communicator, if the product is good, has to be able to convey his message, whether it is about a piece of meat or the most expensive car in the world. The important thing is that the product is good, and offers something that the others do not. If you are just saying the same thing as the others, no matter how much you try to embellish it, it is pointless. The key point is to understand the product, to know your target audience, and to use a language that relates to both the product and the audience.
"The greatest gift this job can give you is being able to meet public figures with vast personal wealth in person”, says Paolo Miceli
Is it a good thing to specialise in one sector? If you specialise in one thing, you are restricting your view of the world. If you work with different brands you will start to see the market from different perspectives, and you will be surprised at how you can take certain strategies, which you use with a given product, and apply them to a completely different brand. We now operate as a 360° agency, seeking out whatever works best and then developing a 21st-century communication strategy. What would that strategy be like? Beyond marketing and communication, we advise our clients in the commercial sector, so that your clients understand that having your product is an advantage. We use it with certain brands, which have been useful for engaging with architects and interior designers, groups with which we operate very well. The idea is that one can see the advantage of working with the other. We are proud of this approach. During the crisis when companies would simply ask for a communication strategy, we would also offer this commercial tool. What are your strategies for the future? To continue with our selection of clients, and to develop the sales tool that we offer. 21st-century PR firms need to be familiar with the best tools available for selling and for reaching a broader audience. This is our aim for the future, to become 360° partners with our clients in all aspects of communication and marketing. If you can do that, they will see you as an investment rather than an expense. What value do you get from the awards? What makes me proudest is that, in just three and a half years, we have managed to create a team with the clear goal of being recognised as one of the world’s ten best companies in this industry. Every time we won a prize, it would drive us on to win another. I am pretty sure I have the best team in the world, with the most motivated and qualified personnel there is available. The proof lies in the fact that in just three years we have won awards that have taken other companies 15 or 20 years to achieve. What I did was to put the right person in each position, and that enabled us to put together a winning team.
THE CHALLENGING WORLD OF OLIVE OIL Three years ago, Paolo Miceli fell head-first into the world of olive growing. In his case, it was not entirely a leap into the unknown, as his family had owned agricultural land in Tuscany and Sicily. For Paolo Miceli, Spanish olive oils are slowly coming to prominence, but he believed that the unstoppable transformation of the sector makes the job easy. How did your adventure in the world of olive oil start? I needed something new to get my teeth into. It was at the dinner table that the fuse of this great business adventure was lit. The temptation came when Mauricio Botton Carasso, grandson of the founder of Danone and owner of Finca La Gramanosa, gave me a challenge: to reorganise the estate and set up a team to reach his main goal: to achieve excellence and quality for his products. What steps did you take to achieve this goal? First step, having one of the best oil presses in the world. Every project needs to be supported by human capital. What we get from the land is not enough. That is why I put Duccio Morozzo della Rocca and Giovanni Prunetti in charge of the oil press, they are Italyâ€™s most renowned press operators. For us Italians, olive oil is like wine in France, we have many years of experience working on the product. The rest of the team are people of the land, Tori, Sergi, people who know the product. Without this team, Finca Gramanosa would not be what it is today. Where are you at now? Our oils today have gained recognition for their excellence, winning the most prestigious awards, including best oil in the world. We export directly to Japan, United States, France, Italy, Ukraine, Canada, Austria and Germany. We have some of the best facilities and we have a gourmet olive oil on sale in El Corte Ingles. What is more, our custom-made oils are used in the best restaurants in the country. Which award do you consider to be the most important? On my last birthday I received a very special phone call saying they had given us the Mario Salinas award for the world's best oil, presented by the International Olive Council. It is the award of all awards. What makes it so important is the competition process itself: all candidates must have a 5000-litre tank of quality oil which the notary seals upon collecting a sample. This bottle leaves the farm bearing a serial number so that it can remain
anonymous at all times. It is also very difficult to win the award with oil such as the arpeggio, which is fruity and very light, and has a bitter taste. It is the most balanced oil you can get, everything is there in the right measure. Which other award are you proud of? Last year, Flos Olei, the most prestigious competition in the world, selected us as the best fruity single varietal olive oil in the world. This was twice as rewarding because I won it in Italy, where I had sat and watched all those other producers winning it for so many years. But this time I was on the other side, collecting the award. And this year we are going for more. Paolo Miceli sees the business as a calling and is in it for the pleasure, but also for pride. Pride at going back to his roots and giving his father the opportunity to see how his love for the land which he had instilled in him was not in vain. Because to produce a great olive oil, not only do you need a great quality product, but also will power and a great deal of sacrifice: there are no miracles in agriculture. If for Finca Gramanosa 2014 was the year of learning, 2015 was for exploring new directions and 2016 for the realisation of decisions made. Paolo Miceliâ€™s adventure does not end here. He still has many challenges to fulfil, including, he says, giving back to society part of his appreciation for the life he has enjoyed. So look out for him fronting a benefit project for children or the disadvantaged sometime in the near future.
FINCA LA GRAMANOSA Finca La Gramanosa was born out of Mauricio Botton Carasso's passion for olive trees. 30 years ago, the entrepreneur began buying up land on which to plant olive trees, without initially giving much thought to the fact that everything you plant bears fruit, and so plot to plot, patiently negotiating with the peasants who owned the land, he would sow what has today become one of the most renowned plantations. Finca La Gramanosa owns 310 hectares which it dedicates to the production of Arbequina olives: 240 situated in the town of Mont-roig and 70 hectares in Avinyonet del PenedĂ¨s (Catalonia), a range that enables it to produce 250,000 litres of the highest quality oil each year, which has been transformed into juices, small-batch oils and brands of such a reputation as La Gramanosa itself, Carlota and Mas Notari.
The real estate market is recovering Although the housing sector is buoyant once again, this does not mean we will see another housing bubble. Luckily, developers, estate agents and banks are adopting safer practices and regulations to prevent speculative activities. Text Ronei Kolesny
No, there is no risk of a housing bubble. Although there is an upturn in the housing market, this doesnâ€™t mean prices are being artificially inflated and that they will slump again as they did in 2007 when Spain was hit by the fallout from the collapse of the US market triggered by the subprime crisis. Itâ€™s true that prices in Spainâ€™s prime locations are on the rise, driven by an increase in supply and demand, but not by speculative manoeuvres by certain market players, who in the past wanted to build fast, sell fast and with no consideration for the quality of the projects or market recognition. We know that, unfortunately, the construction sector has been the target of manipulation and speculative actions, which led to the consequences we are all familiar with. This abnormal growth, fuelled by an artificial demand, changed the rules of fair play, leading to the repercussions from which the entire sector is still recovering.
Barcelona and Madrid remain the most attractive locations for investors. Despite rising prices, these are controlled by a number of regulations.
Prices remain low We need to be aware that housing prices have not yet recovered to reach the pre-crisis levels. For example, prices in the new build market are around 2004 levels. If prices are rising today, this is not due to the return of speculative investment funds, but because supply is limited and, fortunately, there is a growing interest in housing as an investment channel. Naturally, with a short supply, prices will inevitably rise. Observing what is happening in Barcelona, and to a lesser extent in Madrid, land available for construction is becoming increasingly scarce. This leads to an increase in the cost of land and, in turn, of new build. But, bearing in mind that the cost of land is no more than 20% of the total cost, this points to a buoyant market. In other words, just before the housing bubble burst, the price of the land accounted for 50% of the overall cost of the development. This fact was an indication that we were facing widespread speculation.
Safer Mortgages A decade ago, banks granted mortgages without paying heed to their level of risk. It was a contest to see who could place the most mortgages and the lenders took them out without having a clear idea of what they were signing. The controversial â€œfloor clauseâ€? has been a good corrective factor making the banks think twice before engaging again in such practices. The panorama has changed now following the crisis. The banks have a much better understanding of what a mortgage entails. It is true that many people wishing to own their own home are facing more difficulties in obtaining a mortgage, but these more stringent requirements mean mortgages are now more credible and secure. The loans may have returned, but today just 50% mortgages are granted to non-residents and up to 70% mortgages for Spanish residents, so the risks are curtailed, contrary to the situation 10 years ago. If the banks follow reasonable and safe procedures when granting a mortgage, there is no reason to fear speculative action.
How Barcelona and Madrid are recovering In the sectorâ€™s recovery, we are seeing that Barcelona, as well as Madrid, Seville and San Sebastian are rebounding as key investment locations. In the luxury housing sector, we expect properties to rise by 5% to 10% this year and an upturn in the market of up to 20%. Although the average price per square metre of these exclusive properties hovers around 6,500 euros, we are now seeing some luxury homes selling for up to 10,000 euros per square metre. Of course, most of these homes are concentrated in the SarriĂ , Pedralbes and Sant Gervasi districts, although we are also observing an upswing in the Eixample area, and in some more limited, but equally interesting sectors, including properties in Diagonal Mar and Front MarĂtim. Once again it is foreign buyers driving the luxury homes market. Three out of every four sales are to investors from France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. And despite their falling share, Russian and Chinese buyers also account for an important slice of the investment market.
Despite the recent price increases, they have yet to return to 2004 levels, so the property market still harbours many opportunities for growth.
Marbella luxury at its most exclusive Nestled in a small area of Estepona sits this fabulous mansion, just steps from the sea. This is one of the twenty most spectacular residences in Marbella.
Marbella is one of the richest and most exclusive areas of Spain. And standing out among its variety of developments is the luxurious Paraíso Barronal in Estepona, to the west of the city and just 11 km from the glitzy Puerto Banús. Standing just steps from the beach on a large 7,415 m² lot is the spectacular Casa Solymar residence. This mansion was built with a focus on luxury details and was entirely renovated eight years ago, taking great care to maintain the prestigious building intact. After passing through the stunning entrance, guests quickly understand why this is considered one of the twenty most spectacular houses in Marbella.
The property has three houses —the main house, the guest house and the staff house — totalling 1,069 m². In total there are eight bedrooms with eight fully equipped bathrooms. The expansive lot even has space to build a new house of up to 500 m². Let’s look at the main house in more detail, which has two floors covering a total area of 747.69 m². The ground floor has a large living room, kitchen, dining room, gallery with an elegant staircase connecting it to the upper floor, en-suite bedroom, several lounges that can be customised to the owner’s liking, a movie room and terraces with a large porch. On the upper floor there are two living rooms, two
hallways, two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, the master bedroom with en-suite bathroom and closet, a gymnasium and a sauna. The 157.81 m² guest house has a ground floor with two en-suite bedrooms and spaces that can be used as storage. The upper floor has another two bedrooms, terraces and a solarium. The staff house, covering 164.17 m², has two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a fully fitted bathroom, as well as a terrace. The garden offers a wide variety of shrubs and fruit trees, and the property has a 25×10 m swimming pool with a decorative fountain, which blends in magnificently with the landscaped gardens. The property's more notable outdoor features include the African Lodge, a relaxing retreat built from imported materials and with elegantly crafted details, and Casa Arte (‘Art House’), a space designed by a prestigious European architect which is complemented by a barbecue area and outdoor bar, making the perfect spot for socialising or spending time with family. The garage has space for four vehicles, while its temperaturecontrolled wine cellar can store up to 500 bottles. The grounds also have a flood-lit tennis court with artificial turf. The entire house is an outstanding example of luxury, with highquality details and finishes in every aspect from the bathroom hardware, lighting and floors to the interior ironworks. With high walls guaranteeing privacy and security, this property is a corner of the world from which nobody will want to escape.
TYPE OF PROPERTY: House / Chalet TYPE OF OPERATION: Sale COMMUNITY: Andalusia TOWN: Estepona
AREA: Paraíso Barronal BEDROOMS: 8
CONSTRUCTED AREA: 1.069,57 m²
PRICE: 13,500,000 €
More information on www.barleigh-ellis.com
Luxury in Fort Lauderdale Nestled in the seafront neighbourhood of Harbor Beach is this stunning residence just steps from the sea – perfect for lovers of life on the waves
TYPE OF PROPERTY: House / Chalet
TYPE OF OPERATION: Sale COUNTRY: USA STATE: Florida
CITY: Fort Lauderdale AREA: Harbor Beach
In Florida, passion for the sea is more intense than anywhere else in the United States. The state is home to countless condominiums with private docks, allowing boat owners to revel in their favourite pastime just steps from their home. One of such places is Harbor Beach in Fort Lauderdale, a seafront condominium characterised by prestige and elegance. And it is home to this stunning luxury residence, with high-end finishes and details. Its main room has a wood-burning fireplace – although it might not see much use given Florida's pleasant year-round temperatures. The ground floor also has a comfortable study with library, a private cellar, large dining room, kitchen with high-end appliances, games room (which can be
converted into a bedroom) and two makeup rooms, as well as two powder rooms, a housekeeper's quarters and a laundry room. The upper floor –which is also accessible by lift– has three large bedrooms with highly exclusive details, two main bathrooms, two dressing rooms and another laundry room. Two of the bedrooms also have their own balconies. The entire residence is finished with bright coloured walls, ceilings and floors, which combine with the large windows to create open spaces that are airy and welcoming. The terrace has an outdoor kitchen, and just steps away there is a pool in a landscaped garden setting featuring palm trees. And to escape Florida's high Caribbean temperatures, the entire residence is air-conditioned.
BATHROOMS: 5 PRICE: 6,995,000 $
More information on www.barleigh-ellis.com
Live in a medieval tower This fabulous property is to be found in the Dalt Vila area of Ibiza Old Town, built inside a tower forming part of the medieval wall that once protected the town.
TYPE OF PROPERTY: House TYPE OF OPERATION: Sale
PROVINCE: Balearic Islands CITY: Ibiza
AREA: Dalt Vila BEDROOMS: 3
Ibiza wasn’t always a tourist destination. The island has a long history, and its strategic location was coveted by governments, pirates and adventurers alike. The Old Town was therefore surrounded by hefty walls built in the Middle Ages, which are now the town’s historical hallmark. But these walls and its towers are not empty, as occurs in many European cities. Their interior has been refurbished as living accommodation. This one is a magnificent 320 m2 property, completely renovated in 2010. On entering, you are struck by the fabulous views of Ibiza, taking in the port as well as the old town. This terrace, accommodating a swimming pool, offers
the double benefit of providing privacy while affording views of the surrounding scenery. On the first floor is the living room, a living-dining room and a modern, minimalist style kitchen. The second floor has two double bedrooms and two bathrooms with showers. On the third floor, there is an additional living room with a wood-burner and a dining area, as well as another en-suite bedroom. The property has a lift and airconditioning and several balconies from where you can admire the fantastic views. The entire property has been decorated in a fusion of the traditional Ibiza style enhanced with modern features.
BATHROOMS: 4 CONSTRUCTED AREA: 320 m2 PRICE: 2,200,000 €
More information on www.barleigh-ellis.com
Sophisticated, elegant and modern This modern, spacious home is situated in an urbanisation close to Sitges, just a short distance from the sea and with fast connections to Barcelona. Sitges is known for its lavish houses built by the emigrants returning from America where they made their fortune. They came back to Spain following the war between Spain and the United States at the end of the 19th century. The ‘Blanca Subur’ is also known for its picturesque narrow streets of little fishermen’s houses that surround the Sant Bartomeu church. Another type of property to be seen around Sitges are the contemporary styled residencies, which have been built in the town centre as well as in the surrounding urbanisations. This is the style of this fabulous 1.080-square metre house in the Vallpineda urbanisation. The plot measures 1.880 square metres, accommodating a garden, swimming pool, teak decking, a barbecue area and an organic vegetable patch. The plot has a variety of plants including black bamboo, palm trees and many native plants, including jasmine and lavender.
The house is built in an elegant, minimalist, geometric style from concrete covered in white micro-cement, natural stone, steel, tropical wood and transparent glass. The living room is of double height and the first floor is accessed via a striking stainless steel and grey stairway. The living area, housed in a huge structure, features black mobile mirrors which reflect the natural and artificial light onto the works in the courtyard. The main bedroom has a luxury champagne-coloured velvet finish with metal details, natural furnishings, black mirrors which front wardrobes with leather organisers, and a dressing room in white lacquered wood. The property boasts a cellar with exposed natural rock, where there is a gym, a spa and the garage. This is a magnificent opportunity to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in one of the most exclusive regions of the Mediterranean.
TYPE OF PROPERTY: House TYPE OF OPERATION: Sale PROVINCE: Barcelona CITY: Sitges
AREA: Vallpineda BEDROOMS: 8
CONSTRUCTED AREA: 1,080 m² PLOT SIZE: 1,880 m² PRICE: 6,500,000 €
More information on www.barleigh-ellis.com
An exclusive view The Levantina urbanisation, nestling within the fault of the Garraf massif, is the location of this 450-square metre residence with spectacular views of the Mediterranean. Sitges is well-known for its excellent seafood, its stately houses built by the returning emigrants, its world-famous Carnival, its tolerance and its welcoming of the gay community, as well as being home to some of the most elegant beaches on the Catalan coast. It is possible to enjoy its fabulous scenery and atmosphere by living either in the city centre or in its urbanisations than extend, fan-like, around the town. This spectacular 450-square metre house can be found in one of these urbanisations called Levantina, built on a 1,100-square metre plot. On the ground floor, there is a spacious living-dining room, a relaxation area and television room. The floors are of micro cement and stone, which is also used to decorate the chimney. The modern kitchen opens out onto the Gagganau living area. It features a fully equipped central isle, with a fridge, wine cooler, double oven, microwave, coffee maker and a five-ring vitroceramic hob. Surrounded by large windows, the room is bright and airy and you can admire the Mediterranean scenery from every angle. On the second floor is the main bedroom, equipped with a dressing-table
area, shower area and designer bathtub, and there are another two bedrooms with fitted wardrobes and en-suite bathrooms. This floor leads out to a gardened area, with the ground flattened to accommodate a lawn. Its additional features include a garage for two cars, gym, games room, laundry room, and a service room with en-suite bathroom. The lights and heating are controlled by domotics and the dwelling has individually controlled air-conditioning in all large and smaller rooms. The audio system can be enjoyed in all the bedrooms, each of which has fitted wardrobes. To improve energy efficiency, the residence has solar panels to heat the water and the swimming pool.
TYPE OF PROPERTY: House TYPE OF OPERATION: Sale PROVINCE: Barcelona CITY: Sitges
ZONE: Levantina BEDROOMS: 5
BATHROOMS: 6 — Renovated CONSTRUCTED AREA: 450 m² PLOT SIZE: 1,100 m² PRICE: 3,500,000 €
More information on www.barleigh-ellis.com
The elegance of the upper part of town In Sant Gervasi, this magnificent property offers many comforts and spectacular views over the city. Barcelona’s “zona alta” (upper district), is the area encompassing the neighbourhoods of Sarrià, Pedralbes and Sant Gervasi. These are districts where you will find many large properties and stately homes affording a comfortable and elegant lifestyle. One of these houses built to such large proportions is this property located in the Sant Gervasi area, conveniently close to the Ronda de Dalt and Avinguda Tibidabo, for fast travel into the city centre or for quick access to the routes out of the city. The brick-built property occupies almost 1.000 square metres and requires some renovation. Following some work, the elegant structure –crowned by a tower– will accommodate a welcoming and comfortable family home.
It has seven bedrooms and four bathrooms and the structure is distributed as follows: on the ground floor, you will find the main living room, a living-dining room, a library, a bathroom and the kitchen. On the first floor is the main bedroom with en-suite bathroom and three double bedrooms, as well as a bathroom and terrace. The second floor has another double bedroom and two single bedrooms, as well as an additional bathroom. The property has a cellar, which was used as a wine cellar and more recently as a garage. It has a large garden and a swimming pool. In addition to its comfort and convenient location, the property also benefits from magnificent views over Barcelona.
TYPE OF PROPERTY: House TYPE OF OPERATION: Sale PROVINCE: Barcelona CITY: Barcelona
AREA: Sant Gervasi BEDROOMS: 7
CONSTRUCTED AREA: 997 m² PRICE: 3,500,000 €
More information on www.barleigh-ellis.com
In the heart of Eixample This flat is located in one of the most upmarket districts of Barcelona. It was completely refurbished ten years ago, but still retains its distinctive features. In the heart of the Eixample district, the criss-cross streets designed by Idelfons Cerdà during the expansion of Barcelona’s city centre, you will find this elegant 115 metre square flat in a hundred-year-old building that was completely refurbished in 2006. The building renovation conserved and improved the modernist features that characterised this type of buildings when they were originally built. The entrance leads to a spacious 24 square metre living room, which leads out onto a lovely balcony. It has a modern, fullyfitted kitchen with appliances and cupboards by Miele and Gagganau. The main bedroom is a generous 21 square metres and has its own balcony and spacious bathroom.
There are another 2 double bedrooms and two additional bathrooms. Other features include the elegant, high ceilings, which were characteristic of the city’s turn-of-the century apartments (in this case they are 3.8 metres high), heat insulating windows, its original wooden doors, ceramic tiles in the bathrooms and kitchen, and wooden flooring in the main rooms. During the renovation, a modern central heating and air-conditioning system was installed. It also benefits from a spacious storage space and two parking places in the same building.
TYPE OF PROPERTY: Apartment TYPE OF OPERATION: Sale PROVINCE: Barcelona CITY: Barcelona
AREA: Eixample BEDROOMS: 3
BATHROOMS: 2 PARKING: 2
CONSTRUCTED AREA: 115 m2 PRICE: 1,410,000 €
More information on www.barleigh-ellis.com
A chance to regain its former glory In the heart of the Eixample district, this property is awaiting the opportunity to regain the elegant modernist splendour it once boasted. This attractive 740 square-metre apartment, requiring renovation, is located in the Eixample Dreta area, specifically in Carrer Casp 44, two streets away from the smart Passeig de Gràcia. This period property, constructed in 1896, is distributed into a 378 square-metres dwelling area and a 369 square-metres terrace. Such a magnificently large terrace in the centre of Barcelona is a privilege that few city-centre properties can boast. It isn’t hard to imagine the area furnished with garden furniture, including a comfortable sofa, large parasols and planters where one can spend many hours outdoors. Like all turn-of-the-century structures, it has very high ceilings. These are 4.4 metres high, which is useful for creating additional spaces, such as small storage rooms, studies and other space partition options.
The original Baroque style paintings have been conserved on some of the ceilings, surrounded by elegant mouldings, proof of the good taste of the apartment’s first owners. The floors are covered in Noia mosaic tiles, still in excellent condition, and several windows still retain their coloured glass panes that were a popular Modernist feature among the Barcelona bourgeoisie. The property has eight bedrooms and three bathrooms. During future renovation, we recommend installing central heating and an air-conditioning system. It does not have private parking, although there are several car parks where you can leave your car in the neighbourhood, which is served by an excellent public transport network.
PROPERTY TYPE: Apartment
OPERATION TYPE: Sale PROVINCE: Barcelona
CITY: Barcelona ZONE: Eixample
CONSTRUCTED AREA: 740 m2 PRICE: 3,500,000 €
More information on www.barleigh-ellis.com
Comfort in the city centre In one of Barcelona’s most prestigious boulevards, we find this modernist style flat that conserves many of the original elegant features of the construction built many decades ago. One street away from Rambla de Catalunya, one of Barcelona’s most charming avenues, and a few steps from Fundació Tàpies, this flat is located in a lovely building in the modernist style, a style that characterised many of the stately buildings of turn-of-the century Barcelona. This 160 square metre apartment benefits from good sunlight and faces in two directions, both towards the sea and towards the mountains. It features an entrance hall, three comfortable double bedrooms, two of which are en-suite, three bathrooms, one toilet, a bright and elegant living room and a kitchen, fully equipped with the latest electrical appliances. As with all large properties constructed
a century ago, the building quality is conserved with many of its original features, such as the wooden window frames, the ceiling mouldings and many decorative details. The bathrooms have been completely refurbished ensuring an excellent and much appreciated level of comfort. The property is fitted with individual radiators for the central heating, as well as air-conditioning, providing comfort in hot weather. The double-glazed windows provide excellent insulation from the heat and noise. The bedrooms have large fitted wardrobes. Although this is a period building, it benefits from a lift.
TYPE OF PROPERTY: Apartment TYPE OF OPERATION: Sale PROVINCE: Barcelona CITY: Barcelona
AREA: Eixample BEDROOMS: 4
CONSTRUCTED AREA: 160 m2 PRICE: 850,000 €
More information on www.barleigh-ellis.com
Lugares Real Estate con encanto
A modernist property with buyer’s-choice apartments In one of Barcelona's most up-and-coming districts, but which still maintains its neighbourhood spirit, a modernist property is being built in which buyers can choose the apartment that best fits their needs.
Nestled between the base of Montjüic and Ciutat Vella is one of the most emblematic districts of Barcelona. Poble Sec is back in fashion, having turned – together with its neighbour Sant Antoni – into the new gastronomic hub of the city. And yet it continues to maintain its quiet neighbourhood spirit, with low traffic streets: perfect for those looking for peace without straying too far from the centre. This will be the site of the new modernist property Murillo 12, a building with modernist touches dating back to 1936 which will be entirely renovated to create luxury apartments, integrating the best of classical architecture with the latest technological advances. The apartments in this property can be adapted to the needs of each resident. Buyers can choose from smaller dwellings up to 48 m², or larger apartments up to 90 m² with two or three bedrooms. The property also has a stunning 165 m² duplex with a 31 m² terrace, three double
bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a 58 m² attic with a 36 m² adjoining terrace, allowing the residents to take in magnificent views of the Montjüic mountain. The façade has been restored and the property's more prominent features include Catalan vaulted ceilings, with all apartments boasting balconies, double-paned glass windows, cement tile, aluminium framing, closet in the master bedrooms and highsecurity doors to each apartment and to the outside. All kitchens have detailed natural stone finishes, lighted cabinets and a modern oven and range. Bathrooms are fitted with ceramic floors and walls and a modern shower system. All dwellings are equipped for modern home automation technology with lighting, audio and climate control, as well as innovative security systems (with alarms, cameras and sensors).
TYPE OF PROPERTY: Apartments TYPE OF OPERATION: Sale PROVINCE: Barcelona CITY: Barcelona
AREA: Poble Sec BEDROOMS: 1 to 3
BATHROOMS: 1 to 3
CONSTRUCTED AREA: 47,95 m² to 165 m2 PRICE: starting at 350,000 €
More information on www.barleigh-ellis.com
Gràcia, the heartbeat that never stops In one of the quietest streets of the Gràcia district, a 19th-century baroque building is to be restored to offer eight comfortable apartments with exclusive details. Gràcia is one of the most characterful districts of Barcelona. Its layout resembles a maze of different shapes, where only a true ‘graciense’ can avoid getting lost in its alleyways. Its streets house century-old shops with franchises, locales where craftsmanship brings added value and numerous sites in which neighbours are treated with a familiarity that sets the district apart. The city’s most celebrated popular festivals take place in this district, and its terraces – due to a lack of green space – are a focal point for socialising.
Gràcia's inhabitants have very few reasons to leave the district, where everything is close by. Little by little, cars are giving way to bicycles, and the streets are becoming increasingly quiet. In the eastern sector of this fascinating neighbourhood stands the property Torres 20, close to the pristine Gràcia Gardens and Avinguda Diagonal. The building was erected in 1892 by Agustín Atzerias, a wealthy businessman who produced a stunning example of late Baroque style in its façade. This front will be carefully
restored under the supervision of the Barcelona Cultural Heritage Office (OPC) to keep its appeal intact. The building will house eight apartments equipped with exclusive details, ranging from 45 to 100 m² in size and with the latest in home automation technology for controlling lighting, airconditioning and security. The ground floor has two apartments: both will have a garden and one will enjoy a private pool — a true luxury in such a high-density area. All of the properties have an
exterior balcony, and finishes include highlights such as a combination of parquet and traditional tile flooring and Catalan vaulted brick roofs. Apartments have double bedrooms, all with an ensuite bathroom, and kitchens can be personalised to the owner’s tastes. The south-facing building is situated on a street that is practically traffic-free, just a short distance from the metro lines and bus stops and surrounded by small bars, restaurants, clothing shops and grocery stores (from traditional to organic).
TYPE OF PROPERTY: Apartment TYPE OF OPERATION: Sale PROVINCE: Barcelona CITY: Barcelona AREA: Gràcia
BEDROOMS: 1 to 2
BATHROOMS: 1 to 2 CONSTRUCTED AREA:
115 + 84 m² (terrace) PRICE: 1,205,000 €
More information on www.barleigh-ellis.com
In the heart of Sarrià This one-hundred-year-old house is to be found in the old quarter of Sarrià. After some renovation, it can be converted into a modern family residence. Very few houses and single-dwelling residences remain in Barcelona. And it is even more rare to find one with its own large garden. But this house, built over a hundred years ago, boasts one. It is located in the old part of Sarrià in a neighbourhood that retains its village atmosphere. The plot has access to two parallel streets, the pedestrianised Duquesa de Orleans and the J.V. Foix Avenue. The house it accommodates was built in the late 19th century by the textile industrialist Josep Roses Trinxet. It was originally built as a summer residence, but the heirs later converted into a permanent home. In 1958, the house was completely restructured, and the idea of the sellers is to offer a property ripe for a new set of reforms to redefine its use without divesting it of its elegant character. The project concept is to maintain its distribution, with the main entrance on Duquesa de Orleans, and to refurbish the other entrance in the patio so that the studio has a separate entrance.
The garage, which faces onto Foix, can be converted into a five-metre-high space, with room for five cars and four motorbikes. The private part of the dwelling is on the ground floor, accessed through a hall leading to a spacious landing/library, connecting two bedrooms to the bathroom. The suite features a large bathroom, living-dressing room and a terrace leading directly out into the garden. The guest room has its own entrance and connects with the main dwelling by way of a lift and stairs. On the lower floor the project proposes joining the spaces on the façade side of the house to create a spacious living-dining room with more natural light, next to the kitchen, connecting it with the outdoors and your very own oasis of peace in the heart of Barcelona, with outdoor porch, swimming pool and a 200 square-metre garden with no visual barriers. On the rest of the floor, there will be room for a studio area or multi-use room with a separate entrance, a small bodega and a laundry-utility room area.
TYPE OF PROPERTY: House TYPE OF OPERATION: Sale PROVINCE: Barcelona CITY: Barcelona AREA: Sarrià
BATHROOMS: 5.5 PARKING: 5
CONSTRUCTED AREA: 400 m² PLOT SIZE: 810 m²
PRICE: 2,750,000 €
More information on www.barleigh-ellis.com
Influenced by Barcelona's most famous architect This magnificent residence, designed by one of Gaudí’s closest disciples and best experts, is located close to Turó del Putxet, one of the hills that surround Barcelona. Like Rome, Barcelona has seven hills. Some, such as Montjuïc and Park Güell, are universally known, but the Turó del Putxet is luckily one of the lesser known ones. This elevation is crowned by a park which requires some effort to reach, but the beautiful views over the city makes it well worth the sacrifice. In the early 20th century, the area was favoured by the bourgeoisie for building their residencies because of the gentle breezes that blow on this higher ground. Many were replaced by less towering structures, but some of these elegant constructions survive today, including this property designed by the architect Joan Bassegoda, a disciple of Gaudí, and one of the greatest experts of his work.
It is a three-floor residence, surrounded by a garden which still retains its Modernists features and its tall trees lending it a noble air. It has a private swimming pool and a barbeque area. The house, occupying 720 square metres, has seven bedrooms, five bathrooms and spacious living areas. Since it is not surrounded by any other building, sunlight enters the house from every angle. Most of the bedrooms have direct access to the rooms which are used as living-rooms, library, studies, etc. The residence maintains much of its original elegant interior features, including the window glass, ornamental ceilings, vaulted ceilings in the Catalan style, fireplaces and lamps.
TYPE OF PROPERTY: House TYPE OF OPERATION: Sale PROVINCE: Barcelona CITY: Barcelona AREA: Putxet
CONSTRUCTED AREA: 718 m² PRICE: 3,700,000 €
More information on www.barleigh-ellis.com
Real value in a changing world R E A L
E S T A T E
Lexus IS 300h The Lexus IS 300h line comes in a range of models. Weâ€™ll take a look at the main features of this saloon car in which comfort and smart technology are combined to offer a pleasurable driving experience. Text Alberto Ă lvarez
The new IS 300h is presented as a sports sedan unique in its class offering a fusion of bold design and smart technology. On the outside, you’ll notice its bold spindle grille with the Lexus L emblem and striking multi-LED lights. The interior, designed around the driver, boasts a large 10.3-inch central display (this varies between versions), beautifully stitched leather seats and laser-etched wooden inlays. The IS 300h is a hybrid vehicle, manufactured at the Tahara plant in Japan. Here Takumi craftsmen oversee the quality of the process. The IS is also available in the dynamic F-Sport model. “After months of designing sketches and spending endless hours at the computer, our craftsmen were ready
to give shape to the new automobile. Although we retained the sporty appearance and its elongated roof line typical of a coupé, we gave the new IS a safer exterior, said Junichi Furuyama, the IS Chief Engineer. Welcome Aboard Before you get behind the wheel, the new IS 300h greets the driver with the exclusive Japanese “Omotenashi” welcome. As you approach the vehicle, it illuminates with its meticulously designed lighting. Once inside, the driver’s seat and the steering wheel can be adjusted to fit you perfectly when you press the starter button. Next you will feel its soft upholstery on your legs and the leather armrest.
At night, the interior door handle lights are subdued for a softer ambiance. While relaxing in its sumptuous leather seats, you will appreciate the exquisite signs of craftsmanship, such as the dark wooden, laser-cut inlays and the beautifully finished instruments on the central display. Advanced technology for comfort and safety This model benefits from attractive breakthrough technology: the Lexus Premium Navigation system guides you to your destination, while the Blind Spot Monitor, the Rear Cross Traffic Alert and the Traffic Sign Recognition make driving through the city a more relaxed and safer experience. In addition, the multimedia system allows you to listen to your favourite music through the first-class Premium Surround system by Mark Levinson, equipped with 15 speakers. Among its safety features is the innovative Lexus LSS+ system which includes: a Pre-Crash safety and pedestrian detection system, the Lane Keeping System for extra security, especially useful on tiring long journeys, the Automatic High Beam to enhance vision on secondary roads at night and the Adaptive Cruise Control to adjust your speed to that of the vehicle in front. It also has eight airbags to protect you if there is a crash, while the sensors fitted to the front bumper detect imminent collision with pedestrians, immediately raising the hood to reduce the risk of injury. The secret of its high performance The new IS 300h intelligently combines an advanced 2.5 litre petrol engine and a high performance electric motor. Equipped with inline D-4S injection and dual VVT-i valve control, this high efficiency â€œAtkinson Cycleâ€? four-cylinder engine uses Stop/Start technology and recovers heat from the exhaust to reduce fuel consumption and emissions even further. This Lexus model has an elegant aerodynamic design with its near flat underbody and small winglets on the front door frames and back lights. Used for the first time on F1 racing cars, these winglets create airstreams that pull the air inwards to improve the way the IS 300h cuts through the air. This not only improves stability and manoeuvrability but also fuel efficiency and wind noise.
The Lexus IS 300h combines Japanese technology with European elegance. The cabin has many features to enhance on-board comfort, while its advanced safety systems allow for an extremely pleasurable driving experience.
Grand Soleil 58 FAST, LUXURIOUS AND SOPHISTICATED Text Alberto Ă lvarez
Photos Grand Soleil
Do you want to cruise or compete? Either is achievable with the new Grand Soleil 58 Performance, which combines speed and state-of-the-art materials with a roomy and comfortable interior.
The GS 58 Performance is forged from a collaboration between the Cantiere del Pardo shipyard, the renowned Nauta Design yacht studio and naval architect Umberto Felci. This amalgamation of talent has launched this 17 m long sail boat, a true masterpiece of Italian naval design. Of course, the connection between Felci Yachts Design and Cantiere del Pardo has a long history behind it. This alliance brought us the models GS70, the GS45 Cruiser and the GS44 Performance Cruiser, which has grown tired of winning titles. The challenge for Nauta Design was to create a sail boat that would recreate the comfort and luxury of a super yacht in a vessel measuring under 18 m. Sporting passion and comfort The result is the Grand Soleil 58, which combines sporting passion with a comfortrich interior, drawing on a masterful interior design that brings more space into the rooms. Its design allows it to be a fast and manoeuvrable cruiser, with a competitive edge. The Performance concept is retained, allowing for a balanced distribution of weight, along with the keel and sail plan. These have been designed using state-ofthe-art materials to achieve the best possible performance on the water. Inside, particularly in the stern, the interiors are spacious, with comfortable
rooms and an elegant living space. Those interested in a GS58 can choose their interior layout from either the traditional L-shaped kitchen next to the entrance steps, or the cross-running kitchen with the gallery located next to the mast. Interior customisation Customisation is key for the future owner of this boat, with buyers able to adapt it to their tastes and habits of life at sea. But when choosing, buyers would be wise to make sure they have space to fit the appliances that make their life on the waves as comfortable as possible, such as freezers or small wine coolers. The main cabin is in the bow, where the buyer can choose between a bunk in the centre or located to one side. The bow is also big enough to create an extra room for a crew member, in the space that would be used to keep the sails. The stern has been configured for guest spaces, which can accommodate two to three cabins. This area only has one bathroom, a slight drawback if you're thinking of cruising with people you're not familiar with. There is another bathroom in the crew cabin, but itâ€™s small. The living room, as mentioned, is the focal point of the interior, and the use of light tones with wood and upholstery gives the space a lighter feel and makes sailing and on-board living more relaxed.
The Cantiere del Pardo boatyard has created the GS58, marrying a sports aesthetic with stunning on-board comfort. Although it has smaller dimensions than other large sailing yachts, it makes excellent use of the space.
Minimalist deck The deck space is extremely minimalist: the manoeuvring ropes are out of sight, the windows and hatches are flush, and the gangways are spacey enough to get around without difficulty. The sail plan layout, for small manoeuvres, works if you go for a self-tacking jib and the larger sheet traveller that runs beneath the floor of the bath. Manoeuvring is redirected entirely to the end of the coamings, accessible from the double wheelhouse and leaving the deck cleared of cables. When it comes to navigation, the configuration is intended for a smaller crew. The aim of the Grand Soleil is for a single person to be able to steer the ship without having to leave the controls. Buyers can choose whether they want this vessel for a peaceful sail or to compete. The sail locker is purposefully designed for multiple variables. For the time being, speed is certainly guaranteed, with the hull and deck built with carbon fibre reinforcements in the areas subject to most stress, such as the base of the mast or the keel anchor points.
TOTAL LENGTH: 17.50 m
MAXIMUM BEAM: 5.20 m
DRAFT: 2.90 m (2.45/3.15 optional) DISPLACEMENT: 18.9 t
MOTOR: 75 hp (110/150 optional)
CE CATEGORY: "A" Ocean 12 person
MORE INFORMATION: www.grandsoleil.net
The Grand Soleil has a minimalist interior and exterior, allowing the crew and passengers to sail in complete comfort.
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