Ivan Torres, Architect
Where did you study and how long have you been working in Ibiza?
I began my studies of architecture in September 1999 in Barcelona at the ESARQ (Escuela Superior de Arquitectura ) belonging to the Universidad Internacional de Cataluña ,graduating in September 2005 at the age of 22.Subsequently ,I worked for a year in the study of Josep Mias and Juan Trias de Bes.I moved definitevely to Ibiza in August 2006 and I have been practising this incredible profession from my own studio since then ,which is located in Carrer Cabrera 3,in Ibiza town .
What would you like your projects to transmit?
I would love my projects to transmit the person who inhabits it ,the same emotions that I feel when I design ,imagine and construct it.I put all my energy to make the most of each project and be effective in terms of functionality and beauty.
Which of the projects you are working on now represents a great challenge for you?
All of our projects are always a challenge because they represent a unique opportunity to improve with regard to the projects that we have already designed and constructed and from which we have learned.Each project involves a new situation with a different programme ,which has some different clients or users,position, topography ,views and location that will never be repeated, a style applied to the environment and to the project.In short,it is always a new opportunity to design something that you never had a chance to think about before.Right now we are designing a residential development in Can Misses ,which is a challenge to design a building where you do not know the final user.Reason which requires you to be more `pragmatic and careful when taking a decision ,because it has to be generic ,but without ceasing to be something that has a design.We are also designing single -family homes in different areas of the island and with different types of soil,surroundings and views.That is to say ,having the possibility to design different projects at the same time gives you the prespective to understand how each place transforms the house and the design must be adapted to the environment .In these homes we also design the landscaping which includes all the exterior areas of the plot ,with the pool area,terraces and gardens.The interior design and the choice of furniture is the perfect way to finish the design of a house and the way we like to conclude an entire project.
Right now,we are in phase of the construction of various buildings which gives you a touch of reality about what you are designing in the study.
Ibiza architecturally speaking…Who are we?Where do we come from ? Where are we going?
Ibiza is one of the best places in the world for everything and also in terms of architecture.We have the entire tradition of vernacular architecture ,reflected in the “ payesas” houses. These buildings are full of wisdom,culture and mediterranean flavour. They are of ecological construction with the use of materials found in its immediate surroundings,solving the problem of sunlighting,temperature control and lighting.They are fully habitable,healthy ,modular and strategically placed on the landscape, melting into it. This architecture is the foundation of modern and contemporary architecture ,so that it attracted great architects for their study and reinterpretations such as Josep Lluis Sert, Le Corbusier,Philippe Rotthier,Erwin Broner,Raoul Haussmann,Walter Gropius…among others…
Currently ,the architecture that is performed in Ibiza has all this cultural base ,apart from being influenced by the most innovative trends.Ibiza is a place that creates trend and global reference .And its future is not another but to continue being a benchmark in this field.
Which is the greatest difficulty an architect has to face?
The work of an architect is the sum of many disciplines ,with multudisciplinary training in subjects such as art ,design ,urbanism ,humanism ,sociology ,physics,mathematics….so that the greatest difficulty that an architect has to face is to know how to organise ,design ,and manage all disciplins correctly to get to a common objective with a design that economically and aesthetically satisfy the sponsor and the architect.Hardly anything…
If you built the house of your life this year ,what materials would you choose?
For the outside I would use a white finish ,probably a rendering or a ceramic.For the interior a warm material such as stone ,that would extend to the exterior as pavement.Natural wood for furniture ,glass and aluminum.
Would you like the legislation to allow more creative freedom or… are we fine as we are?
The work of an architect not only includes the creative part and constructive -technic part.Since the last couple of decades both the urban and technical policies have become complicated so that a very important part of the job of an architect is to understand all the information to knock the project into shape .Certainly ,all this legislation ,that is very important to ensure the quality and safety of the clients and to protect the environment and to establish the basic rules of the game ,requires and in many cases causes the design to be almost preset.Certainly ,and in many cases the creativity is restricted with this type of legislation, but the existence of the same rules of the game for everyone offers an essential legal security.The tendency is to reach an agreement on which is the limit and how to defend all the parts involved.
Who do or did you get inspiration from?
Coderech is an architect who has influenced my way of understanding the architecture .I admire the work Enric Miralles performed and the new point of view that his architecture gave me .And nowadays I believe that OAB with Carlos Ferrater is the study of architecture that inspires my work most.
Tell me 3 buildings in Ibiza that you love and 3 you would like to remove or redesign:
I love : any rustic farmhouse or church, the castle and the walls of Ibiza with all its neighbourhoods Dalt Vila ,Sa Marina ,La Peña…, the Defense Towers.
Remove: I believe there are many buildings which should be removed or at least remodelled.There have been many illegal constructions without any specialist and the architectural quality in all its fields is undermined indeed.Even in some cases,having a specialist ,the design has not been lucky at all ,in my opinion .But there is no accounting for taste…
Redesign: we would love to be able to participate in an Embellishment plan for urban and industrial areas of the island of Ibiza .I think that we need to focus and improve these areas since in many cases these areas have not had any care for the visual impact and integration with the environment.
We would also like to continue and to be able to complete the remodelling and restoration plan that we began in the UA-27 in Sa Penya,by the hand of consortium: Eivissa Heritage of Humanity . Working in a sensitive area with so much history and being able to help reverse the current situation ,would be something very exciting. I would like to redesign and old building of Ibiza or Formentera.
Which town needs urgently a urban intervention and why?
The island of Ibiza should be treated as a whole ,as it is so small and fragile .There have been many interventions that have seriously damaged the territory ,so I think,that the Planes Insulares y Municipales should be much more ambitious and return to the possible extent ,the old ibicencan -mediterranean flavour ,without failing to look towards the future .I think that ,urban and territorually speaking,Ibiza mut be relaunched ,reconsidered and reorganized.Probably the best areas and towns are the ones which have suffered least intervention in the past 40 years “Food for thought”…. That is why tourist areas,historical centers ,villages , the maritime facade of Ibiza should be inspected. More than a urban intervention ,I think we should replan how we want the Pitiusas to be.Success touristically speaking ,is paralysing our islands and this can cause “death”by success.The infrastructuresand management of the sources are not dimensioned to the number of the people who are coming.This way,Ibiza and Formentera, have to be able to recognize and mark its limits in terms of its maximum expansion,mantaining everything that makes us be attractive .Being a paradise ,has to do with the exclusivity ,tranquility , the nature we offer ,without leaving aside everything we are recognized for all over the world.That is why ,more pressure on our territory ,without any control or management must not be good.
If you were to built your life´s project ,which would it be?
I believe that the best order is yet to come. Each new project that we are assigned is always the best project. We feel it this way,because each project inspires us .And by going step by step,we gain access to projects that we had never thought about before .It is a long distance race…I guess the best project will be the last.
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