LaMoraleja.com: What is FREEHAND ARQUITECTURA and who is Lourdes Treviño?
FREEHAND ARQUITECTURA it’s a Boutique Studio of Architecture, Interior Design, Landscaping and Decoration.Between laughs and good vibes, this is how her own team describes Lourdes: «Multifaceted woman, entrepreneur, multifunctional, architect, commercial, dancer, Mexican and also Spanish!, teacher, bussineswoman, mother of her children… and also ours!, infinite patience, queen of diplomacy!
Lourdes Treviño: They’re so funny! Ha ha ha, a little bit of each, yes.
I arrived from Mexico at age 21 to finish my career in Architecture in Madrid, after attending two years as an exchange student at the United States.
When I finished, I decided to extend my stay in Spain after being invited to join the Classical Ballet Company of Madrid. I toured half of Spain on a bus tour living authentic adventures.
My first job as an architect, was in an interior design studio, that was famous at the time. We did very nice projects, especially restaurants, but there was little organization. This took me to complete my formation and training with a Master in Project Management, as it seemed fundamental.
There, I was signed in CBRE, a multinational in the sector, and in parallel, I started, FREEHAND ARQUITECTURA.
L.M: What does “design” mean to you?
For us, design is a way of living. It’s our way of creating, of having fun. We love and enjoy finding beauty in every detail. It’s imagination, emotion, excitement and observation.
Human being has design to survive.
It’s getting ahead of what’s to come, to project. We create spaces that didn’t exist, to improve people lives. – Says Luis
Think how exciting it is that your work is a game. Like when you’re a child and imagine things. We are fortunate enough to be able to build those ideas and make them posible. – Says Elisa
Design is curiosity, learning and provocation.
L.M: What work tools can you count on?
Especially patience, creativity, and sense of humor.
Our human resources, the team is our best tool.
As a professor at the Istituto Europeo di Design, Lourdes Treviño keeps up to date with the most innovative ideas, technological advances, computer programs and, above all, learns to understand the way of thinking of younger designers.
She also has access to the best emerging talents who, when they graduate, start working with her and begin to be part of the studio.
L.M: Tell us about one of your designs that excites you.
It’s difficult to choose only one of them.
We could tell you so many anecdotes!
To start, one of your first projects, when they gave us the Project to remodel the Mexican Embassy in Madrid. The experience was really exciting.
But, we also have “La Casa del Lago”. A new construction Project on the outsides of Madrid in a cozy enviroment. A very complicated plot, but with amaizing clientes who were very clear about what they wanted, and we hit spot on with our proposal.
Or, “La Favorita”, in which the owners, gave us a lot of freedom to create. It was published on the cover of an architecture magazine, it was very exciting.
Then, there are the restaurants, we loved IZTAC in Madrid.
Barra Cascabel in Lisbon, your first Project outside of Spain or Mexico.
The offices for Ali Baba.
When we won our first Casa Decor!
Although the GF Foltra neuronal rehabilitation clinic was also a very moving challenge. With a very low budget, we transformed an industrial building into a clinic for children who wanted it to look like our old studio, Loft 20.
Right now, we are working with the Reto 48 gym project in La Moraleja that will surprise you.
And we’ll present a house we made in Galicia, with wonderful views of the Cíes Islands, to the next Biennial of Architecture of Latin America that has us really excited.
L.M: How do you combine individual creation with teamwork?
We work better as a team.
At out study, we don’t have individual tables, instead, there’s a big table where we all work. We share everything, each one of us contributes their ideas, we work through them, polish them and divide tasks. We’re always connected.
Each one of us has an important role in their specialization. Some of us are more technical, others more creative. There are drawing artists, those who calculate structures and those who control budgets or work licenses.
We have profiles with a lot of experience, and the youngest ones with a lot of potential.
Let’s say we take advantage of each other’s virtues to function in an integral and harmonic way.
L.M-What role does Mexico play in your proyects?
Now, Mexico is trending.
We have a lot of international clients: germans, english, colombians, dutch, venezuelans, mexicans, and of course spanish.
The role Mexico plays is important when it comes to projecting. We, as americans, are used to inhabit more opened spaces. We cannot avoid the influence of Mexican architecture that is characterized by being one of the best in the world – Says Iriz
But above everything, I believe that the service we give our clients,also has a big influence from my origins.
The culture in the attention of pleasing or pampering in Mexico is very important and common. That’s why what we have really created is an Architecture Boutique.
L.M- What differentiates you from other studios?
The international character of our study is an added value.
We love to travel, and some of us have lived in different countries. This opens our minds, knowing other cultures and helps us understand different ways of life, to inspire us, to make the best of each place. – Says Eugenia, excited.
We have very good clients, from which we learn every day.
When we meet them, we tell them:
– “The fact that they hire us does not guarantee that there will be no problems while we are in construcion. In the work site there are always problems. It is a complicated process. They have to keep in mind that we are creating a prototype. There are many factors that can affect and sometimes these are out of our hands. Besides, we all make mistakes.
But what we can guarantee you is, that we will be there, hand in hand, through the whole process. From the first line to the last detail. Every day, in order to avoid that many problems arise thanks to our experience and that when they appear, face them and solve them in an agile and accurate way.
L.M- How does sustainable and committed architecture fit into your work philosophy?
When we think about sustainability, perhaps, the first thing that comes to mind are huge forms of “renewable” energy supply such as solar panels, geothermal energy, biomass, etc. Which of course is very good.
But sustainable architecture goes further on – Says Manuel
Design a project with a good orientation, plant some type of tree that gives shade in the hot summer and loses it’s leaves in winter strategically. Generate cross ventilation. A good sanitation system. Air chambers on facades – Tells us Javier
To use de proper materials in the spaces that we’re designing. That require little to low maintenance, that they age beautifully, that adapt to the environment. Get a timeless architecture, that will last over time.
And, of course, installing an effective air conditioning system, good thermal isolation, windows with thermal break, home automation system for energy system.
It’s also important to keep up to date with the most advanced technologies. Use certified materials to know where they come from and if their extraction and transportation has been respectful. Even if they are suitable for certain climates.
Although it seems complicated to take all this into account, it is really about practice and a little common sense. We try to take care of these aspects in the projects we carry out.
L.M- How do you combine the craft work of each proyect with the new technologies?
They go hand in hand. You can’t conceive craft work without technique.
When designing, we always start with the most basic thing, a hand drawing, a study model. –Lucia tells us
Of course we rely heavily on the infinite library of images that we have today through the internet. It helps us a lot to inspire us, explain ideas to customers, make presentations. – Eugenia says
But later, we have to customize it and make it a unique proyect.
The representation of the projects is increasingly realistic, we have to keep updated with all the new computer programs that keep appearing. Blueprints, 3d images, virtual tours, augmented reality.
When building, the union between artisanal work and new technologies is indisputable. There are tools and machinery that have greatly accelerated the construction processes, but the construction always carries a human factor, the workforce, the quality of the finishes, the affection it puts on.
The beauty of craftmanship, is indisputable.
This is why, we try to work with suppliers who are experts in what they do, good professionals and with good prices and quality.
L.M- Freehand offers an integral service to the client: architecture, design, landscaping and interior design. How do you catch a client style and needs? What’s your secret?
Listen, above everything, listen.
Empathize with your clients, get excited with the Project they have in their heads and hearts. They trust us to improve it and make it happen.
We have to always remember that it is THEIR PROJECT and our added value, is to correctly capture that idea that they have, and adapt it to their needs in an aesthetic way, keeping in mind their tastes and budget.
Each client is different, and the funny thing is that this way, each project is unique and a different challenge for us. Our work is exciting, but it’s also difficult, we must combine all these psychological and emotional factors with the technique and craftsmanship of construction.