INTERVIEW SR. SAINZ

When did you develop your passion for architecture?

It was always clear to me that architecture was what I was passionate about. There was a great deal of creativity in my family, and it’s through family that feelings and basic knowledge are conveyed, and where we “learn to look”. The way we view our environment is fundamental: the concept of a project and understanding it isn’t only achieved through architecture itself, but also from in-depth knowledge of other activities: artistic, philosophical, sociological… and the relationship that exists between them. And this universal knowledge that they always instilled in me, together with my own life and daily activity, have shaped the creative spirit of the architect within me.

What must architects have nowadays in order to make a name for themselves and build a reputation in the world of architecture?

At MS Design, we believe that good architecture must be based on reality; a reality that goes beyond the building itself and takes into account the environment and the intended use. A good architect must always have an innate sense of urban planning, a feeling for local culture and heritage, and they must also understand the commercial and technical reality of the place they’re working in. The search for new horizons should never cause in the architect to forget that the projects they undertake are not for their own vainglory, but designs for the inhabitants. Socrates said “Know thyself.” I say: “Know your clients. And guess what? They don’t think like you.” I’d say the same thing to the new generations of architects that I tell my children: learn to build dreams with the humility of a public servant.

As the founder of MS Design, how would you define your style? Do you consider yourself innovative, or do you advocate established traditions?

As the founder of MS Design, how would you define your style? Do you consider yourself innovative, or do you advocate established traditions?The MSD team strives to convey clarity and simplicity, but I don’t think we have an easily identifiable, characteristic style. This may be because we’ve been fortunate enough to work on a wide variety of projects, from villas and apartments to offices, club houses and master plans of various tourist complexes. It could also be because we don’t work around a single person, but as a team. This is what MS Design is about, the input of all the team members, which is not only important, but contributes to keeping our ideas fresh and our inspiration alive.

I don’t believe innovation is incompatible with evoking external influences. For us, it’s a priority to understand the environment in which we’re working, the light and the colour of the topography, the trees, the orientation in respect to the sun, the most appropriate materials and systems in each case and, above all, the importance of understanding the end client’s spirit. But if all this is achieved with respect and dialogue, hand in hand with the local architecture, it will result in a totally innovative symbiosis. We’ve always strived to achieve harmony with the traditional rustic elements of the Andalusian style, updated to meet the modern standards of comfort.

What do you like most about your job?

I enjoy the feeling of being in constant communication. Designing is like telling stories, and when I manage to develop a good rapport with the client through my work, to evoke emotions in them, I feel that I’ve achieved something beautiful, not only in the aesthetic or practical sense, but in the truest sense of architecture, which is to create concepts or spaces which touch the soul. I don’t feel like I’m working, just telling stories.

What is the ideal house?

One that’s pleasant to live in, and allows the client to enjoy everyday life quite unconsciously, one that adapts naturally to them. That’s why we avoid experimental designs lacking in practical value, or which have little or no connection with their end users or the environment. Therefore, the ideal house is one in which we thoroughly study every last detail of the interior design and harmonise it with our architecture. The result is consistency in every aspect, which is ideal.

What are your prototypes in architecture?

We look to the works of the great masters, as well as the latest developments in technology and architecture. We have many references, but we like to mention Luis Barragán, who was a great artist and creator of the world-famous Mexican architecture. His spaces convey poetry, serenity, and have a unique style that stands out from all the rest.

What’s most important when it comes to designing a luxury home?

Actually, we our approach to design doesn’t vary based on luxury. We’ve carried out projects in which the client didn’t have a large budget, and we’ve achieved luxurious results. Luxury is not only a matter of quality finishes, it must be a feature of the space you create, and we focus on the latter no matter who the client is, ot the intended use of the space. The most important thing is understanding the objective, because content precedes design. Designing without content isn’t design, it’s decoration.

What differences do you find between the architecture when you started out with today’s architecture?

With reference to Marbella, in the 80s and 90s, our designs were contemporary Andalusian, we worked with very similar projects with regard to textures and volumes. In present times, we don’t repeat styles. Now each project is different, customised to the client’s requirements and to the new construction and aesthetic trends. We also give more importance to energy efficiency, although we’ve always had a vision of environmentally-friendly design.

We understand architecture as a living element: it will continue to change, and it must be consistent in proper professional practice. Nowadays there is an internationalisation of architectural styles due to its evolution, but the challenge of increasingly advanced architecture is keeping in consonance with our socio-economic, cultural and technical environment, without renouncing its origins or a defined environment. We must adapt architecture to more contemporary criteria and aspects, and not use the term ‘modern’ for architecture developed merely with plastic or image elements.

What do you consider your flagship design?

Every completed project is a dream come true, but undoubtedly the timeless quality of the Puerto Banús project is a proven success. As an architectural development, we sought to provide it with a unique appeal, while always taking into account the architectural elements of the region, providing innovation in the use of spaces, and maintaining the spirit of the local architecture. An architectural work needs time – to understand the space and its use, so that its shape is assimilated and it is integrated into the space. Now, in its mature stage, this project is still a worldwide reference point. As an architect, however, you learn to think in relative terms. That is to say, the original design of our project was even more elaborate, with canals that recreated a small Mediterranean Venice, but it never materialised. Some of the most spectacular designs are those that never get beyond the drawing board, far-removed from the construction process, and when you’ve had the opportunity to create something special, internally you wonder if you could have done better. We aim to utilise this challenge constuctively to excel in every project, and of course, we make sure that we cherish the awards we’ve received. We were recently granted the award to the Professional Career by Andalucía Excelente, which is precisely what we strive for every day, continual improvement in our professional career. We like to say that the best project is the one we are yet to start.

What are your favorite hobbies?

Travelling. It’s one of the forces that arouses creativity, and creativity is fun. It’s inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun. It opens your eyes to other proposals, to different idiosyncrasies that enrich you and sustain your vision of urban planning and architecture.

What projects are you currently working on?

We have several projects underway at different stages of implementation. We’re currently developing two very important partial plans for the tourist development of the Costa del Sol, and that will mark a before and after in this regard. On a personal level, we’re mainly developing exclusive housing projects in different areas of the Costa del Sol, Mallorca, Miami…

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