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Ramon Esteve is an interior design studio based in Valencia, Spain, founded in 1991 by founder Ramon Esteve. He believes that architecture is a global discipline. Since then, the studio has been building a professional team united by the search of a common objective, generating design solutions to unique spaces, objects and brands. Today, Ramón Esteve is a place where architects, designers and creatives work together to develop signature projects.
Yinji：What kind of opportunity made you choose to establish Ramón Esteve? Is it convenient for us to introduce your design background?
Ramón Esteve：Our studio was born step by step, almost without noticing, and it became real. Over time, our workload grew, and thanks to the incorporation and collaboration of Juan Ferrero, my partner, my interests turned into two lines of business in which the studio is currently articulated: Architecture and Industrial Design.
On the one hand, in architecture, we work on different project sizes. Indeed, we work a lot on dwellings, but we are also building hospitals and cultural centers. In fact, right now we are working on a medical center in Valencia, a hospital in Barcelona and on the rehabilitation of two abandoned factories in Alicante to turn them into socio-cultural centers.With respect to product design, we work for different national and international furniture firms, such as Vondom, Porcelanosa, MDF Italia or the American companies RH and Danao Living.
To me, China is a fascinating country. In fact, for five years I travelled there every two months because I had a lot of interior design work. Specifically, I designed several showrooms for the brand Sorara. Unfortunately, I have not gone there for a few monthes now. But it would be very motivating for me to start a project there because I think it is a country with an indisputable projection.
Yinji：What is the size of the firm today?
Ramón Esteve：We are currently 27 people, which is larger than the average size for regular architecture studios in Spain. Right now, we have more than 100 external collaborators, with whom we are doing large projects such as residential complexes, hospitals and cultural centers.
Yinji：In the Chinese design circle, we are very familiar with your success in villa design. Could you please explain to us briefly, what is your understanding of villa design?
Ramón Esteve：Exclusive single-family homes, which are almost palaces, have given us an unprecedented international projection. I think we can boast to be among the benchmark teams worldwide in this type of project. But in fact, we make very few of them as they require a lot of attention. They work almost like a kind of manifesto of our work. At the same time, we combine them with larger projects such as those I have mentioned before in which we apply many of the solutions and resources that have been successful in our privately funded projects.
Yinji：In your design works, we feel your interpretation of minimalist design. How do you define minimalist design?
Ramón Esteve：I do not care being classified within minimalist architecture, but I do not feel comfortable with it, since I consider my architecture as being essentialist, not reductionist. I do not use minimalism as a style. Instead, my way of designing is characterized by the formulation of approaches and principles that generate constants, rather than by predetermined solutions. That said, I feel more comfortable if we define it on the one hand as a complex architecture, because it contains all the complexity of life. However, it is displayed in an essential way, because, our job is, among other things, to condense all that complexity into apparently simple solutions (although they carry all this previous synthesis process behind).
I am not the one to define it, even though I am a fan of Minimalist Art, with references like Donald Judd or Dan Flavin. However, in architecture, minimalism has been used in a different way. I would even dare to say that Minimalist architecture really does not even exist. Minimalism means the absence of references or symbols with the aim that the pieces, through their own purity, value what is around. Therefore, in architecture it is difficult to replicate this concept since architecture is always intricately linked to its environment. In this context, the term Minimalism is used for a basically essentialist architecture. (Photo By Mariela Apollonio)
Yinji：Your favorite design master? Why?
Ramón Esteve：In fact, I have several of them and, depending on the moment, some of them are more present. Right now, I am thinking about Louis Kahn. I am really interested in his vision of an architecture which is at the same time contemporary and historical, and his ability to combine them. Buildings like the Philipps Exeter Library or the Salk Laboratories really fascinate me.
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