Piet Boon has been a leading architectural designer, with a multidisciplinary design studio in Holland with architects, designers and stylists for three decades, earning a reputation for a very honest, robust and natural expression of modern contemporary architecture that reflects urban refinement whilst making use of solid, sometimes rustic materials. The result is a growing portfolio of outstanding private, corporate and public projects that now also includes a great many prominent international commissions – including a first for the designer, a villa design in Marbella.
What was the client’s brief – were there any specific wishes they wanted taken into the design?
The brief was to create a warm and comfortable home. People may want a modern design style, but ultimately they still seek an oasis where they can relax, feel comfortable and be themselves. In spite of such essential similarities each project is different, even if the actual brief was the same, because what we specialise is in crafting the environment that fits the personal lifestyle of our clients. This makes each design unique, and so it should be.
This was your first project in Marbella. How did you find the experience?
Very interesting. At the time we hadn’t worked on quite as many international projects as we have since and working within the unique cultural and natural setting of each different country and location is fascinating. From my background as a builder I have inherited a passion for local materials and building techniques, so I find it a privilege to be able to work in so many different parts of the world and discover such a variety of styles, materials and methods.
The unique location of the villa, with its beautiful natural surroundings and views, is clearly reflected within the architectural design. What were the factors that influenced you most?
The natural setting and local architectural heritage play an important role in all our projects. We want our designs to stand out individually whilst melting into their setting so that they feel like they belong and not like some artificial statement imposed upon the landscape.
Light is one of the most important elements that create a sense of ambience within a home and how you use its spaces. Orientation is therefore a vital element, as we aim to optimise natural light and views whilst also maintaining privacy. Interior colours, furniture and art further contribute to creating a sense of inner home that interacts with its terraces, gardens and surroundings.
The villa also reveals characteristic elements of your style – especially with regard to the use of space and the choice of materials. To what extent did you adapt your philosophy to local conditions?
I love sourcing local materials, in addition to which we designed the colour palette for the property around the strong greens and blues of its setting. I believe this anchors a design into its location and gives it a durable appeal that transcends transient styles and trends.
What characterises a project like this for you?
The idea of creating a wonderful home in a wonderful setting. The interaction you have with the owner in the process of achieving this is what makes private projects of this kind so interesting and rewarding. Naturally we do have certain style elements, such as the desire to create a sense of space, as you mentioned earlier, but what individualises each project is the myriad of details, big and small, functional and aesthetic, that go into its unique, one-off design.
Marbella is currently undergoing a style revolution. What do you think of the region’s architecture and would you like to work on more projects here?
Marbella appears to have learned from the cluttering of the Spanish Costas and opted for quality over quantity, which is not surprising given the profile of person that owns a second home there. I would most definitely like to work on more projects here, especially the concept for something like a different kind of boutique hotel that uses design as one of the main ways of creating the experience. It happens to be one of the things we’re very good at and have earned a reputation for. At the moment we’re in talks with high-end hotel companies, so you never know, I might be back in Marbella soon.