Alejandro arrived in Ibiza with his parents from their native Granada at just two years of age. After completing his qualifications in architecture he spent three years in London working for some of the biggest names in architecture including Pascall+Watson and Flanagan Lawrence. While he might not be pure-bred Ibicenco a childhood spent traipsing the forests, farmlands and coasts of the island has instilled a deep love and respect for the traditional beauty of Ibiza’s native architecture which lead him to pursue a position at Blakstad Design Consultants in 2017.
What drew you to study architecture?
I was always alert to design as a kid and I loved to draw. When I was sixteen I had the opportunity to do work experience in an architectural studio. I visited a lot of the worksites and started to really like what I was seeing. That was when I made the decision to pursue architecture as a profession. I did my undergraduate at the University of Granada and then a masters at the European University of Madrid.
Tell us a little bit about your time in London.
In London the projects were enormous. I worked on the Manchester Airport at Pascal+Watson and the Wembley Master Plan at Flanagan Lawrence. It’s an amazing experience but you don’t get to see the whole thing. You’re limited to developing your part. The roles are very delineated. Also, there’s no sun and the food…well, my girlfriend and I decided to come back to Ibiza.
What do you like most about working at Blakstad Design Consultants?
It’s a very collaborative atmosphere. Even if there are challenges it’s always interesting. You never get bored here. Also, this kind of architecture is an impression of the traditional and there’s a really profound knowledge of the history, which I find fascinating.
What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Architecture is very focused and takes a lot of mental energy. You can go from zero to a hundred on a project very quickly and you have to find the balance.
What do you find most satisfying?
At the beginning of a project, it’s creative and as it moves along it becomes more technical. I really enjoy when those two elements intertwine. You find the right materials, the right orientation and the right proportions and it all fits in despite the continual restrictions. Within all that you find a way to make the design work and it’s very satisfying.
Why do you think you are drawn to the typical architecture of Ibiza?
It just hooks you in some way. I’ve been looking at the traditional architecture of Ibiza all my life. The proportions and logic of it are very interesting and it’s the reason why I really enjoy working here.
What is the purpose of architecture?
It’s about problem-solving. It’s about service to others. Whether it’s public or private space our goal is to find the solutions for daily life.
What do you love about living in Ibiza?
I grew up here so I have a very different experience of Ibiza than someone who came here as an adult. I know special places from my childhood and natural spaces that have a lot of meaning for me.
If you could travel anywhere in the world to study the local architecture where would you go?
I have already organised a trip to Japan. It’s like another world. I really want to see it because it has this really modern part and this very ancient part. The architecture is incredibly interesting, they’re really detailed orientate.