The Blakstad team is tight-knit, with most employees clocking up years working at the firm. After creative director Rolf Blakstad and his PA, Ángeles Martinez Lominchar (aka, the Queen of the Office), the next person who holds the key to the inner workings of the team is Xavier Blesa – our associate architect and project manager. He’s the person that provides answers to complex questions and keeps everything on track. Barcelona-born and a graduate from the Superior Architecture faculty at the Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona, the love of architecture and design runs through his veins.
What influenced you to choose this career?
When I was 16, I went to see the the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe. The minute I walked in, I understood the emotional and social power that architecture can produce and I was hooked. Here in Ibiza, I combined working as a project manager and as an architect for a while, finally architecture gained the lead and now that is where all my focus is.
When did you come to Ibiza?
I came to the island nine years ago, after living in China for a short while and I have lived in the same place since then, near the sea. It has been almost 10 years since I left my home city.
Describe a normal day for you.
I usually get up early, around 5am. I use this time to read or do those things that later get set aside by the daily rhythm. I plan my day and answer emails, or solve something urgent that has remained in the pipeline. From there, every day is different. I like to start like this as it gets me focused and issues are resolved before I get into work. In the office, I organise the projects, answer questions and doubts and watch how the day unfolds. There are some days that are calm and I am crossing things off my to-do list, and there are other days that are unpredictable, and my list grows. That’s what makes it fun.
What do you like most about your job?
Definitely the ability to build something that was once ‘just’ a drawing. That process is one of the greatest pleasures there is, and one that not everyone can enjoy.
What do you find most challenging?
A project can usually take two or three years to complete (if you are lucky). It’s a rewarding process for the client and for us. In the end, we have to be aware that many people only build their home once in their life, and it is a process that deserves to be enjoyed.
What does architecture mean to you?
Well, the definition of what architecture is or is not is a discussion that has lasted for centuries. I don’t think I’m capable of improving any of the definitions that have been given already. For me, beyond the obvious, I would say that architecture is the occupation of designing and building the way in which a society inhabits space. I like to understand the profession as a trade.
What do you like most about working at Blakstad?
That no day is the same as the previous one. That no project is the same as the previous one. That no client is the same as the previous one. You have to know how to enjoy that ‘rock’n’roll’.
Is there a particular project that you found challenging but rewarding?
All projects are challenging, to one degree or another. If you don’t feel that way, it means that the projects have become monotonous. Overcoming all those challenges already makes you feel proud of any project you finish. For me, the most important thing is what I have on the table at the time. When you finish a project, it stops belonging to you and it is the user who gives it life – if you are lucky sometimes that happens in the way you had imagined, other times users improve the project.
What do you like most about living in Ibiza?
I like that there is an Ibiza that is not what many people think it is. Most of the people who live in Ibiza have an interesting story to tell.
How do you spend your free time?
Being with the family, doing sports, reading or drawing.