Born in the northern Italian city of Treviso, Francesco Zanatta was attracted to drawing from a young age. After almost a decade of coming to Ibiza on holiday and looking for a change of pace, he finally decided to make the move and call the island home. Having heard the Blakstad name on the grapevine for years, he recently nabbed a position as a draughter in the studio and has not looked back.
What or who influenced you to choose this career?
I have always been passionate about drawing, especially technical drawing, but studying was never my thing. So, when it came to deciding what to do with my life, I opted for a technical course. This gave me the possibility to keep doing the things I liked as well as several job opportunities, without the need for a university degree.
Where and what did you study?
I studied at the Instituto Técnico para Geómetras in Treviso. The Geometra is a bit of a special profession, in the sense that in Italy you can do many things, like making structural calculations, topography and real estate appraisals. It’s not recognised here in Spain as the same thing. The nearest equivalent would be a rigger. I did the practical part of my studies in an architectural office and kept working there throughout the following years. I had a real connection to it. And here I am, still working in architecture.
How did you hear of Blakstad?
I started hearing about Blakstad from friends who also work in architecture. They talked about the studio as one of the most important and well-known offices on the island, with its unmistakable traditional Ibizan style. I became really interested in the Blakstad style and started to learn more about it.
Describe a normal day at work.
When I arrive, I meet with our interior designer and we look at and talk about what we accomplished the previous day. That helps us prioritise the most urgent tasks. And then, we get to work.
What do you like most about your job?
What I like most, without a doubt, is lifting my head from the computer and seeing in real life what I had only seen on the screen. It’s amazing to see the various stages of construction, up to the final result.
What do you like about working at Blakstad?
Apart from having the opportunity to participate in important projects and spectacular houses, I would also say working with a well-organised team with an especially good vibe.
What do you find most challenging in your work?
The biggest challenge for me is the fact that I have to draw quickly, and pass from one project to another, and all while maintaining a high quality of presentation quality.
What does architecture mean to you?
Frank Lloyd Wright said; ‘The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.’ I have always loved this definition.
What is one of your favourite buildings and why do you like it?
There are many, but I recently saw some photos of the Heydar Aliyev Centre by Zaha Hadid in Azerbaijan. It seems to me an impressive work, daring with its curves, connecting perfectly with the surroundings.
If you could go anywhere in the world to experience architecture and design, where would you go and why?
I would go to Japan. To see and taste a culture that has always fascinated me – the ancient architecture, traditions and philosophy. It is a world completely different from ours and I think it would be worth getting to know it better.
What do you like most about living and working in Ibiza?
I moved to Ibiza thinking that I wouldn’t find anything of value here, that maybe it wouldn’t suit me. But I was very wrong. Ibiza has so much to offer, much more than people think.