Antoine Navarro connects cultures through the art of architecture
French creative, Antoine Navarro, considers himself fortunate to have been able to travel the world with his parents from a very young age. Along the way, he slowly fell in love with the world’s remaining traces of ancient civilization and the mysterious buildings, sculptures, and statues they left behind. As he explored, and as he gained more exposure to the various pieces of architecture that today’s society has to offer, he experienced an overwhelming sense of fascination and he knew that it was a world he was destined to be a part of. He finds himself energized by the way each building, pillar, and column could connect him to the designers’ experiences and to the cultures that they lived in. Today, Navarro is a highly sought-after architect designer and feels a great sense of pride in knowing that he found a way to channel his deepest passions into tangible projects for the benefit of not only his clients, but of the general public, who experience his designs around them without even consciously knowing it.
Following a childhood full of experiencing world-class cities and unique cultures all over the world, Navarro made the decision to turn his love of architecture and interior design into a career as an architect designer. Since then, he has lent his talents to a number of successful building design projects with well known architecture companies like ARK Associates Ltd. and Soul Architecture. With that, he has worked on a number of world famous buildings like the V-POINT high-rise and Kimberley mid-rise in Hong Kong. Regardless of the project he is working on, he is inspired to channel his holistic approach into creating well balanced, organic designs.
“I consider myself to have more of a holistic approach than one specific style. I try to keep things light-hearted, yet scattered with bold elements. At the end of the day, the main thing that matters is that I answer a series of requirements posed by my clients and ensure that I bring natural harmony to their concepts. I prefer to describe my projects in terms of the story I’ve created for them, rather than simply pointing out elements of their physical appearance. It’s how everything meshes together, rather than the individual components it is composed of,” remarked Navarro.
One of the best examples of Navarro’s unique, holistic approach to architectural design stems from his work on the design of the Emerald River Side Exhibition Centre in China. The project entailed the design and creation of an architecture pavilion that would be the first point of sale for its surrounding community. A main draw to this project, for Navarro, was the idea that the Chinese are well known for their desire to embrace excessiveness and for their enthusiasm to build on a large scale. As an architect designer, these qualities were impossible to resist and he knew that he was the perfect man for the job. For ARK Associates Ltd., who Navarro was working with at the time and who were contracted for the project, shared in Navarro’s sentiments and thought that his western background could bring a particular edge to the project’s final result.
In the two short months Navarro had to work on the project, he managed to heavily research the area’s history to ensure that he could connect those who experience the pavilion with the area’s surrounding culture and customs. He focused his efforts on showcasing simple geometric volume and industrial expression to develop a concept and a prototype for the project that his clients ended up loving. The experience felt similar to that of an architecture competition and he loved getting to build his ideas from the ground up for his clients.
“This architecture exhibition is on the river side of Wu Han. This place is well known for being a hub for transportation in China and a meeting spot of multiple rivers in the surrounding area. The concept we came up with was developed through an intense study of the river culture, the sites, the models, and the sketches. I chose to combine both Chinese and Western influences in this design, giving it not only a beautiful appearance, but a unique one as well. My critical skill was essential for the project by my ability to tie together all of the influences on the project to coalesce into a beautiful building that remains practical and effectively serves its purpose. I am very proud of what we achieved,” told Navarro.
When Navarro reflects on his work for this project, he feels humbled by the understanding that a large number of communities will eventually engage with his designs. Knowing that he is starting conversations and promoting the art of architecture before them is one of the reasons he entered into his profession in the first place. For the future of his career, he hopes to continue to think outside of the box and present designs to the world that they couldn’t have ever imagined seeing.
Written by Sean Desouza