Damian Ribas is one-half of the Ribas Arquitectos company and, together with his brother Francisco, has worked with PGA Catalunya for over 12 years. The brothers’ architectural work is highly regarded in their native Spain, and for very good reason. They created the remarkable PGA Catalunya Resort Club House, managing to seamlessly blend the natural surroundings with the utmost in modern design. In this 60 second interview Damian gives us in insight into his work and his hopes for the architecture of the PGA Catalunya properties.
What first attracted you to PGA Catalunya?
I was immediately drawn to PGA Catalunya as it was, and still is, a project which is being developed in a very responsible and coherent way. This guarantees that the construction and development taking place there will be a reference for future urban developments.
Can you talk us through the planning and design of the clubhouse? How has this been received with members?
We made the first clubhouse a decade ago, and as time went by the growing popularity and international prestige of the golf course required that a new and larger building be built to house the members and occasional players.
When we completed the rebuild a few years ago it was very well received by everyone and has given PGA Catalunya a new image
Will your designs for the properties echo the clubhouse?
Whenever we work on a project we look for inspiration in the plot and listen to the client and their needs. However, in this case we will reference certain aspects of the clubhouse’s design in order to ensure that the architecture flows seemlessly throughout the entire development.
What, in your opinion, sets you apart as architects? What is uniquely ‘Ribas’?
Firstly, Ribas Arquitectos is a family studio that has been running for 40 years and 3 generations, so this alone makes us quite a unique architectural company. What also characterises us is the fact that we have always worked with a great respect for the area and make a consistent effort to ensure that each project remains personal to the client. As a result, our buildings always fit in to their environment and also age very well.
Where are you based?
We are based in the city of Barcelona, which to me is the perfect place for any architect to live in.
Are you a golf fan and have you played at PGA Catalunya?
I used to play golf more frequently when I was younger, but during the last few years sailing has become my passion. I do play golf occasionally and still enjoy it very much.
What do you consider your greatest architectural achievement in your career to date?
We have done so many different projects, such as the Formula 1 Circuit of Catalunya, several hotels, office buildings, and private houses. But overall I think our main achievement is being able to provide a comprehensive architectural service according to the needs and desires of our long-standing clients.
What do you love most about your job?
Architecture has a large creative component which obviously appeals to me a lot. But what I love most about it is that every project is a challenge and a great opportunity to learn.
What inspirations have you drawn on for your designs?
We always start by looking at the local architecture, and then we take elements from these designs and add them to our own more modern plans in our studio. The influential architectural masters that are always in mind are Juan Antonio Coderch, Frank Lloyd Wright, Arne Jacobsen and Alvar Aalto.
What products / materials have you incorporated into your designs? Were these inspired by the region?
Old and recuperated tiles and stone walls mixed with flat roofs, large window pains, and porches are just some of the main elements we consider.
How many homes will you work on?
At PGA we are building and designing different kinds of homes: a few detatched houses, 15 semi-detached villas and 65 apartments.
Why did you choose the La Vinya neighbourhood at PGA Catalunya?
We won the design competition launched by the PGA Catalunya board so we now have this wonderful opportunity to work at the La Vinya neighbourhood.
Will owners be able to work with you to make the designs bespoke?
We have found that working solely with the client has let us produce the best results, so we plan to continue this process at La Vinya without the input of the future owners.