León Omar Aguilar
Architecture Director
ZVA Group
View from the Top

Aesthetics, Functionality, Disruption And Purpose

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 11:27

Q: What is the key for an architecture firm to develop successful infrastructure projects?
A: One of the most important points when it comes to developing projects in my firm is to create aesthetic and functional projects that also have a purpose not just for the client but for the surroundings as well. The architecture we create has a specific use. The variety of projects we develop in-house include office, residential, industrial, hospitality or commercial. Regarding the type of project, they all can be multifunctional, such as in mixed-use developments.
A key challenge for architects to be successful is to understand their clients’ feedback. The most important opinion for ZVA Group is that of those who see and use the spaces we create. We design projects for the user who occupies them and interacts with them. We believe that an aesthetic and functional design does not have to be expensive, which is the added value that we provide to our clients.
Q: How do you create successful master plans for the whole development cycle of an infrastructure project?
A: Having a complete master plan for projects is vital. I have 15 years of experience in the sector and I know it is crucial to have a blueprint that includes monitoring and risk-management planning. It is not possible to fully control the final outcome of human intervention so we work on the master plan with our clients, which is the base of our success as a company in providing high-quality final results.
I believe the key for the success of a project starts from its very beginning; that is, deciding where it will be located. By analyzing the location, architects can design better buildings to be aesthetic, functional and operational. This planning takes into account everything from the sun’s position to the direction of the wind, and many other factors that help create a high-quality project and design. The project’s environment should always be analyzed first when crafting the blueprint but it is important to understand the exogenous factors, such as street traffic, that cannot be controlled but must be taken into consideration to create a more functional design.
Q: What is the role and contribution of architects in building a more sustainable and resilient infrastructure industry?
A: Architecture trends are moving toward technology and artificial intelligence. In some parts of the world, buildings are being constructed with movement in mind so they can chase the sun. This is the concept of living architecture, which will set the pace for the future. ZVA Group is incorporating technology through the use of intelligent networks that allow us to control and monitor the entire operation of a building. It is important as architects to understand the environmental and social impacts our designs have on communities; we must protect our future generations by creating environmental and sustainable footprints. I believe that is the duty of every designer.
Q: What are the main challenges and areas of opportunity that the infrastructure industry will face up to 2020?
A: Our main investors are foreign and private, mostly from the US. We have seen a great deal of foreign investment, especially from Asia in the Bajio region. This has opened a great opportunity in the automotive industry and in residential real estate. Investors seek to build micro-cities, in which residents have all the facilities they need in one place. One of the challenges we are facing is the rapid growth of foreign companies in the country that has caused us to adapt very quickly to new standards. Design specifications and needs have been adapted, which has opened the door to new international alliances and business opportunities for architects. This is creating new competition among architects to excel in industrial design. We have a unique opportunity to build industrial cities from scratch. We no longer want another box in the landscape but rather, we are creating more functional, high-standard, high-quality projects that not only meet national standards but comply with the international requirements.