LUX Autumn 2018

14 1807LU16 Reimagining Architecture from theGround Up AM Studio is – at its core – a multidisciplinary design firm, founded to realise the full potential of a space, by wholly imagining all aspects of it as both architect and designer. In June, AM Studio was named in LUXlife ’s Leading Designer Awards, as the Most Outstanding Multidisciplinary Design Firm, New York. We spoke to Antonio Matres, founder, architect and interior designer at AM Studio, to find out more about how he has driven the success of the firm. LUXlife Magazine started the ‘Leading Designers’ Awards’ to recognise those designers who elevate their craft, and push the boundaries of the possible. Antonio Matres, through his firm AM Studio has, perhaps more than most, encapsulated this objective, acting as an inspiration to their clients and peers alike. A native of Madrid, Spain, Antonio honed his talents for 15 years prior to moving to the United States. His European perspective is a tonic to a traditional western style- bringing a joie de vivre, and a vitality to his designs. Working alongside his design assistant, Nicole Dana, he works tirelessly in his Tribeca studio to attain, and exceed, his client’s expectations for the project. At the centre of his firm, Antonio holds the belief that a disconnection from the working space is not conducive to architecture – one must imagine every facet of the final design before its construction. An architect must mentally live in the space, and think of the sights, smells, tastes, and tactile feedback whilst imagining its design. It is this holistic, yet incredibly detailed approach to the environment that has made Antonio’s work stand out amongst his contemporaries. Because of it, his body of work defies definition – outside of signatures, personal flourishes, or common aesthetic. Each project is wholly independent of the other, approached from a different perspective and handled with a completely different mindset. In Antonio’s words his aim is, “to design an interior which is the very essence of the space. To achieve this, the client must be extracted to create the perfect recipe; each element must be so integrated that no one can distinguish between them. This creates a cohesive result, one that is unique enough to require a new title and identity altogether”. Antonio’s past work embodies this concept perfectly. From the renovation of a 19th century Spanish villa, defined by careful restoration of original features, to a new build house in The Hamptons, an ode to modern architecture and aesthetic, AM Studio’s projects are defined by versatility; a unification of architecture, interior design, urbanism, art and graphic design. For many of his clients, Antonio’s approach is utterly refreshing, guaranteeing a tailored design created solely for the space that the client provides. In many ways each project in his portfolio is like a piece of art. Unique, standing on its own merits; this is design at its most artistic. Despite this, Antonio is quick to reaffirm the importance of collaboration in the design, “building a rapport with a client is an essential foundation- understanding who they are and why this project is happening allows us to ensure their spirit is a part of the final result is important to us”, Antonio continues, “to succeed as a designer is to understand the client’s vision and utilize a combination of skills to meet and elevate what was only thought possible”. Antonio divides his firm into three distinct, but complimentary, branches; architecture, interior design and furniture design. Each branch grows organically from the last, allowing Antonio to control all aspects of a project, from the beginning to completion. Regarding his work in furniture design, Antonio celebrates the avant-garde, and adopts an innovative, experimental tone. His creations are angular, and defined by distinct, consistent lines. He champions form and function as a sort of mutual dichotomy – separate considerations, that, when combined in equilibrium, elevate the whole. In practice, Antonio’s gift for furniture design is invaluable to his occupation. If a space demands a bespoke piece to fulfil his vision, he simply creates it. “The nomination for this award is a tremendous opportunity and honour for our studio.Though small, our firm has ambition and a vision to expand over time”