Alberto Apostoli, architect: the search for a new Renaissance where the work is complete, integrated and never compartmentalised.

Alberto Apostoli was born in Verona in 1968. He studied industrial electronics in high school and graduated in architecture in Venice in 1993 with a thesis in business on externality in the field of transport. He opened his own architecture and design studio in 1997, with a multi-faceted professional vocation, a natural consequence of his studies and his innate cultural curiosity. His approach to architecture and project planning was recognized by the European Parliament as "innovative" and in 2006 he held his first solo exhibition at the European Parliament in Brussels. The exhibition, called: "Contaminated architectures between communication and design" immediately raised the attention of the specialised European press. In the same year, he opened a studio in Guangzhou - Canton - (China), and in 2007, an office in Casablanca (Morocco) in partnership with a local architect. The evolution of the "contamination theory" in a real professional approach generates, in 2007, the Brandesign division; a specific approach to a multidisciplinary vision applied to architecture, strategic and operational marketing, design and commercial planning of products or brands. This approach was illustrated in several prestigious conferences in Italy (Turin, world capital of design, 2008) and China (Guangzhou Design Week 2008). In 2010, he created Opera Prima, a brand in the contract field, which aggregates a group of Italian companies operating in the Middle East and particularly in the UAE. His work has been published internationally. This, in short, is the profile of an atypical professional who loves to address new project-related issues using different styles and forms of expression. The aim is to support the final result in terms of completeness and overview as well as the customer’s – or buyer’s - satisfaction rather than seeking one’s own hedonistic fulfillment through the repetition of an aesthetic and formal paradigm. His position in this regard is very clear: "I do not understand who does not place customer satisfaction as their own goal". In the Renaissance, artists worked on commission and were held directly responsible if the result was not satisfactory; a responsibility that was also extended to the execution, and not just the design or the conception. Only two factors contribute to this goal: a great capacity to control the creativity in a broad and "managerial" sense, and the humility to know how to balance one’s opinion with that of others. At the end of the day, there is no prevalent style in art history and architecture. Moreover, living in the age of pluralism, multiculturalism and globalization, attention must be paid to the balance between one’s own style and that of the customer. From this premise comes Alberto Apostoli’s mission: retracing the footsteps of the great Italian architects and artists of the 15th and 16th centuries, creating a sort of "New Renaissance" through a philosophical instrument defined by his “Theory of contamination”. In essence, integrating design with a marketing culture able to give to each project a strong innovation in terms of concepts, aesthetics and techniques. The term "contamination" - used by Alberto Apostoli in a positive sense – generates something that emerges from the convergence of different styles and views. Apostoli says: "contaminating means combining the creative energy of architecture, the originality and functionality of design, filtered through a marketing-oriented approach". Today the term contamination is far too abused – like the term "trendy" (awful word that identifies in a negative way what is positive for a short period of time), but in fact the art in the past was contaminated. Who can tell where the architectural design, interior design or sculpting in a Gothic cathedral end? " A creative space in three dimensions: architecture defined by space, light and volume; design defined by shape, materials and fashion; marketing and communication defined by market trends, target and positioning. The method consists of creating a different combination each time to achieve the right project for a specific objective. This method led Apostoli to great results in various fields, from master plans for commercial and residential areas, to the design of hotels, spas, shops, offices, villas, and product design. The operating method of Alberto Apostoli is based on some fundamental factors such as a multidisciplinary approach, an empirical study of psychological processes, sociology, in addition to fanatical clarification of the client’s values, filtered through an innate curiosity and the desire to always call anything into question. Something that has more to do with theatre and music, areas in which the customer’s pleasure can come from a drama, a comedy, a tragedy or a specific air rather than from a single act, melody, or scene. The main effort is obviously the ongoing technical and creative research of new materials, products and technologies but also new trends from the most diverse sectors (fashion, industry, cinema, lifestyle, etc.). Apostoli was, in 1999, the first in Europe to use RGB LED lighting in the wellness industry and among the first to offer the concept of multimediadesign, which is the use of multimedia technologies as building materials (SIA Guest 2009). About 15 people are working in Apostoli’s studio, among which not only architects, industrial designers, interior designers and engineers, but also people with different professional experiences (marketing, communication, business etc...). This great effort involves the continuous and daily interaction with external consultants such as engineers, graphic designers, advertising executives, artisans, small producers or mostly large, leading Italian companies, experts on environmental issues, HVAC or electrical engineers, software houses, lighting designers, etc… This commitment to human resources has a unique objective: to deliver the "perfect" project or a project in which architecture, design, communication, art etc… merge, becoming contaminated. Apostoli says: "Maybe it’s a utopia, but I strongly believe that, as we did in the past, we can carry out projects that are not the result of artificially combined skills but real works of art in which the architect is a true conductor and the end result is greater than the sum of partial results. The architect is neither an artist nor a designer, or just a technician: he needs to be a director able to coordinate, manage and develop different ideas, proposals and thoughts. This is their modern function. Alberto Apostoli’s projects range from urban planning and temporary architecture to product design, graphic design, communication, etc… for private clients as well as Italian and international companies. Among his major projects in the residential sector, he realized the Santa Caterina complex, under construction in Verona - the first apartment complex in Italy to face the LEED Home international certification. Delivery of the first lot is scheduled for the end of 2011. In this case, the project focuses on the strong integration between architecture and environment made possible thanks to the use of the best energy technologies. In 2009, he presented at the “fuori salone” fair in Milan, an installation in which a modern and innovative loft of 80 sqm incorporated wellness and multimedia technologies with extreme and provocative design. In the hotel sector, the "Suites of Romeo and Juliet" Hotel in Campo San Cassian in Venice, built in 2007, aroused great interest. Each suite is dedicated to a particular type of couple. The project sought to combine modern aesthetic demands in a historical Venetian palace without sacrificing scenic aspects in the entry hall, and in some details in the suites. On Lake Garda, Apostoli recently designed the entire floor of a hotel (with 4 suites, common areas and a spa) in a new and innovative way, seeking inspiration from the Ayurvedic philosophy mediated through maintaining the building traditions of the lake region. In this case too, marketing and design goals are integrated into a project entirely tailor made, characterized by communication and original design solutions. On the Brescia side of the lake, the Villa Luisa Resort, opened in 2010, integrates essential and modern shapes with sinuous and soft lines that remind the visitor of the location of the structure (a promontory in Portese - San Felice del Benaco). In the different and experimental suites, presented as temporary installations, the architect integrated either multimedia, technology or Mediterranean warmth. Retail is another area in which Apostoli has always worked, with significant results. In the Comete Jewellery Boutique in Milan and Bari (2007) – a jewellery brand in the Vicenza region - the concept relates to a multisensory retail space where colors, aromas and music merge with the thrill of an impulse buy. In this case too, the idea comes from different experiences in different fields that first appear to be distant from each other. Here, the sensory and emotional component arises from the field of wellness and aesthetics. Other significant experiences are projects for the brand Byblos Blu in Cyprus and in Barhein; the brand Almaplena throughout Italy; the Match Music stores in Italy and abroad and, more recently, the start up of the Ecosmile shops where design, communication and color come together to make green products the focal point. Wellness and Spa: Apostoli is considered among the best designers in this sector, with some major, international and highly innovative projects. In 1999, he worked on the Mizu and Shiro’ project, a full wellness suite that uses the general impact of the senses combined with a massage on a water and light bed. This project was the first to introduce the use of RGB LEDs in the field of wellness and it was later on widely imitated by other manufacturers and designers. In 2010 Apostoli worked on the SASHA project for Jacuzzi Europe, a complete module that offers a real spa experience in just 8 sqm. Apostoli and Jacuzzi developed this product from a few market insights that the architect had widely reported in various interventions. The product is currently having very good results despite its high price range. The conceptual component proved successful and innovative in a highly competitive global market. Exhibit and Office: In 2007 Apostoli worked on the design of the Samedì offices in Guangzhou (licensee of Polham and Beverly Hills Polo Club brands in China) where he tried to merge international design with the philosophic logic of Feng Shui. Since 1997, he has also taken part in several exhibitions for Italian and international companies such as Quarella, Ferroli Group, Volkswagen, Henkel, Priante Italian Leather, Lamberet, Honda Cars Italy, Dong Peng etc… In 2007 he worked on the ceramic showroom in Sassuolo for Dong Peng Europe. In 2010 he started working with LaCLINIQUE, a leading brand in plastic Surgery, for which he redesigned the new offices in Italy. The urban planning sector is one of the areas in which Apostoli has high expectations on few but significant projects. In L'Aquila, some projects still in the planning phase are characterized by a great attention to the social and collective aspects of building which, after the terrible earthquake of 2009, have taken on significant importance. Products: Although recent, this is a very active project area for Apostoli who just started working on some significant objects/collections for Venetian and international brands. Alberto Apostoli makes "no expertise" his strong point. He doesn’t like replicating styles, projects or experiences, but he’s always looking for something new in order to satisfy the customer. This frantic search is aimed towards the entire work, in which the differences between architect, interior designer and product designer disappear, where you can find an original uniformity without repetition or trivialization. Apostoli is not interested in the individual performance, but the global path that a designer must take, conscious of the convolution and partial utopia inherent in his idea of modern but global architect. The architect concludes: "I have found myself doing this job unexpectedly after graduating, almost as a joke. I have never dreamed of or wanted to be an architect in the strict sense of the word. What I like to do is "thinking" and developing something unique in its essence and not just as a shape, a color or an object. I always see a project from its primordial thought, that’s why I think to embody a typically Italian humanism, always looking for human and philosophical values in what we do. If I think that we are building "things" I am not interested, but if I think that we are giving form to a thought, then it does interest me. I would like to extend this approach to all forms of building, always referring to beauty in a collective and universal term”.

  Alberto Apostoli, architect: the search for a new Renaissance where the work is complete, integrated and never compartmentalised.