23rd March 2017: Passionate about interiors from an early childhood, Ante Vrban started his professional career very early in life. He established ARHITEKTONIKA, his first-ever company at the age of 19. His company focussed on interior architecture and interior designing. Since then, Ante has spread his creative wings to not only explore various countries, but also leave his indelible mark with his design creations. London, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Dubai and Muchen are some of the hot spot, where one can see his works.

Resplendent Jadrija Beach House

Resplendent Jadrija Beach House

Suave with his modernist leanings, Ante established ONIX Grupa with senior partner Mira Plese, a Civil Engineer – soon after his Masters’ degree from the University of Zagreb. The handsome architect talks to Johnny D about the project of his dreams – his fabulous beach house Jadrija!

Designed to Perfection

Designed to Perfection

Johnny D: Please tell our esteemed readers about ONIX Group.

Ante Vrban: Onix Grupa is a vision. Ever since I did my first project at age of 19, I always say that architecture and construction has to be one body. Onix Grupa is a Zagreb-based company, which designs and developes projects for VIP clients all over the world. I have always loved construction sites and I realize that nobody can make my ideas a reality in full, except me personaly. I like the control over the site and everything related to my work. My projects are very detailed and filled with special details of light and materials. Our clients want a step more than what is offered today. Onix Grupa we deliver just that.

At a very young age I found myself at the piont, when I was working on several continents at once. I needed a strong base, which will follow my speed and needs. I wanted a strong engineering background, so I joined forces with Civil engineer Mira Plese, who is one of the best structural engineers in the business. She also happens to be one of my profesors in the University. Together, we established Onix Grupa. Every architect needs a structural engineer that can follow one’s vision. Impossible is nothing today, and that someone who knows how to translate the vision into engineering reality is the one, who gives you creative freedom. Mira is one of the most important persons in my team, along with others who work for us. With this concept of the company, my visions became a reality. Today, we count over 300 developed projects around the globe, each special in its own way, and used by very special people, who are at the top of their game of business.

Spacious Elegance

Spacious Elegance

JD: What are the various projects you are currently busy with, in various cities and countries?

AV: I am currently working on Kempinski residences in Savudria, a private Villa in Barcelona, and a 5+ sta23rd March 2017: Passionate about interiors from an early childhood, Ante Vrban started his professional career very early in life. He established ARHITEKTONIKA, his first-ever company at the age of 19. His company focussed on interior architecture and interior designing. Since then, Ante has spread his creative wings to not only explore various countries, but also leave his indelible mark with his design creations. London, Paris, Madrid, Vienna, Dubai and Muchen are some of the hot spot, where one can see his works.

Suave with his modernist leanings, Ante established ONIX Grupa with senior partner Mira Plese, a Civil Engineer – soon after his Masters’ degree from the University of Zagreb. The handsome architect talks to Johnny D about the project of his dreams – his fabulous beach house Jadrija!

The First Impression

The First Impression

Johnny D: Please tell our esteemed readers about ONIX Group.

Ante Vrban: Onix Grupa is a vision. Ever since I did my first project at age of 19, I always say that architecture and construction has to be one body. Onix Grupa is a Zagreb-based company, which designs and developes projects for VIP clients all over the world. I have always loved construction sites and I realize that nobody can make my ideas a reality in full, except me personaly. I like the control over the site and everything related to my work. My projects are very detailed and filled with special details of light and materials. Our clients want a step more than what is offered today. Onix Grupa we deliver just that.

At a very young age I found myself at the piont, when I was working on several continents at once. I needed a strong base, which will follow my speed and needs. I wanted a strong engineering background, so I joined forces with Civil engineer Mira Plese, who is one of the best structural engineers in the business. She also happens to be one of my profesors in ther hotel on a private island in the Mediterranean sea. I never work on more than 2 or 3 projects in parallel. I think quality is more important than quantity. Waiting list for my work is full until September 2020. I like order in my work and an exact schedule. It has to be something really amazing in offer for me to change it.

Enhancing Nature’s Presence

Enhancing Nature's Presence

JD: When the client states the brief to an architect in the first meeting, what really goes in an architect’s mind?

AV: You have to listen very carefully what your clients tell you on the first meeting, their routines, their wishes and dreams of the perfect space. Every project is an individual story, which has to translate to the people who will use it. Function first! The function of the space you design has to help the user to feel free and protected. I am here to make something you always wanted, but never got it in reality.

Beautiful Surrounding Landscape

Beautiful Surrounding Landscape

JD: What was going in your mind, when you were designing your fabulous home?

AV: I am happy you like it (smiles)! People who know me, know that freedom defines my character. All of my real estate is strongly connected with nature. I like light and a free space. I like to walk through my space without obstacles. It is also a kind of an architectural laboratory, where I test new patents of light and materials. I like technology of our time with natural materials. Today’s possibilities of shaping natural materials is indefinite, wood , stone, glass… My friends always joke that my houses and apartments look like me (laughs).

Reflecting Glass Overlooking the Sea

Reflecting Glass Overlooking the Sea

JD: As the CEO, what do you demand from the team members during the master planning stage?

AV: I demand their maximum. When your employee gives you just that, it is always enough. Regardless, where the point of their maximus is. I always knew how to recognise the talent in people and motivate them, to be at their best. I am as good as my team is!

Site Plan

Site Plan

JD: What were the main challenges of the project on the real grounds?

AV: Every project is a new challenge, a new story. I start always on the same point. First there is function, who will use the building and what message does it have to send? That is fundemental. If it is a bussines building, it has to tell the story of the company and product, which sells or produces. It has to tell the story correctly. An architect has to listen to clients’ wishes. After I collect all the information, I translate it to architecture. In a way, which I think represents them the best. I love what I do and a good challenge. I respect my clients wishes. I choose them carefully. Every project is a separate chapter, a compromise of wishes between people, who will use the space, and me, the architect, who has to translate to architecture to send a message of time we live in, and my signature as an architect.

Luxe Homestyle

Luxe Homestyle

JD: How do you overcome them creatively?

AV: I simply know what to do, I cannot explain it. Every person on this planet has a talent for something. The talent is a gift from God. I did not deserve it but was given to me. I was born with it. How successful you are depends on how much effort you invest. I cannot be a doctor or an astronaut, I am simply an architect. This defines me. Creativity, I find in every breath and every second. I always somehow managed and manage to have a solution.

Living + Kitchen Area

Living + Kitchen Area

JD: How would you describe the ‘Elegance of Design’ of the magnificent creation from an architect’s perspective?

AV: I think elegance is simplicity. I do not like agressive shapes in architecture. Today’s technology gives us endless possibilities to shape and treat natural materials. The house has to be one with nature, in spirit of the time we live in and with an ambition to be a little in front of its time. Architecture is a signature of history. Whatever we use as an ispiration from the nature around us gives elegance. There is nothing more in balance and perfect than nature itself. If this is your inspiration, you will have elegance. The house is a success, if it corresponds with its enviroment and blends in it.

Alluring View of the Outside

Alluring View of the Outside

JD: Please mention 5 major ‘Sustainability’ features you have incorporated in the Project.

AV: Every project I do has the newest technology of energy saving. It depends where the project is and what nature offers on the site. I use vertical wind turbines, solar panels, softwares in the house to save energy. But the most effective energy saver is the quality of materials that are used, when building the house. This is the most effective way to save energy and nature itself. In my beach house, I used solar panels and softwares that turn on and off the system in the rooms not in use. I built it with most advanced constructive materials.

Floor Plan

Floor Plan

JD: What is the total area of the project?

AV: The land itself is not large. My house is literally on the beach. It is a glass pavillion, which I wanted to blend in completely. The European press calls it ‘Chameleon house’. It was awarded as the ‘Best Single Residence-Architecture’ in International Property Awards in London 2016/2017. It is a mirror that reflects the sea and nature. My place of peace!

Nature’s Effect

Nature's Effect

JD: What is the estimated cost of the project?

AV: I will tell you only this, it was much less than the total value is today. I get calls on weekly base, with insane offers to sell it. But its not for sale (smiles).

Beautiful View of the Sea

Beautiful View of the Sea

JD: How much time it took for the Team to complete the project?

AV: 85 days, from start to finish.

Facades

Façades

JD: Each creation of yours is magnificent and glorious! How do you come up with such spectacular ideas?

AV: Thank you. Since I was a kid, I saw the world differently than the people around me did. Sometimes it made people, who love me worried. I always pushed furniture around the house, made sketches, played with light, built stuff etc. I simply know what to do. The inspirartion is just there. I find it everywhere, in people, nature and even in atmosphere around me. Love? I just love what I do, and I am very gratefull that I have the opportunity to do what I love.

Fabulous Evening View

Fabulous Evening View

JD: Do you agree that Structural Engineers are breaking frontiers to give shape to Architects’ designs’ vision? However, not much credit is attributed to their conscientious efforts? As an architect, please throw some light in this aspect.

AV: As I said earlier, architecture and structural engineering has to be one body. Structural Engineers give the architects vision a mathematical proof of possibility. A freedom to create. I was always and am an architect of site and not of office. I love the site. To me, they are as important as the idea itself. Without one another, there would be no moving forward. In my world of architecture, structural engineers have a very special place of respect. A successful project is a team effort, where all parties have their roles. My best friend is a structural engineer.

Surrounded by Nature

Surrounded by Nature

JD: How would you describe Ante Vrban as a professional and a person?

AV: I am just a man trying every day to be a bit better than the day before. I am here to build and create. It is just who I am. People, who know me say that freedom defines me. I like to be free to create. I like control, love to work and I like order. My life is my work!

Section

Section

JD: Please state the five recent awards you have won along with project’s name.

AV: They are as follows:

– International Propery Awards 2016/2017 – best single residence
– International Propery Awards 2016/2017 -best public interior
– Special Award from the Town of Knin 2016
– Elle Style Awards -special award for architecture

IMAGE Courtesy: The Architect

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