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Prestige Architects

Prestige Architects

In Profile: Prestige Architects

Prestige Architects have been shortlisted for three categories in The International Design and Architecture Awards 2021. Read more about Founder, Marco Braghiroli, below:

Name: Marco Braghiroli

Prestige Architects

Company: Prestige Architects

Position within company: MD and Founder


Tell us a little about your background in design:
I studied architecture in Italy obtaining the Laurea in Architecture at the Politecnico of Milan and studied Interior Architecture at the University of Hasselt in Belgium. After obtaining the full qualification in Italy, I moved to the UK in 2000 and I have been a Chartered Architect since 2005. I started working in the UK in 2001 with Traditional Architectural practices on various projects from large residential developments to institutional colleges and in that period I discovered my passion for private residential projects which has been my focus since early 2003. I had the opportunity to follow this further with other practices where I reached senior associate level and I was lucky enough to be the architect of many luxury homes in the UK and abroad delivering beautiful buildings, an experience which has fulfilled my desire for beauty only based on a personal relationship with the private clients which they tend to become lifelong friends.  

How would you describe your personal design style?
My “Architect Ego” is more for a contemporary and modern approach with the challenge of integrating the traditional design and existing building envelope but the best way to describe my interior design style is focusing on the “Client taste” and I drive the design based on their requirements: after all it is their home and it must reflect this.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
Everywhere, inspiration is a daily surprise for me. This can come from a book, a magazine, a conversation with a colleague/client, a cup of coffee in a new trendy designed place getting distracted by the design features, a visit to an old historic building, even a walk around in an auction house can inspire me. I travel on a regular basis for my clients, visiting foreign cultures and cities which ultimately has an influence on my design too. 

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I personally feel that as Architects and Designers, we should always focus on the final user requirements and lifestyle. Ensure that our challenge is focused on that, the key is being able to design a beautiful and practical space where the final user can identify themselves and see the designers soul in it; that is the challenge, a fine balance between the designer creativity and the client needs. I always say to my clients at the beginning of our journey together that at the end it will feel like they have designed themselves as I feel I am always suggesting and not imposing design.    

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.

  • “Innovation with simplicity”. Technology is a wonderful instrument if taken in good balance or the risk is to overcomplicate everyday life.
  • “Implementing the Client brief”. We are lucky to live and breathe design everyday and we need to pass this on to the client suggestions on material and design to guide them to the final selection, I feel this is one of the key elements where the main added value of the process is.
  • “Keep the trades alive”. There are still traditional trades which have great passion and are proud of their work but struggling in a global and competitive market, I am always looking to try and help them in the UK and abroad and support them in the process by involving them in my projects.
  • “Balance and symmetry in design”. This will allow our eyes to enjoy what you build, sometime is better to build slightly less but with equilibrium and my slight OCD play an important role in this process.
  • “Listen”. Always listen to the Client requirements and needs, they are the key of success and the key of their comfort in the building you design.

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Fight for quality without compromise, this might not be fully appreciated at the beginning but will be enjoyed and celebrated at the end.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
This Awards are very important in my view as it allows designers to confront the live trade and sometime also get inspired by other international designer’s works. I come from an environment based on the “word of mouth” so these awards give me the opportunity to celebrate the success of the cooperation with my clients when of course it is not confidential.

What projects are you currently working on?
– We currently are working on few projects primarily in London and recently completed works in Gstaad and Monte Carlo.We are completing two private houses in Belgravia and starting on site on three project this year to include two basements under existing 7,000 and 8,000 sqf houses in St. James and a full redevelopment of a 3,500sqf house in Kensington.
– We will soon start working on a full refurbishment of an 8,000sqf house in Holland Park, a 9,000sqf building in Belgravia and a 7,000sqf house in South Kensington which will add to our high end private residential portfolio.
– Internationally we are looking to work on a new house by the sea in Greece and continue working on our projects in Ghana with our Italian client. We can just consider ourselves blessed of having such affectionate clients which repeatedly come back to us with more exciting projects.

What was your favourite project to work on and why?
A new chalet in Switzerland which was completed last year , I really enjoy the synergy with the local team and working abroad has always excited me in discovering different cultural and historical angle to the projects.

What was your most challenging project to work on and why?
A full refurbishment of an existing house in Belgravia with extension creating a new front lightwell, I like challenges and successfully secured the process, in this case the complexity was on the legal coordination and multiple parties involved which at the end, like a puzzle, was completed with great benefit to the client.

Which products/services could you not live without when designing?
My design team, I constantly rely on specific companies on all my projects with surgical expertise which I always request to my clients to be involved for the best outcome in the projects.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
I am very much focused in growing a solid team in the office which can enjoy the journey and support the clients, this has been my focus for the last year and will be the same for this year. The caveat is that we do not want to grow too much as ultimately all our clients get the same attention from myself, which surprise them all the time, but an exceptional inhouse team always make the success of any project.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession?
Family and friends, when you manage to find the time to enjoy their company.

Your favourite holiday destination?
The Caribbean, I always admire the strength of nature when there.

Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
Home House in London, a part for being a beautiful building has always interesting crowd.

Your favourite book, film & song?
I collect all inspirational architectural books from the Maya architecture to the completed projects in Asia.

Your favourite food and drink?
As a good Italian I stick with the culinary heritage

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
With friend and family preferably around a lunch or dinner.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

A designer, I had no alternative wish or desire since I was a child..

Prestige Architects have been shortlisted for three categories in The International Design and Architecture Awards 2021. 

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  • Samuel Heath

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