PROJECT CONTRACT- INTERVIEW WITH THE GRUP IDEA TEAM
Lluís Saiz, Artur Ortiz, Alejandro Mora, Rodolfo Pérez-Martos, Miquel Àngel Julià and Juan Guaita, partners of Grup Idea and Abessis
Grup Idea is an international company based in Barcelona specialized in imagining, designing and building spaces, while Abessis is its construction firm. Their strategy is based on getting to know customers in depth to find out how their business will work in the future. Results: in the retail sector they achieve an increase in sales. In corporate offices, production processes are optimized and employees work more comfortably. In hotels, restaurants and healthcare and cultural facilities, they seek a return on investment for the company.
– What is Grup Idea’s career?
We started in 1996 as a conventional architecture studio in Barcelona with housing projects and, later, we entered the world of office design for banking entities nationwide. In 2007 we started working in the field of corporate architecture and also retail projects,healthcare and cultural facilities, hotels and restaurants throughout Europe. We went from being an architecture firm to turning Grup Idea into a professional services company integrating design, engineering and management. Today, we have more than seventy people among our own resources and collaborators. We have subsidiaries in France, England and Mexico. Recently, we reinforced our presence in the Mediterranean corridor with the opening of a new office in Valencia.
– When and why did you create Abessis?
Abessis, the new brand of our construction company, appeared in 2009. Our clients asked for it and it was natural evolution. We found the right person, Juan Guaita, technical architect and collaborator, with whom we had already counted years ago on various projects. We had had a construction company that we used in very specific cases, but the 2008 crisis led to its empowerment. It was a success, we left very strengthened with the incorporation of Juan as a partner.
Since then, we can offer a comprehensive service to our clients, from the conception of the design linked to the business model strategy, going through the design to the final concretion with the construction and equipping of spaces. In a world where everything changes so fast, physical spaces do it too. All actors must be integrated quickly, agile, without wasting time and with very good final finishes. We keep it very much in mind and our clients value it.
– How have the group’s business lines evolved since its creation?
The world of business linked to design has evolved tremendously. Before, design and architecture projects in retail, offices, hotels, restaurants and social-health centers did not have much in common and the designs did not complement each other. Today, the picture is totally different: many businesses are hybrids and uses are mixed. The user’s shopping experience is taken into account, including in banking and socio-sanitary spaces. There is no longer a space where you can only go shopping, but a place where you can transmit brand values.
Today, hotels are designed with spaces for coworking inside, bank offices incorporate restoration and socio-sanitary spaces that are more similar to a relaxation space and we could continue with more examples. The experience that we have accumulated over 25 years and the evolution that we have lived in all fields have positioned us as experts in the design of spaces for brands, closely linked to the business model. The incorporation of construction in our services currently gives us a lot of credibility because we commit ourselves much more to the cost of what we design. So much so, that we no longer conceive the design without considering its cost and the impact on our clients’ income statement. Not in vain,Abessis has become a benchmark construction company in the sectors where we work.
– What services do you offer and which clients do you target?
We encompass our services in three words: Imagine, Design and Build. Within the Imagination we include the Conceptual Design based on the Strategic Definition of the client’s business model. The Design part includes the development of Conceptual Design through architecture, engineering, cost control, industrial management and the processing of all permits acting as local architects and engineers. Finally, in the Construction phase we take care of executing the work with the best industrialists according to the type of project and equipment, managing all internal and external actors until the delivery of the premises. Lately, we are also integrating, in the Conceptual Design phase, working with the companies that design online sales so that the sales gear is 360 degrees,
– Do you get involved with your clients?
We target companies and brands that require new designs or improvements in their sales spaces, offices, or any element linked to their business. And, above all, with those companies that understand that change and continuous improvement is the only way to move forward. We like to get involved with our clients, integrate them into our team and work together. In return, we offer an absolute commitment and maximum delivery until the completion of the work.
– You say that there are five plus one members of the management team. How are you organized?
I think it would be better to say that we are six partners. The success of the organization is that we have complementary skills, as if we were a six-piece puzzle. Together, we create a balanced, efficient and suggestive image for the client. Each one has a very defined area of responsibility, although we work in a coordinated group. Lluís Sáiz, architect and Arturo Ortiz, technical architect, are the founding partners. The first one develops, with the marketing team, the company’s sales strategies and research new areas to develop; the second is in charge of all the internal control of the company, from finance to human resource management. Miquel Àngel Julià, architect, is responsible for the Strategy and Design area; Alejandro Mora is a technical engineer and responsible for the Engineering and Project Management area; Rodolfo Pérez-Martos is an architect and Project Manager; and Juan Guaita, is a technical architect and responsible for the Construction and business development area of Abessis.
– Why did you open a new office of Grup Idea and Abessis in Valencia?
The incorporation in 2013 of Juan Guaita and his team in Valencia was the key to opening a new headquarters in the city. In 2019, the growth of Grup Idea and Abessis made it necessary to move its current headquarters to a new office in the center of Valencia, with twice the surface, a much more flexible distribution and a more powerful and representative brand image.
With this opening, we have made a commitment to the future for our development in the Mediterranean corridor. Valencia concentrates, not only a large industrial activity, but also many others linked to tourism, is connected to Madrid with AVE and predicts potential growth in the coming years with the proclamation as Design Capital of the World by 2022.
Furthermore, the Valencia office is our “flagship” in corporate office design trends. It has several spaces that enhance the relationship between employees and customers, an area for events that is complemented by a large outdoor terrace that has already been used for some business events, such as our Idea Pika PikaDownload publication