Architect Tomas Buenaventura
Emerging talent Tomas Buenaventura, who recently launched Buenaventura designs, answers questions about his international influences and what currently inspires his work in the city and in the Hamptons on projects like the Shutter House…
RC Atlee: How would you say the places you’ve lived have influenced your style?
Tomas Buenaventura: I was born in Hartford, Connecticut, but spent the early years of my life in Santiago, Chile, where I studied Architecture. I later relocated to New York City where I began to build my architectural career. I think the breadth of my background and particular elements of the places I have lived have contributed to a sort of simple, elegant international style that runs throughout my work.
Do you think each place has a specific energy?
Absolutely. I’ve been operating Buenaventura Design from a space in the Meatpacking District for the last six months, and I have begun to sync with the rhythm of the neighborhood. Having river views and the Hudson River Greenway as my back yard defnitely helps when creating innovative design. I took the opportunity to work across from the Whitney and ocasionally have meetings at the museum cafe, therefore I’m completely immersed in the energy of the neighborhood. (Continued…)
That’s great! What do you love at the Whitney?
The Renzo Piano design, in and of itself, inspires me. Also the new exhibition of Calder sculptures in the terrace is spectacular – a great place to steal away from the city and contemplate creative beauty.
Where were you before you went out on your own with Buenaventura Design?
I was with the firm Shelton Mindel, where I helped design Sting’s New York City apartment – which recently sold for $50 million. I was also with Studio Sofield, where I worked on Tom Ford’s London flagship and other franchise stores. More recently, I’ve collaborated with Grade NY on Hamptons projects like the Shutter House.
How would you describe your work?
Our work is an ongoing process of conceptual storytelling accented by an eclectic mix of vintage, contemporary, and custom pieces, resulting in a luxurious yet functional environment that elevates each client’s lifestyle while adding value to their properties.
You seem so passionately engrossed in your work – what do you do when you aren’t at the helm?
I try to stay involved in the creative and artistic life around me, and get to as many gallery openings, museum shows, and fashion events as I can. I really enjoy the shows at PACE and Sean Kelly Gallery. I also enjoy running, yoga, and swimming to stay fit.