Colección Alexandra: “We believe in work done well, from a perspective of design integrity” lifestyle
Specialising in premium furniture, the Valencian firm has throughout its 26 year history been a proponent of work done by hand with attention to detail, in the face of depersonalisation and fast consumption in home decor.
Believers and practitioners of true joinery, Colección Alexandra has become one of the most representative brands in Valencian design. From their artisan workshop in Burriana (Castellón) they design and give shape to each piece of furniture as if it were a member of their family. And that is in fact, part of their story. A family who initially would carve their initials in wood, with the name María J. Guinot (the company’s founder).
Part of this same family tree, are her sons Juan Manuel and Jacobo Ventura, who decided to keep the family tradition going, adding cutting-edge design to their founding values.
This generational transition, in which the classic and modern flow seamlessly together, is the subject of our interview with Jacobo Ventura, creative director at Colección Alexandra.
Q: Could you tell us about the origins of Colección Alexandra?
A: Colección Alexandra is a family business that was born in 1994 with the aim of creating high-end furniture and exclusive design pieces that could be adapted to any profile.
Q: What role does interior design play in your company?
A: We think of ourselves more as interior designers than furniture manufacturers. In fact, Colección Alexandra was created from an interior design perspective. This is reflected in our style and the multidisciplinary design approach we take. It encompasses everything from designer furniture to decorative pieces, home textiles, lighting, and pieces of art.
“Our pieces are a small-scale concentration of many of our passions and life experiences, such as history, art, and world cultures”
Q: How would you define your design?
A: Our design approach is universal and itinerant. That’s why our collections don’t have an obvious starting point or clearly-defined inspiration. You could say our pieces are a small-scale concentration of many of our passions and life experiences, such as history, art, and the cultures we’ve got to know on our travels.
Q: What is the significance of creativity for you?
A: Creativity is a guarantee of success. In a world governed by immediacy, where everything changes so quickly, having time to think about new ideas and give shape to them through design does entail a cost, but we don’t know how to do it any other way. We’re surrounded by mass-produced products, and what we want to do is move away from that tendency with our own unique furniture.
“We’re surrounded by mass-produced products, and what we want to do is move away from that tendency with our own unique furniture”
Q: Do you have a defined way of working or do you change according to the specifications of a project?
A: The way we work encompasses a diverse range of artisanal production methods, such as wood carving, upholstery, and paint finishes. I should give a special mention to the way our master craftsmen handle leather, following the same techniques as book binders of old.
Q: Which of the collections you’ve designed carry the handmade stamp?
A: Really, all of them have an artisanal element. It’s what we believe in – in work well done, from a perspective of respect for design and design integrity. Perhaps the Traveler furniture collection meets the handmade standard, because all the pieces are handmade and feature embossed leather. Moreover, the media coverage we received for it contributed to the expansion of our brand to a certain extent.
To us, each piece is like a blank sheet which customers can use as a base to imagine and introduce their own personal touch, with the various options we offer in terms of finish and upholstery.
Q: Is it possible to be international and local at the same time?
A: Our firm has a definite international scope, but production takes place solely in Spain. Design should always respond to social changes and needs, so we decided to create our own, meticulously-made brand within the home sector. This, in turn, led us to gain a greater presence abroad.
Q: What three stages of your brand do your Heritage, Evolution and Emotions collections demonstrate?
A: These three collections represent different stages and design approaches, but they’re all interconnected. The Heritage collection is defined by a more European classicism, whilst Evolution, for example, follows more contemporary lines. This can also be seen in Emotions, although here the tone is more avant-garde, more eclectic.
Year upon year, we continue to enrich these collections with new proposals from external designers, who we work with to revitalise our most iconic pieces without losing our DNA.
“We want to improve people’s lives from a perspective of pedagogical design”
Q: Do you think the Traveler Safe is one of your iconic designs?
A: Yes absolutely, Traveler Safe has become one of the firm’s iconic designs. The initial concept was to merge security and elegance into one structure. With this premise, we created an object that broke with the eternal dilemma of function and form, because our Traveler Safe was designed with function in mind but also has a decorative element. The piece reflects the multifunctional nature of Colección Alexandra, which aims, first and foremost, to improve people’s lives from a perspective of pedagogical design.
Q: You have worked with firms such as Porcelanosa Group, who you have been working closely with for years. What has been a highlight of this professional experience?
A: We’ve collaborated with Porcelanosa Group on numerous occasions, as we share many of its values, such as the concept of total design. Following this philosophy, all elements are interconnected – each piece, whether ceramic tiling, bathroom furniture, kitchens, or even decorative profiles, are essential and necessary components in the construction of the overall environment.
This was what led us to work together on The Moodboard Suites. An interior design project that we developed for L’Antic Colonial, a Porcelanosa Group brand, which included two hotel suites. To make this five star wellbeing setting a reality, we used Premium collections from the firm, combined with some of our most iconic pieces. This was the creative formula we followed to give shape to a sensory, comfortable, and exclusive space.