The almost 30-year career did not take away the twinkle of Giovani Bonetti’s eyes when he speaks of architecture, which came into his life, somehow, by influence of his Italian great-grandfather, a self-taught landscape architect. “Actually, he was a gardener who was a bit more sophisticated,” jokes the architect, also a lawyer, born in Florianópolis and a pioneering spirit. The constant search for the new, according to him, was inherited from his traveling parents who, on board of a motorhome, took the family to travel all over Brazil.
The beginning of the interview with Bonetti is sufficient to understand the dynamic and multifaceted professional he is, always involved with institutional issues of professional representation, whether as a director of the IAB or president of ASBEA, and partner of two firms. While MarchettiBonetti + Arquitetos focuses on residential, interior and commercial architecture, ARK7 Architetos focuses on real estate architecture and urban design. “The styles are quite different, but regardless of it, it is amazing how we get to fall in love and work motivationally on all scales,” he reflects.
Before telling more about his story, Giovani Bonetti insists on talking about his classmate, wife and partner: “In my trajectory, nothing would have happened without Taís (Marchetti Bonetti)!” Together since college, the couple graduated the same year and then set off for an adventure abroad on the Island of Malta and Barcelona, where he worked in architectural firms and met a group of foreigners whose friendship lasts until today.
Back in Brazil, Giovani and Taís did not take long to set up their own office, MarchettiBonetti + Arquitectos. With family and professional lives so intertwined, he admits that it is not an easy job and that it must be done very carefully. “We follow a principle, which is to not bring home problems from work,” he says, and he also highlights the advantage that his office has a format that allows them to work in different areas: “Taís works only with interiors and I work with commercial and residential architecture. So, each one has an autonomy that gives them the necessary balance.”
The success of the relationship with clients and partners
According to Bonetti, in addition to empathy, balance is also present in his relationship with clients. As a result, MarchettiBonetti + Arquitetos is implementing a design thinking workshop, a kind of prototyping of the project with the active participation of the client in the first decisions. “During the workshop, we can get into very easy agreements and that’s where we see how important synergistic work is,” says the architect.
With partners, empathy must also prevail, and that is what led Giovani and Taís, soon after graduating, to “live” in Portobello’s showroom for specification. “The products, the way the company stood in the market, everything was very close to us,” recalls Bonetti, who spent years looking at the brand’s booths at fairs and events without even imagining that, in the near future, he would even win prizes with the ephemeral architecture works carried out with Portobello:
Our relationship is very close by the empathy and conduct of values, always focused on innovation. So it’s almost a love affair.”
Giovani Bonetti proudly talks about the first year he worked on the new model of Portobello Shop stores the right to a prize from the Brazilian Merchandising Association. “We won Best Franchise Project in Brazil, with Havaianas in second place, for example. That was really cool!,” he celebrates. In 2017, it was no different: through the project of Portobello Shop in São José (SC), Giovani and Taís won five trophies in the technical contest of Núcleo Catarinense de Decoração. “This brings us not vanity, it only strengthens us on the right track, because we could even be on a downward curve after 28 years of road, but no. We’re still producing good architecture!,” he celebrates.
Projects and Inspirations
If his list of emblematic works is extensive, especially the projects of Sofitel Hotel, the first five-star hotel of Florianópolis, Parador Internacional P12 and Mercadoteca of Curitiba, the ones that are to come are not far behind. “One project that I find important for the city and that we are involved, through ARK7, is the seaside park project that has a marina. This is a project I would very much like the city to enjoy. For this, obviously, it needs political will, collective interests that do not depend so much on us. We have won the contest for this project and now it is on the public agenda to motivate some investor to implement it. Imagine having a park on the seaside within an already consolidated area? That would be a big dream!,” Giovani points out.
According to him, work must always be more on the scale of cities and users, a thought that leads the professional to admire and be inspired by Danish architecture: “The way they approach architecture, considering the collective use, with dynamic approaches to tools that involve the biggest number of people to make sure that the final product of architecture will be compatible with its users, and will have a coherent relationship with the city, significantly catches my eyes at that point.” As a result, names such as BIG and Zaha Hadid, despite their strength in the universe of architecture, are not as inspiring to Bonetti. “It’s all very spectacular, and I do not like spectacular architects. Of course, at the same time, it is important that these stars exist for the world to pay attention to the power of architecture and everything that can be done by combining it with technology,” he concludes.
Check out images of the Seaside Marina project in Florianópolis: