in just 3 minutes!

Advanced Search

Interview with Virginia Barbisan of Studio Vimini

Let's meet Virginia Barbisan of Studio ViMiNi, an architectural practice based in North London. 


What studies or training did you pursue to become an architect?

I grew up always dreaming of becoming an architect. Somehow I felt a strong connection with it since I was a child. I eventually studied architecture at the University of Rome, Italy and then took a Postgraduate Degree on Architectural Planning at the University of Porto, Portugal. After that, I moved to London and for 7 years I worked for a few architectural practices before setting up my own.


What was your career path leading up to your work today?

In London I worked for small/medium size practices, primarily focussed on residential projects. I gained a great deal of experience of working with existing buildings and in historic contexts. At the same time I had the opportunity to work on some commercial and retail projects, and for a few years I worked extensively on interiors. I also spent a few years in New Zealand half way through this, and there I worked for an amazing and very successful small practice exclusively on new build houses, which was very exiting and broadened incredibly my knowledge of the construction process. Shortly after I set up my own practice in London.


Interview with Virginia Barbisan of Studio Vimini

Why did you choose this profession, and what makes you love your job?

I have always had a keen interest in architecture and design. Once I started practicing, I realised how much I really enjoyed the whole process and the more technical aspects of it as well. What brings incredible joy to me, is realising how much of a positive impact architecture can have on our lives, and that is why I decided to dedicate myself particularly to residential projects. I feel that our homes are the most important place in our lives, they are not only a safe place and a shelter, but often a place of entertainment, where we build memories and routines, and increasingly have become our offices, gyms and much more. To be happy and comfortable in them is a priority, and can have a real impact on our lives. I love to help people achieve this with their home.


What are the difficulties that you encounter in your work?

Every project is different and comes with its own constraints. From client's requirements, to planning restrictions, construction issues, cost, everything can add a degree of difficulty. However, without all these challenges there wouldn't be amazing, enjoyable and fulfilling projects. It is all part of the very essence of architecture.


Interview with Virginia Barbisan of Studio Vimini

For you, what is an architect’s main role?

I often get the feeling that many people think of an architect as someone that can draw up some plans for them. However, they are surprised to find out that there is so much more to what an architect does and what can offer. The architect wears many hats, and designing a project is only one of them. I like to think that our role is to turn peoples ideas and wishes into reality, and take care of the whole process for them.


In your opinion, what talent or quality is particularly essential for an architect to have?

I would say patience is definitely a good quality to have! Being able to visualise the potential of a space is very important, being a good listener and being open minded.


Interview with Virginia Barbisan of Studio Vimini

What does your job consist of?

Inevitably a lot of drawing and modelling, which I enjoy very much. I also carry out site visits regularly, to speak to contractors and check on progress of the works, which I love, as it's great to see ideas turn slowly into reality and we often have to find appropriate solutions for something that was hard to foresee before building. And naturally I meet clients, deal with consultants and often a lot of paperwork!


What motivates you the most in your profession?

Client's satisfaction and gratitude are incredibly rewarding, so at the end of each project I always know that it was all worthy.



What project do you remember best?

I have fond memories of many projects, however I often go back with my mind to a project I have done many years ago. It was a small non descriptive suburban house, and we overhauled it completely adding a lot of space to it and turned it into a fantastic large and modern family home. It has been a really challenging project from all aspect, from planning, to construction, neighbours, regulations etc, but the vision that we had at the beginning was pulled through and it was great.


What is your favourite city?

It's a difficult question to answer, as I love many different places in different cities. If I had to chose one, it would have to be Rome though, there is so much beauty there.


Interview with Virginia Barbisan of Studio Vimini

If you had to build a new house for yourself, what would it be like?

I have dreamt of many houses through my life but you can only really imagine one if you knew where it was going to be. An internal garden is always been a dream of mine, so I would definitely include one in it.


Where do you find your inspiration?

From different places, mostly real life architecture that I encounter or have visited.


How would you define the relationship between an architect and his or her client?

An architect is trying to turn the client's ideas, feelings and needs into the perfect space for them, so I think trust and transparency are key from both sides to make the process flourish.


Interview with Virginia Barbisan of Studio Vimini

A little message that you’d like to send to your future clients?

Make sure you build an honest relationship with your architect so that you can trust putting your ideas, even if not clear, into their hands. Changing your mind is ok, it is a process and it's sometimes difficult to foresee what will come up, always be open to discuss things with your architect.


Many thanks to Virginia for taking the time to tell us about her work. To see more of Studio ViMiNi's past projects or to get in contact with the studio, visit her page.

Are you an Architect ?

Would you like to be listed on our site?

Contact Us !