Ibiza interview: Toni Huerta, Antonio Huerta Arquitectos

Antonio Huerta, Ibiza Architects and Design

Photography by Annie Peel

Having taken the reins of the successful Ibiza architecture studio founded by his father in 1977, Toni Huerta is the second generation of architects in his family, who moved from Salamanca to Ibiza over 20 years ago to enjoy a greater quality of life, plus work with the famous light, sun and water of the island. Inspired by transforming the landscape through his work, he runs his studio – Antonio Huerta Arquitectos – with an artisan’s spirit, becoming very personally involved with each and every project, working with the Ibiza way of life constantly in mind…

Was it inevitable you become an architect?
It’s as if I’d been an architect since I was born. I was brought up in the studio – when I was a baby they changed my nappies on the drawing table! The technical part is essential – I studied In Madrid and in Santiago de Compostela – but the day-by-day real training of the profession was learnt here with my father.

What do you like the most about your job?
I like to create the seed at the beginning. There are two parts, creating the idea and developing the idea. I like the first part. That is the magic. Once you have the idea, then it is fun but it is more mechanic. Fitting your idea and thoughts with those of the client is exciting. I have a very intelligent friend who says there are two very important people in your life: your wife and your architect. Your wife because she’s the person you live with, and your architect because they’re the person who creates the space where you live.

Have you seen a lot of changes in Ibiza over the years?
Ibiza has changed a lot, some things good and some bad. We have more than 100,000 inhabitants, so it was essential to build infrastructures that are adequate for that many people. There is always the nostalgia of the past; many say it was more beautiful before. However, the saying goes: you either evolve or you die. Things don’t last forever, so you have to evolve.

Where do you see the future of Ibiza headed?
In the last few years Ibiza has experienced a construction boom and some things haven’t been done correctly. Ibiza needs a bit of order and common sense, but specifically a direction to grow. We need to know where we are going. Maybe it’s impossible because our politicians, generally, do not rise to the occasion, at least in my opinion. They don’t have a vision of Ibiza as a whole. I think the future of Ibiza is more residential than tourist. This is inevitable, like in the South of France.

What do you do in your time off on the island?
I love sailing, wandering around the island, sleeping the siesta on a daybed on the beach while listening to the waves. All the beaches are wonderful – I like Es Palmador in Formentera and Cala Carbó and the chiringuito there. I also like to go to Ushuaia, Sirocco and Pacha at night. I like Flower Power – I’ve known the party since it was launched around 30 years ago.

Do you travel off the island a lot?
I travel as much as I can, but now I have two small daughters so it’s more difficult. I like to visit more urban places, because I already have the nature here. I like to go to Stockholm, New York, London, Paris – places to find something you cannot find here. This is what I miss, but we are only a few hours away!