Operating with a straight talking approach to design and construction, Gray Gillot of Ibiza project management company Amber Developments is known for achieving fast-track results without compromising on quality. It was this philosophy that saw him appointed as project manager for a huge villa refurbishment in Es Cubells – a project involving multiple contractors and collaborators to transform an existing villa that had been left to ruin into the stunning property that stands today.
“I don’t tell my clients what I think they want to hear just to get the job,” says Gray. “This project needed at least six months in the planning and design stages before we could even start onsite, and then another seven months to carry out the work. When other architects were saying it could be completed in six months, I simply said it straight that this was impossible and presented a detailed program showing the realistic time frames, and ultimately we were appointed the contract.”
Once Amber Developments were onboard, the intense refurbishment was instantly kicked into motion. Gray surveyed, produced drawings, designed the concept and detailed changes required, working alongside specialist architects on any structural issues. “Gray is passionate and enthusiastic, and was really able to listen to who we really are to help understand what we really wanted in our home,” says V, the client in question. “He doesn’t only choose the most expensive solutions to please the client but exactly what is in accordance to respect the nature of the house.”
DCE were appointed as the main contractors with SIC for joinery work, Pascal Stone for the polished cement finishes, Terravita for all landscaping and irrigation and D-Shop for the interior soft furnishings. In addition, other specialist contractors were brought in for specific elements such as wall murals and state of the art sound system installations.
True to his word, six months after the planning commenced, the teams hit the site to begin the transformation. The villa owners – who live and work abroad – were kept updated on the progress weekly, with detailed reports including all financials and also any hiccups along the way. “When you expose walls and floors,” explains Gray. “You can’t guarantee what the pipe work, electrics or hidden infrastructure will be like – in this case we discovered some concrete cancer that needed to be removed and treated. We adapt very quickly to anything that isn’t as easy as we’d presumed, but always keep the client in the loop.”
“It was such a relief to know everything would be alright because of Gray’s involvement – we really felt as though he treated the project as if it was his own house,” says V. “When you’re living abroad, and have a job, a house refurbishment overseas can be a nightmare, but we knew we could trust him.”
Materials, décor and furnishings were sourced from all over the world to meet the client’s taste, ranging from the unique lighting installations, creative wallpaper, bathroom fittings and a one-of-a-kind glass headboard for the master bedroom to a Balinese outdoor shower, bespoke tree house, Funktion One sound system and much, much more. “Gray has a talent and energy to push the people working with him to give their best, especially with details – everything has to be perfect and outstanding.”
With five bedrooms, two annexes, five terraces, a tennis court, huge infinity pool, separate staff quarters, an impressive underground nightclub and 40,000m2 forested area surrounding the property – which happens to be set at the highest point of the mountain – Gray predicts the property will continue to go up in value over time, and Amber Developments has just been appointed to continue with further external developments in 2015. The onsite work was completed within seven months, and ready for the clients to enjoy for their first Ibiza summer holiday of 2014.