To all of you who have asked me why ARVO?
In 2002 I wanted to found an architectural practice. At the time I had been an architect for ten years and I had designed and built many different kinds of buildings. The developers used to hang a poster on the site fence with their name or brand, the permit information, the contractor’s logo and my name asthe architect.
I always missed the names of all my colleagues who had participated in the design process, without whose help, I couldn’t have designed thosebuildings. The structural engineers, the ME P guys, the other architects, designers, technicians and administrative people in the office, all of them should have been somehow represented on that poster.
So I wanted to find a name that did not just represent myself but all these professionals who during the design process were a sort of a family.I thought of variations of my first surname, “de Juan” which had always been my identity since school. But my father had his own practice and you do not want to compete with your own family.
A few days before I had to go to the Notary to sign the company foundation, a good friend talked to me about a new record by a contemporary composer named ARVO PÄRT, I had never heard about this musician. My friend said the record was like the perfect combination of John Cage and Satie. I listened to it many times and had the cover it on top of one speaker in my living room. It had a clean and neat pale green cover with the composer’s name in caps and the title: Orient Occident. The day before I went to the Notary I decided ARVO would be the name of the practice. The word had some phonetic connection with architecture, the first two letters could refer to architecture in many languages, but what was most important, to me ARVO would always mean, space, neatness, beauty, and human relations across the world, the VALUES I wanted for my practice.
Some years later my father and I decided to make a joint venture and this is how we became arvoarquitecturadeJuan.