Rodrigo Paramo Martinez has designed the interiors of glamorous residences of the King of Spain, Madonna, Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Princess of Jordan. He talks about his design principles

Designing homes of some of the world’s top celebrities - music star Madonna, football sensations Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernando Torres and the royal home of Princess of Jordan – is not Rodrigo Paramo Martinez’s preferred work. Architecture and design is bigger and beyond constructing glamorous residences of celebrity clients, for this 38-year-old Spanish architect who is on a month-long holiday in Kerala. He recently gave a talk on his architectural tenets at the Institute of Indian Architects (IIA) in the city.

An interior architect specialising in 3D, Rodrigo lives in Burgos and works for A-cero, a company which has projects across the world. It has designed most of the homes in La Finca in Madrid, where some of the wealthiest sports stars own homes such as Zinedine Zidane, Fernando Torres and Raul Gonzalez.

Rodrigo loves designing for clients who appreciate the different nuances of design. His 3D interpretation allows for close simulation of a structure before it is constructed. As a 3D specialist his services are required to advise on elements such as the flow of air and the fall of light in the interior of a house.

This, at times, necessitates changes in the exterior too. “I don’t think design is the outcome of a single person’s abilities. It requires communication between the artist, writer, engineer and such. It is the maximum concept of art,” he says, comparing it to a music concert where different strains meet in symphony.

Minimalist style

Rodrigo prefers minimalist style, where less is more. “This or that, I would say, put nothing,” he says citing an example of a client who wished to place lamps at different parts of the house. Rodrigo advised him to leave the room bare. Instead he opened a slit in the roof to allow a slant of natural light. At night, a streak of electric light would fall from the top.

Though designing for celebrities is a small part of architecture it affords the luxury of big budgets and fancy dreams. It allows a designer to work with flourish. It also means pandering to their “eccentricities, whims and fancies”. Rodrigo discloses many such fanciful desires - about a request to build a special room to store just perfumes, to construct a huge garage, “like a house” to park 20 cars, of it being the entrance and most stylish room.

“The main aspect of designing a celebrity home is to have zones - public, semi-public and a very private zone, where the paparazzi cannot get access.” Ronaldo wished for his initials, CR, to embellish his home. So CR, ingrained in silver on black marble, adorns the floor. It runs as a motif through the house. He wished for huge posters of himself in the house, something that Rodrigo thinks is “not good interior” but has placed them “in the rooms and even in the shower!”

Pencil drawing

Rodrigo has 15 years of experience in the field and teaches at the University of Burgos. He loves basic drawing with a pencil. Though he is a practitioner of minimalist design he draws inspiration from ornate, medieval, Moorish and other architectural forms. The fountains in the garden of Alhambra in Granada are imbued in his design as in the living room of singer Madonna’s home in Jumeraih called project, ‘Earth Of Europe,’ which is currently on hold. Here the living room is partially under water and the filtered light lends a dramatic effect.

Currently Rodrigo is working on a proposal to modernise one of the homes of the King of Spain. He is also working on a project in Gurgaon, his first in India, where he is making six upmarket residential homes.

Kerala soothes Rodrigo. He loves its gentle, earthy feel and is unhappy about the high rise buildings here. “Kochi is near the water. It has a communication with the land. Houses here should be closer to the earth,” he feels and is appalled at the spread of apartment buildings spoiling the palm frond skyline. “The architect should never forget his/ her target, which is the people. It should sense the human scale,” says Rodrigo who lives in a small town, away from the hectic life of Madrid, for giving his family, wife Silvia and two sons, a good quality of life. Kochi, he feels, affords this high quality of life.