Villa Waterfall, located in Marbella and designed by Flow81 studio. Fernando Alda
Young architecture firm based on the Costa del Sol named among the top 40 in Europe

Young architecture firm based on the Costa del Sol named among the top 40 in Europe

The practice, which already employs 12 architects and engineers, is starting to branch out from designing luxury villas in Marbella and Sotogrande and work on big projects in the US

Jesús Hinojosa


Wednesday, 10 April 2024, 14:25


Young Malaga architecture firm Flow81 has been named among the best 40 in Europe.

Founded in 2016 by Ignacio Merino, Gonzalo Merino and Lourdes Arregui, Flow81 is one of the six Spanish prize-winners in the Europe 40under40 competition organised by the European Centre for Architecture, Artistic Design and Urban Studies in collaboration with architecture and design museum The Chicago Athenaeum. The honour means the local studio enters the list of the 40 most talented architects and industrial designers under the age of 40 on the continent.

Marbella and Sotogrande

Gonzalo Merino, one of the founders of the studio, which already employs 12 architects and engineers, said: "Almost without seeking it, we have become specialised in luxury villas and now there are many clients who look to us to build them a kind of à la carte homes". Merino, who is currently travelling to Miami, as the studio has begun to branch out beyond the Costa del Sol, has until now mainly worked on properties in Marbella and Sotogrande.

The firm's beginnings were the reformation of houses in Pedregalejo until they made the leap to exclusive areas such as La Zagaleta, which has made them specialise in serving foreign clients with high purchasing power.

Luxury villa

This is not the first recognition Flow81 has received. It has already received a special mention in the Junta's Andalucía Architecture Awards 2022, and the Special Young Work Award in the Architecture Awards 2022 of the Official College of Architects of Malaga for a luxury villa above a forest in Sotogrande.

The other winners of the Europe 40under40 awards come from Austria, Greece, France, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The Spaniards are Ignacio Merino, of Flow81 Architecture Lab SLP; Pablo López Prol, of PLP Atelier; Álvaro Moral García, of MADE.V Arquitectos; María Teresa Sánchez Táboas, of Gramática Arquitectónica; Yago Vaillo Usón, of Vaillo+Irigaray Architects and Cristina Vega Iglesias, of Burlat & Vega Architectes.

All the winning projects will be presented in the exhibition entitled 40 Young European Architects with New Visions, which will be inaugurated during the award ceremony at The European Centre in Athens in December this year. In addition, a special publication based on the exhibition will be published by Metropolitan Arts Press and will be available worldwide.

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