European Enterprise Award 2020

EU BUSINESS NEWS / 2020 European Enterprise Awards 17 , Best Architecture & Urban Design Practice – Italy UrbanismPlanning Architecture Italia (UPA Italia) is an architectural firm, owned and run by Paolo Lettieri, and based inMilano. With a passion for design and a sensitivity to what client’s require, the firmhas placed itself firmly at the top of its game. Nov20673 For more than 20 years, Paolo Lettieri Architecture had been engaged in complex architectural projects and, in 2009, the firm joined forces with UPA consultancy in Abu Dhabi. This prompted Paolo to create UPA Italia, which was founded as “the Italian signature of the UPA group” specially to develop the high- quality architecture and complexity of engineering, interior design and master planning with Italian design style and quality. “At UPA Italia, our main goal is to design and then build useful projects for our clients and the end user,” explains Paolo. “Our buildings must be efficient and comfortable to use, as well as beautiful, technologically advanced and flexible for future changes.” Clients typically consist of public entities, including ministries of public works and education, or organisations such as private schools, clinics, sports societies and also real estate developers. The firm can offer many more services other than simply architecture and engineering, such as interior design, due diligence, project management and site supervision. Paolo continues to tell us that the design and construction of a building is a long and complicated process and so UPA Italia aims to help the client by respecting their vision, mediating and evaluating the needs of the other stakeholders within the project. “We assist and advise the client with sensitivity and attention, trying to mediate their needs and points of view with the numerous constraints,” he says. “This is achieved with sensitivity combined with our love for design and a passion for making beautiful, comfortable and efficient Italian design architecture.” UPA Italia’s main competitors are Italian international architectural firms, in particular those who operate in Milan and internationally. Paolo believes that the firm’s strength, and what differentiates it from others operating in the same space, is being able to satisfy its clients’ needs combined with a love for design and a passion for making beautiful, comfortable and efficient Italian design architecture. “Every project is unique because we do not assume the right to impose our vision or pre-packaged design,” he enthuses. “20 years of experience in different geographical areas with diverse cultures has led us to be cultural mediators being able to combine the charm and elegance of Italian design, with European efficiency and quality.” Another key strength is UPA Italia’s tailored approach to the project and to the client as, for Paolo, every project is unique because it arises from the sensitivity towards the client needs, their culture, the environment and the location. Currently in Europe and Italy, the construction sector is evolving rapidly: despite being one of the industrial sectors that is less technologically developed. PropTech has been experiencing many evolutions and innovations in recent years, from the use of new design software such as BIM, to the use of virtual reality for the design or the use of new platforms for various services or the more radical introduction of technologies like Blockchain for Real Estate. The pandemic is penalizing the construction sector and certainly after this period many things will have to be rethought that were once taken for granted. Although there has been a very strong acceleration in many areas such as the use of office spaces VS smart working, spaces for restaurants VS food delivery, commercial spaces VS online sales. “The challenge is to interpret correctly the changes and to be able to offer innovative services that can be exploited in a more profitable way and with less economic and social losses.” Looking ahead to what the future holds, Paolo and UPA have great plans for growth and further expansion globally. “We are making a joint venture to enter the Indian market with infrastructure projects such as hospitals, in addition to the goal of regaining the Russian market with a commercial presence in Moscow and St. Petersburg”. “These actions are accompanied by a rebranding of the studio in order to create a revitalised image, putting authentic and genuine Italian design at the forefront.” Company: Urbanism Planning Architecture Italia Contact: Architect Paolo Lettieri Website: Abu Dhabi Ladies Club