“I have always been extremely ambitious and eager to learn, experience and try new things. But I am learning now to take things a little slower and be a bit more selective with my commitments.”
As the new Director of Architecture at Lanpro, Founder of ITALIANspaceWISE + Quaderno and Trustee/Advisor for a range of other organisations and charities, it doesn’t look like Margherita’s losing too much pace. “Lanpro is one of the fastest-growing planning consultancies in the UK. I joined them as Director of Architecture in May to lead the further growth of our architectural design division through the nation-wide development of our architectural services, sector portfolio and client base.” The new role, she says, is the culmination of 20 years of international experience in education, hospitality, high-end residential and commercial projects.
“I am passionate about architecture as a holistic science which embraces different disciplines and creates extraordinary spaces,” Margherita says, and she is working to bring this multi-disciplinary approach to Lanpro. Currently based in Cambridge, UK, and working with division leads across the business, Margherita is leading the consultancy with integrated development services which combine sustainability and positive design. “I love bringing different disciplines into my projects to deliver the best result with the most adequate methodology. The built environment coupled with the sustainable agenda is extremely complex and requires knowledge and understanding from different disciplines. Lanpro has given me an exciting opportunity where I can expand, strengthen and grow our client base, architectural portfolio and regional influence.”
Margherita says that her favourite projects are often the ones which present the most challenges. “This might sound like a paradox,” she says, “but I enjoy working on projects where the budget is tight but the ambitions are high. I enjoy striking the right balance by implementing a creative approach and working with the design team to identify the best solution which will assure quality and positive sustainable design. Now, that’s’ challenging yet exciting!”
Her love of a good challenge stems, perhaps, from a childhood that Margherita describes as independent and tough. “I had to grow up very quickly due to the separation and divorce of my parents, as well as some familial health issues. My sense of independence and responsibility developed very strongly; I started earning money when I was 11, crafting and decorating show windows. Since then, I never really stopped, even when I had kids of my own. I should say, though, that I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone – not taking maternity leave. Take your time; enjoy motherhood and your babies.”
Creative from a very young age, Margherita says it was the nuns at her private catholic school who encouraged her on the path to architecture. “I studied arts and then moved to foreign languages and literatures in a private catholic school for five years. I kept drawing, sketching and painting, so much so that the nuns insisted on me applying to the Architecture University in Venice. It was the best encouragement ever!” She worried that the often strenuous nature of the architecture degree would be a strain on her and her family, but was able to earn a scholarship, work throughout and finish her studies in only 5 years.
The years that followed saw Margherita work internationally in the US, Italy, Canada, Russia and Africa, experience which she says opened her mind to alternative systems and approaches. “I enjoy the feeling of being totally absorbed in a new place. My passion for the world and different cultures is very strong. I can see how my international experience is now informing my designs; it’s a fascinating process.”
Last year, as COVID-19 decimated parts of Margherita’s beloved homeland, she decided to launch ITALIANspaceWISE + Quaderno, a digital hub and magazine to promote Italian brands, design, architecture and interiors. “This was my humble attempt to support Italian businesses and artisans who manufacture local treasures, with the hope of boosting the Italian economy in a post-COVID world.”
Looking ahead, Margherita says she is always seeking new opportunities to bring ‘outside-the-box’ thinking to design projects. She is excited about her role with Lanpro, generating new opportunities and creating inspirational spaces through positive design. She also hopes to continue connecting with any Italian design enthusiasts who want to be involved with ITALIANspaceWISE + Quaderno as writers or content creators.
“I love communicating with people. My ambition is to be able to work internationally, bringing in people and expertise from all over the world.”
To connect with Margherita, visit her on LinkedIn and check out ITALIANspaceWISE on Instagram.