You have been very successful in Buenos Aires with a fabulous hotel complex and a recognised art centre, named after you. Now the big Alan Faena District in Miami is finished. What is your driving force?
I love to transform. Transformation is very important to me. I love to transform landscapes, situations or people. Changing realities is exciting and therefore I love to connect with people through different situations. That is what we do by creating our hotels, forums and art centres. It is a dream and I like to dream.
What do you consider yourself in all these fantastic projects? What is your role?
Look, my final goal is healing, healing peoples’ inner and outer feelings and making them feel better. When we design an entrance hall, for example, we want people to feel elevated and enhanced – this is transformation. The people I work with understand this vocation of mine. I consider myself a bit of everything – a curator, director, conductor, well, I would say: I am a magician.
You have a flamboyant lifestyle and a theatrical interior design taste. Your designs are packed with reds, golds, blacks and unusual shapes and forms. Is this your signature style?
Yes, my interiors are full of happiness and positive vibes. You can easily identify it as my handwriting. The same goes for my clothes: I only wear white. When I was in the fashion business I only wore black.
What makes Miami Beach so special?
Miami is a fantastic place. A very special place. Again, it is a healing place – all the blues, the water, the sun, the greens … and all the people who come here are curious and come with an open mind and an open heart. That makes it so special.
And why should somebody visit Buenos Aires?
Because Buenos Aires is one of the most beautiful cities in the world! The creativity in this town is unbeatable, the cultural life is exciting and the people are very welcoming.
Which is the next attraction we will hear about that is named Alan Faena? A Faena complex, museum, hotel, art centre or even an entire Faena city?
Oh, these are huge projects. It took years to finish Miami. But when the time is right and the people are ready too, I could of course start again at another place.
You have developed a lot of remarkable hotels. What makes a perfect hotel?
It is always about fabulous service. Design, architecture and perfect service – this is the combination that makes a good hotel.
In all your hotels, guests can admire works by famous artists like the gold-plated dinosaur skeleton by Damien Hirst in the garden of the Faena Hotel Miami Beach. Which sort of art do you collect for yourself?
I would not call myself an art collector but I love to buy art by young Latin American artists from Argentina or Colombia or works by rising American artists. In short: I buy what I like.
“What was once an idea slowly turned into a laboratory for collective creation and a platform for the extraordinary; a reality that we proudly call the Faena District.” This is how the Faena empire is described. The newly established district in Miami Beach consists of a hotel, residences, a forum, an art centre, a theatre, bars, the restaurant Los Fuegos by Argentinian star chef Francis Mallmann and even a proper healing house. The spiritus rector of this gigantic project is the Argentinian hotelier and real estate developer Alan Faena, who made his name by redeveloping – together with his business partner Len Blavatnik – the abandoned docklands in the Puerto Madero neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, creating the most valuable real estate in the city. Faena used to be a fashion designer with his own company for ten years before he started the real estate and hotel business. Since then he has developed properties in Miami Beach, Florida, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is also the founder and president of the Faena Group and a member of the Tate International Committee and the New Museum Leaders Council. Together with his wife Ximena Caminos, the artistic director of the Faena Forum in Miami Beach, and their son, Faena resides in Miami, Buenos Aires, and Punta del Este, Uruguay.
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