Rene Van Zwieten fell in love with architecture and design when he was 18 years old and still in high school. In fact, he was drawn to the very specific subject of the classic style of design—he loves the historical value of architecture and buildings. He studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam before working for several design companies and eventually starting his own company, Rene Van Zwieten Contemporary Classic, in 2013. Since the beginning, the company set itself the goal of developing a new level of high- end design—one in which classical and modern influences reinforce one another.The company is dedicated to maintaining contemporary standards in high-end design, yet still remaining inspired by classical forms, structures and materials.

As such, the classical elements the company works with are always created with modern techniques, fabrics and style, and it never stops expanding. That was also the reason why he visited Jakarta last year, when he spent time to talk with Indonesia Tatler Homes. 

ITH: Tell us about the moment when you finally decided to became an architect.

RVZ: The first time I was introduced to the world of design was by my girlfriend when I was 18. She was three years older than me and was studying Architecture History in college. I accidentally saw one of her books on the table entitled The Language of Postmodern Architecture by Charles Jencks. Since discovering that book, I decided I wanted to become an architect.

ITH: how do you describe your style?

RVZ: Contemporary classic: the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome combined with a modern essence. Everything in my design comes from the classical world.

ITH: tell us about the evolution of your work, from the beginning until now.

RVZ: There are a lot of differences between my old and new works. When I started, all my designs were based on the clients’ wants and needs. But as time passed, I started to do my own designs in a contemporary classic style. Now I combine the identity of the client with my own style of design.

ITH: Which project has been your favourite?

RVZ: All of them are my favourites, but of course the best are when the result is what the client wants and what I want as well.

ITH: What is your dream project?

RVZ: It depends on who the client is; my design is all about the client. My dream project would be grounded in a classical theme yet reflecting the owner’s lifestyle.

ITH: how do you decribe Jakarta in three words?

RVZ: It’s really hard to describe Jakarta in three words, since there are so many things going on in this city. It’s a really magical city.

ITH: Where do you get your inspiration?

RVZ: From a lot of places, but mostly from my travels to cities around the world. I always get inspired by the culture and the lifestyle. Just like Jakarta.

ITH: Can you imagine yourself not being an architect?

RVZ: No, I cant. For me, design is a part of my life—it’s my way of living.