To understand the passion with which architect Guillermo Soto Vásquez talks about his profession, it is necessary to know his family history, the circumstances under which he received his academic training and the course of his career, which amounts to more than 20 years. Originally from Venezuela, he was born into a family of professionals, his father a civil engineer and his mother a chemical pharmacobiologist. So, as a child, he was in contact with the world of construction—first, through the curiosity caused by the plans he saw at home and, later, understanding how the lines printed on paper could become tangible works.
“From a technical and aesthetic point of view, I believe that from a young age I showed a vocation for architecture. It is a passion that was given to me in a very natural way. Over time, I recognized that it was calling my attention to not just design, but also to build. I have been very fortunate, as during my career I have been able to develop these two facets,” he explains.
In the mid-1980s, Soto moved to Mexico to begin his studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara. This decision was influenced by his interest in contemporary Mexican architecture, as well as in the cultural wealth and pre-Hispanic influences of our country’s architecture. With the support of a scholarship for exchange students, Soto was able to complete his degree and obtain a title endorsed by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. After this gratifying experience, he returned to Venezuela, where he successfully worked in the industry for 15 years. He founded his own construction company, established his architectural design office and even opened a carpentry shop to bolster his projects. Nonetheless, following this period of bonanza, he made the decision to return to the country that welcomed him as a student and start from scratch.
“For the development of any career, especially construction, you need a solid and stable economy that offers a capital gain on properties, in addition to legal security. With this, investments are sustained. For this reason, cities such as Puerto Vallarta experience strong development. Foreigners who wish to acquire a property see this place as a great opportunity, since they know they will see a profit in the future. Although the effects of an economic crisis were not felt in Venezuela at that time, I sensed a bit of what was coming for my country through my clients, who were big businessmen. Although it was very difficult, I made the decision to move to Mexico 12 years ago.”
Of course, this relocation involved great challenges; however, the architect’s talent, experience and commitment assured him strong performance in the Mexican industry, and in Puerto Vallarta he found an excellent place to practice his profession. Nowadays, through his company Lifeint Design, he offers a wide range of services related to architecture, construction and interior design, for projects of any scale, from remodeling a condominium to developing a tower. The firm’s team is composed of designers with extensive knowledge in aesthetics, international trends and lifestyle.
Soto emphasizes the originality of each of his projects, as he strives to generate avant-garde designs accompanied by personal touches. In this way, he achieves common ground between his artistic vision and the wishes of the owners. Execution is another key factor, and he notes that, in general, his clients also entrust him with this part.
“From the first idea or line on the plan, the architect has a clear intention and an inspiration. I love it when a client gives me the opportunity to direct both design and construction. It is a very big commitment, but I like it because I know that the result will be consistent and the finished space will look the same or better than the rendering. The client does not have to worry about the transition between the work of the architect and the builder to achieve a successful result,” he says.
In addition to considering the expectations and wishes of his clients, Soto takes into account the project’s environment. In Puerto Vallarta, for example, he takes advantage of the climate, views and natural beauty to create interior and exterior spaces that seem to blend, which is very attractive to residents, as they can fully enjoy the lifestyle by the sea.
Regarding the predominant trends in the city, he remarks that loft-type units are very much present in new constructions. On another note, he points out that incorporating new technologies, such as intelligent lighting and security systems, is beginning to emerge in the region, in addition to self-sustainable buildings, whether they have environmental certification or integrate elements such as solar panels. The Venezuelan believes that these models will be replicated in the near future, as competition in the bay grows, and soon developments will have to offer more innovative solutions. “Currently, there are many possibilities, and we architects need to stay updated. I love investigating, reading and taking courses whenever I have the opportunity, to be well prepared in this regard,” he concludes.