The building resilience series Lucas Freire Architecture: Invest your way out of a crisis

Library Life — published 31/05/21

At The Library Group, we have been very fortunate to have loyal members, who have stayed with us throughout a very tough 2020 and 2021. We were curious to get our members talking on how they stay motivated this last year. The first of our interviews is with Pedro Lucas Freire, the owner of Lucas Freire Architecture and a member at The Library Ambiorix.


Pedro, tell us a bit about your business

As an architecture practice, we look for the balance between our clients’ needs and dreams and the execution on fine details, creating tasteful environments.
From residential and interior design to commercial design, we believe in harmonious and functional spaces. We work hard and we are here to help whether you want to invest, build the house of your dreams, renovate or redo your retail space. We also take care of administrative dossiers, regularisations, etc. You name it, we do it!


How did you stay motivated during the last years and do you have any advice on building resilience for tough times?

When you do what you love, that’s all the motivation you need. My ongoing hope is that we will keep getting good clients, who value our work, understand the worth of our services and pay us correctly – that’s our motivation right there.
And I can say that in view of the total picture, we are fortunate. This time (during the Covid-19 crisis), I adopted a different attitude. While I saw everyone becoming defensive, I decided to invest: Increase the staff, renew the website, pay for advertisement, move to a bigger office and keep a positive focus.

It gives a good feeling to the team and to new clients to see that business is just as usual.


If you could give us some tips on how to improve the value of a home, what would you recommend that we invest in?

If you own a building/house already, and you have enough garden at the back, it’s always a good investment to extend your living area. That increases the total surface of the house and one day, when you sell it, you can make a big profit.
If you are to buy a building/house, look for something really old/damaged/neglected. That will cost much less and leave you budget for the renovation. It will also give you more freedom to upgrade it the way you want. Almost from scratch.
The plus point of renovating lies also on the 6% VAT, against the 21% of building new.


Pedro, you are an architect and originally from Portugal. What are your thoughts on architecture in Brussels in general?

Brussels is undoubtedly an immensely rich city in terms of Art Nouveau, Belle Epoque, Art Deco and so on. There are magical streets one finds when strolling around Brussels.
In terms of modern days, we talk mostly about big developments, apartment buildings, office towers, etc. Although, here and there very interesting renovations are often found that respect the soul of the building and give it a fresh, contemporary twist.
I’m always happy to meet new clients who, for example, purchase a very old building and want to preserve the strongest features, but get it up-to-date with an increased spatial quality, better materials and combined aesthetic.


To contact Pedro at Lucas Freire Architecture or see their work, please have a look here

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