Bruno Viterbo Talks All Things Design
Written By: Erica Johnson
Photographed By: Nathan Whelan Irvine Company Apartment
Expert: Bruno Viterbo
Credentials: VP Design, Apartment Design Studio at Irvine Company Apartments
Q: How did you start working for the Irvine Company Apartments?
Bruno Viterbo: I led a boutique interior design firm in New York and had the opportunity
to work on some of the most iconic luxury hotels in the world. My work took me to places such as London, Berlin, China, Japan, and Indonesia. I’ve experienced first hand the way people live and what their aspirations are in places that have incredibly diverse cultures. This knowledge has proven to be very valuable in my work at Irvine Company because Orange County is a destination for people from all over the world, and the success in what we do is the result of understanding how to provide a living experience that fulfills the combined expectations of aesthetics, quality, community, social living and technology.
Q: What has been your favorite part of working for the Irvine Company Apartments?
BV: Irvine Company is a unique real estate organization. By way of its history and legacy, the leaders foster a culture of excellence in everything that we do. When you work at such a large scale, nothing is more exciting than knowing that the standards we have to meet are set by the most significant architectural references, by the most thoughtful creative artists and by a mission to create buildings that not only endure, but that ideally get better as time passes.
Q: What are your favorite ways to relax and unwind in OC?
BV: I grew up in Portugal, which has a coast that is very similar to Southern California—same ocean exposure, similar climate and attitudes. So I feel very much at home with the benefit that I have a whole new region to explore. I’ve lived here for three years, and I don’t think I have repeated many destinations, aside from the stretch of beach where my kids like to surf. I do love the opportunities to bike along the trails, and we have discovered some great food destinations! I usually tell my friends around the world that this is a place where all the West Coast postcards are real.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
BV: There is a phrase from a French writer that I heard my mother mention quite often while I was growing up: “True beauty is always unusual.” To me, that meant that in order for something to be truly special, we can never grasp it entirely. Design is a complex profession because everyone believes they have a valid opinion about aesthetics, so the way to surprise, the way to excite is by learning well the rules of good design and break them ever so slightly so we can create environments that are surprising every time people experience them.
Q: How has apartment living evolved in Orange County?
BV: Southern California has a long tradition as a market for high-quality apartment communities. The climate provides unique opportunities to create true indoor-outdoor experiences throughout the entire year. Most developers build on this tradition and in recent years we’ve seen a significant refinement of the “social living” aspects. While traditionally each area would have a very definitive purpose (pool, barbecue, clubroom, game room, dining room, etc.) we’re seeing a greater focus in the creation of activity hubs with flexible spaces that allow people to decide what they want to do and how they want to use them. The Great Room or lounge is a place where people can socialize, where they can take advantage of amenities like large-screen TVs and gourmet kitchens, where they can work in privacy or in a group, etc. Social media provides an additional layer to enhance the sense of community and how residents interact with one another.
Q: What are people looking for in luxury apartment living now?
BV: Premium finishes, high-end fitness centers and memorable social activity hubs are the base expectation for luxury living these days. Apartment communities that want to stand out have to build on that norm and create true convenience in the services they offer. The one thing people can’t buy is time and if their needs can be satisfied with ease then they can get full enjoyment of their living environment: fitness classes, cleaning services, car detailing, food delivery. Real luxury has to provide these amenities.
Q: How is Villas Fashion Island different than other luxury apartment communities?
BV: Villas Fashion Island is unlike any apartment building anywhere. It offers elegance, a sense of style and a level of detail that is unmatched. The community excels at all the attributes of a luxury residence: a gated arrival, valet parking, ultra high-end amenities like the fitness center, the cafe, the dining club, the lounge and the business center. It provides an elegant lifestyle reminiscent of a sophisticated resort.
The Mediterranean-inspired architecture and the mature landscape have a timeless feel that is unique for a new property. It benefits from the proximity to Fashion Island, one of the most attractive retail centers in the country, but it is also a secluded sanctuary on the inside with five pools that allow the residents to create their own environment with privacy. The apartments have large layouts with luxury condo level finishes. They were carefully planned with open kitchens for entertaining, large bedrooms, generous walk-in closets, tiled showers and the infrastructure for the best connectivity technology. And as expected, the level of service to satisfy all the needs of the residents is available through the concierge support. It truly is an incredible place to live.
Best Advice Ever Received: “True beauty is always unusual” was a French phrase Viterbo heard from his mother growing up. “To me, that meant that in order for something to be truly special, we can never grasp it entirely,” he added.
Villas Fashion Island
1000 San Joaquin Plaza
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Room & Board
3309 Hyland Ave, Ste A
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Check Out How the Irvine Company Apartment Communities Get Their Great Look