+Cassia, Archetype Group ink strategic pact, eye Vietnam expansion

15:48 | 02/12/2017 Society

(VEN) - Global design firms, +Cassia and Archetype Group, have struck a strategic alliance to design and develop luxury projects in the Asia-Pacific region, by first expanding their Vietnam market presence.

Jean-Paul Cassia (left) and Pierre-Jean Malgouyres

Jean-Paul Cassia, Managing Director and Architect Editor of +Cassia, and Pierre-Jean Malgouyres, General Director of the Archetype Group, spoke to Vietnam Economic News’ My Phung about their alliance, assessment of and plans for the Vietnamese market.

What brought you together?

Cassia: Searching for the ‘right’ projects and ‘partners’ is easier said than done. On a routine trip to Asia recently, I was struck by how fast Pierre-Jean and I saw eye-to-eye on where the forefront of design lies. Instantly, I knew the Archetype Group was the player we wanted to position in our stellar group of designers and brands across Asia Pacific. I am delighted to be working with Pierre-Jean and his impressive team, a great French team with spirit and flair.

Malgouyres: After 15 years of success in Asia Pacific, our technical versatility is now being enhanced through design and marketing that helps leverage our projects. It’s all about striking a balance between consulting expertise and mainstream content and I couldn’t be more pleased to be working with Jean-Paul Cassia and his outstanding team.

How do you assess Vietnam’s real estate potential, especially in the high premium segment?

Cassia: The +Cassia and Archetype Group alliance’s plan to expand in the Asia Pacific region begins with Vietnam. Vietnam is catching up with regional development thanks to the government’s economic policies that encourage foreign investment. Vietnam has become a more important emerging market with the promise of a bright future, so we are excited to explore this new market. That is why we are here; to move forward together with Archetype, who has solid experience in the country.

Malgouyres: After many years of experience and witnessing the growing Vietnamese market, I see Vietnam still has a lot potential for luxury projects despite the recent slowdown. We are here to look for more high-end and premium projects that are unique, typical and always in demand, so we see a lot of development opportunities.

What are some key projects you’ve worked on to position your company in this sector in the Asia Pacific region in general and Vietnam in particular?

Cassia: Founded in 1958, +Cassia is a branded design consultancy offering services in architecture, interior designing, branding and marketing. Our firm’s reputation is based on the brand we have built up over decades of experience in various markets. We have seen the rise of brands and social medial as opportunities for designers to introduce more content in our work. Today, people value content and the quality that branded design offer, so our services are very new in that we holistically merge brand DNA with real estate through a solid consulting office.

We aim to design spaces that make people feel connected, allow for a great lifestyle and bring a clear identity the owners can identify with. Each and every fascinating design we come up with is just like drawing a different special story, which is as much about the Developer than the brands we propose.

We are proud of what we have contributed to well-known projects in the world. One of them is City Stars Heliopollis, one of the largest commercial developments in the Middle East today. With a total built-up area of about 850,000sq.m and a perimeter of 1km, this project occupies an entire city block and is the largest project undertaken by +Cassia to date.
Another project is the W Hotel Abu Dhabi that is still under construction. This project is a 234,000sq.m mixed-use hospitality development in Abu Dhabi, which comprises of three residential blocks of 325 branded units, a 275 key W Hotel, a commercial retail area and a destination Hammam (SPA). Ongoing projects include the Boardwalk Al Zorah, a branded residential and serviced apartment complex designed under the yoo brand with Philippe Starck, whereby +Cassia is the architect. This project is all about lifestyles, beach front living and extraordinary public amenities never-before-seen in Dubai.

The association between brand and real estate has become more and more important today, especially in an emerging market like Vietnam as it allows developers to leverage their projects strategically above the competition. Hence, we are confident about conquering the luxury segment here in Vietnam in the future.

Archetype Group’s project: Amano’i Resort

Malgouyres: Founded in 2002 and with more than 1,100 employees across 15 countries and 20 offices now, the Archetype Group is one of the largest private construction consultancies in the Asia Pacific region. We are also one of the top 100 architectural firms with core services in architecture design and master planning, building and infrastructure engineering, industrial and process engineering, and project, construction and cost management.

With the vision of being a preferred world-class construction consultancy in all key, fast changing markets, the Archetype Group has engaged in projects that position us well in the region and Vietnam. These include Capital Place (Four Seasons Hotel) in Jakarta, Indonesia, Mahanakhon Tower in Bangkok, Thailand, and some prominent projects in Vietnam like the La residence Hotel and Spa in Hue, Amano’i in Vinh Hy, Marriott Hoi An Resort in Hoi An, Sofitel Metropole (Renovation & Extension), Vinhomes Sky Lake in Hanoi, Saigon Pearl in Ho Chi Minh City and so on.

My Phung