20 years Studio Acht
We would like to start out by saying that 20 years of existence is something we are proud of achieving. But also, we realize that it didn’t come easy and we should be thankful for the colleagues, clients and partners that have made it all possible. It has given us a strong position and a unique view on both the industry as well the countries we operate in. We’re grateful to be able to have had /and continue to have such an impact on different communities through our services.
So let’s start at the beginning!
A long time ago, the Studio Acht architectural brand was created by a group of friends and colleagues, whom mostly met during their study period. As they had the same interests (including smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, mind you this was during the college days), this “click” later grew into an excellent collaboration of individual and independent operating offices located in The Netherlands, England, Czech Republic and Curacao.
The Curacao branch, formally named Studio Acht-Caribbean Architects B.V., was founded by Mr. Bruce van Hesteren 20 years ago. About 13 years later, in 2011, Studio Acht St. Maarten B.V. was founded as its sister company. Together both companies operate as Studio Acht.
Bruce made sure that the company secured a good reputation as an architectural firm, while delivering high quality products regarding architectural- and project management services.
In 2010, Bruce entrusted both Enrico Ramlakhan and Harm Rooijakkers to become shareholders of Studio Acht. They had both been working at Studio Acht respectively since 2007/2008 and this was a welcome new step in the partnership. Sadly, Bruce suddenly passed away in 2017, after being the head as well as the motor behind Studio Acht for many years. It’s been an understandably delicate transition period but Enrico and Harm will continue Bruce’s legacy as owners and directors of the firm.
Bruce van Hesteren
Studio Acht was involved in numerous projects on Curacao and other islands in the Caribbean. Our clientele mainly consists of private owners and private companies. However, Studio Acht is also involved as an architect and project manager in government and semi‐government projects. Our most memorable projects and clients over the past 20 years include:
- Van den Tweel Supermarket (formerly Albert Heijn), both in Curacao and Bonaire;
- Pietersz Dirstribution
- Bureau Telecom and Post
- The Shore Apartments – Bluebay Golf & Beach Resort
- Renaissance Hotel – Curacao
- Algemeen Pensioenfonds van Curacao
We’ve also enjoyed the benefits of mutual cooperation with other architects and realized a number of projects together with our partners over the years.
The construction- and real estate sector keeps changing, with the financial market being closely related. Our 20 years have taught us to stay one step ahead of these changes and to make sure we shift our services accordingly. We know what to focus on in the future. With this knowledge, we set out to provide far more advanced products and efficiency, resulting in lower operating costs and lower costs for our prospected clients. This includes implementing high output technical soft/hardware and standardizing several of our products to accommodate clients.
On the other hand, it’s also very interesting to see what current technical advances have made possible. It’s a world of difference seeing what was possible in 1998 and what’s possible now.
It gives us an extra appreciation for our colleagues that delivered great work in that time but also for those who grow with the industry.
Over the years we have expanded our activities to other parts of the Caribbean (St. Maarten, Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, Dominica) as well as Surinam and the Netherlands. The magnitude of the projects in our portfolio varies from small reconstruction projects to big housing and utility buildings, with construction costs that can range from a few thousand to several million dollars.
All of this wouldn’t be possible without having the right team. After all, our team makes Studio Acht what it is today and we make it a priority to create an environment where expertise, cooperation, and innovation is properly implemented and increased where possible. We want our team to grow, to be able to use their knowledge and to be happy with their role in the company.
This is what we’ve set out to do in the last 20 years, for Studio Acht to always be a place where you learn and grow while being part of team. It is with this mentality that we’ve helped directly and indirectly shape the industry on Curacao.
Currently Studio Acht has 10 skilled full time employees. We have a well-balanced team and have a unique mixture of creativity, cultural backgrounds and of course expertise. It’s important for us to keep adapting. It is this adaptability that is necessary for us to keep delivering the quality that we as Studio Acht promise.
Now, 20 years have passed. Some may say that it’s a long time, some may say that it passed by too quick. We, as Studio Acht, can simply say that we have 20 years of added experience. Colleagues have come and gone, tears have been shed, fun has been had, projects have been realized, problems have been encountered and solved, difficult investment periods have been overcome. All of it has resulted in making us the company we are now. From a technical standpoint it has made us hone in our skills, to realize what we’re good and where we need to improve. It has increased our attention to detail and improved our execution. We have learned to adapt to every specific situation, still delivering the optimal result.
From a personal standpoint, it has made us realize that we can achieve a lot together. What we chose to dedicate our careers to has an impact on the daily lives of people, on the daily dealings in other companies, and even in other countries.
We are looking towards the next 20 years, providing our services, and serving you, our clients and partners in the best way we know how.
The Studio Acht team