Bringing European Architecture to Southern Florida
How ARTEFACT is making a mark on the region's building scene.
ARTEFACT studio founder and managing principal Fabian Behague
Since opening the doors of its architectural design firm in Fort Myers in the spring of 2014, ARTEFACT studio has designed and built more than 750,000 square feet of corporate space, and the business is growing. Founder and managing principal Fabian Behague attributes the firm’s popularity to its modern European style and collaborative approach to project management.
Behague was born and raised in Brussels, Belgium. His fascination with architecture began during a high school field trip to Barcelona. He opened his own firm immediately upon graduating from the Institut St. Luc in Brussels in 1998. After moving to the U.S. in 2004, Behague settled in Miami, where he started acclimating himself to the American building scene.
IMPROVING LIFE, WORK AND LEARNING
In its official tagline, ARTEFACT studio promises to “Improve the way you live, work, and learn” through architecture. How can architecture improve human lives and work behavior?
One example is the Chico’s National Store Support Center in Fort Myers. Behague’s design was intended to enhance the existing buildings and encourage collaboration. The interior is designed as a “Main Street” that circulates traffic through the building and offers enough flexibility to accommodate shared company services.
Another example is the Gartner Training Center, also in Fort Myers. Behague’s design includes training and role-play rooms, enclosed private spaces for group meetings, and “project neighborhoods” designed to encourage brainstorming, idea generation and content creation.
TAKING CARE OF CLIENTS
ARTEFACT studio has doubled its number of projects each year since the firm opened. Much of that growth comes from repeat business.
Clients come back, according to Behague, because the firm takes good care of them every step of the way. ARTEFACT offers full design services, from client presentation to the completion of the project—closing the deal, walking through the final inspection, and moving into the space. ARTEFACT handles all the design and building elements internally, so customers don’t have to deal with multiple contractors. The firm also prides itself on delivering “outstanding results that are on time and on budget.”
In January 2017, the firm added interior design services by hiring Jackie Drake. Now the two designers, along with their support staff, are able to offer brand development, historic preservation and interior design as well as master planning and architecture.
A MIAMI LOCATION
ARTEFACT studio has recently opened a new office in Miami, in the Brickell district, adding two employees in that office to the six in the Fort Myers location. “Miami’s contemporary aesthetic parallels the design approach of ARTEFACT studio, and the scope, type, and vision of projects in Miami mirror our high standards,” says Behague. He sees the Miami expansion as a sort of homecoming. He’s had a hand in designing a number of the city’s defining landmarks, including the Port of Miami, the Florida International University Graduate School of Business, and the PLC Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, a mixed-use space with shops, apartments and parking.