Why a luxury developer is now building affordable prefab homes by famous designers

Robbie Antonio's company has commissioned designs from acclaimed architects such as Jean Nouvel, Kengo Kuma and even the late Zaha Hadid

Oct.October 20, 2018 04:00 PM

Developer Robbie Antonio, 41, is forging a new path for prefabricated construction with his three-year-old startup, Revolution Precrafted.

During a visit to New York last month, Antonio sat down with The Real Deal to talk about his company, which is the first based in the Philippines to reach unicorn status within two years.

Antonio founded the company in December 2015 and a Series B funding round in 2017 valued the company at over $1 billion.

Though Antonio is part of an increasingly crowded space of prefabricated builders, his venture stands apart because he commissioners celebrated architects–like Jean Nouvel, Kengo Kuma and the late Zaha Hadid to name a few–to design his prefabricated structures. One of his recent commissions was created by New York-based design studio Stærk&Christensen, which is jointly run by former supermodel Helena Christensen and designer Camilla Stærk.

Before Revolution Precrafted, Antonio was known as a luxury developer, working for his father’s company, Century Properties, on branded projects such as Trump Tower Manila, as well as towers for Armani, Missoni and Versace.

Antonio is also famous for building a roughly $15 million home, which he named “Stealth.” The house was designed by Rem Koolhaas–the architect’s first residential project in more than a decade–and featured a gallery of self-portraits Antonio commissioned from artists including David Salle and Takashi Murakami.

When asked about his personal home, Antonio ended his interview with TRD and attempted to have footage from the camera seized before later agreeing to answer the question on the record: “One of the impetuses for me creating Revolution was because everyone wanted to see my house [Stealth],” he said. “I am giving the opportunity unlike anyone, or any business, to buy a Pritzker Prize-designed house for over $100,000–a fraction of what I did spend, so I think I’m actually doing something good here.”

The annually-awarded Pritzker Prize is widely considered the most acclaimed award in the profession of architecture.

Today, Antonio continues his role as managing director for Century, the family business, alongside running his startup. Check out the video above for part of his interview.

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