My name is Aldo Andreoli, A is the initial of my name, but A is also the initial of my last name, so my obsession with this letter of the alphabet started very early in life, as soon as I was able to pronounce and write my full name.
Back in Italy, during my school years, I was always the first of any list, with a few exceptions to the rule, for example when I had a class-mate called Abate, but this was a rare situation. Strangely enough my class section was always the A: Prima A, Seconda A, etc.
My main field of interest as a young man was to become a great Amante (Latin Lover), I had a strong passion for Automobili (to the point that I became a racing car driver), and I choose Architecture as a field of study.
I don’t remember exactly when I started to collect letters A, but every time I stumbled upon one of any kind, I bought it, stole it or simply took it for my collection.
During my studies in university my favorite architect was the Finnish Alvar Aalto, my favorite design magazine Abitare and my favorite lighting company Artemide.
After my A Plus graduation I formed my first company Aldo Andreoli Architetto.
After few years my love for travels led me to America, and particularly to New York, a city that was always in my dreams.
My first American wife, Anne, was a graphic designer, and she taught me a lot about fonts and many different ways to write the letter A, an important issue, in consideration of my profession: Aldo Andreoli Architectural Designer.
My move to New York happened in the late eighties: my favorite club was AREA in TriBeCa and SAVE THE ROBOTS in Avenue A. As soon as I bought my first car in the Usa, (an Audi) I joined AAA, and, to moderate my drinking behavior, at a certain point I decided going to some AA meetings.
Soon I discovered I didn’t like to work alone so I created my first American company: Aldo Andreoli & Associates.
After ten years in New York I moved to Sedona, Arizona, where I lived for seven years, before returning to New York, where I created a partnership with Architect Morris Adjmi: Adjmi & Andreoli and a few years later my own company: AA Studio.
In 2019 an old Italian friend of mine came back to New York from China. His name is Matthew Asinari. We know each others from our youth, because we were both spending every summer vacations in an Italian resort called Alassio, on the Liguria coast of Italy.
It seemed that our creative international experiences were somehow similar, so we decided to create a new company together.
One morning I woke up with the formula H2O in my mind, ACCA2O in Italian. The idea to turn it into H2A (Accaduea in Italian) was almost automatic and Matthew seemed to like the sound of it too.
Then we started to question: 2A stand for Andreoli and Asinari, but what about Aitch? It sounds good, but what about the meaning?
We left it unresolved for a while, but then one morning Matthew showed up at the office, looked at me and said: “H2A stands for Habitat to Art”. I looked at him and immediately replied: “Excellent!”
The rest is history.
Image by Etienne Prost