Architect Anna Puigjaner imagines a future in which housing is suited to the needs of its inhabitants. Sometimes that happens to mean not having a kitchen. Her project “Kitchenless” has received the Wheelwright Prize from Harvard University, along with an endowment of $100,000 for research on existing models of communal residences worldwide.
Puigjaner and the other members of the Maio firm work alongside professionals from other disciplines in a beautiful spot in the Gracia district in Barcelona, which functions more as a co-working space than a conventional architectural office. The Maio team opted for this place in 2011, during the crisis, so in order to hold on to it they decided to open the space to other workers. In 2016 they could afford to be alone, but there isn’t any compelling reason for them to do it. This could be a summary of their philosophy and is surely one of the reasons why Puigjaner received the Wheelwright Prize, a unique prize among architecture awards as it doesn’t focus on a specific work or research but the relationship between the two, in direction and ideas.
She does the interview from her office and talks about the changes that lie ahead for the future of housing: