Learning from Ricardo: an unpublished recent talk with Ricardo and Victor Legorreta by Carlo Ezechieli

San Antonio Library, Texas / Photo by John W. Schulze via flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/gruenemann/

In memory of Ricardo Legorreta (May 7, 1931 – December 30, 2011), Carlo Ezechieli (Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Architecture Politecnico di Milano, Principal of CE-A Architects) has shared with us his story of discovering Ricardo Legorreta’s work and his recent interview with Ricardo and his son, Victor Legorreta.

The first time I came in contact with Ricardo Legorreta’s work, was back in 1998. Of course I was familiar with his name, particularly due to Kenneth Frampton’s “Critical Regionalism” writings, but I actually did not know much about his architecture. One day I happened to visit the Camino Real Hotel in D.F. which, according to my hosts, it was something that had to be seen, although none of us was really knew what architect had designed it. I was totally amazed. The entrance, an extraordinary space, was filled up by the sound and movement of an unconventional fountain that resembled the ocean waves. The interior was a huge, astounding introverted and essential translation of Pre-Hispanic monumental spaces. I was surprised to learn, later on, that this very contemporary building dated back to 1968 and was completed when Legorreta was not even 40.

I did not have many chances to meet Ricardo privately, nevertheless I believe that the few meetings we had, were sufficient to learn something really important from him in terms of ethics, approach to work and, eventually, attitude towards life in general. Ricardo Legorreta was the author of incredible works and was a great innovator exactly because he was able to move and orient himself, with complete freedom, within the coordinates of a culture and a tradition that he knew deeply and to which he felt he belonged totally. He did this always avoiding “architect’s” bizarre and unneeded brain-waves and remembering “not to take oneself too seriously”. A set of values, too often forgotten, that emerge from his narration in this interview and which finds full continuity in his son Victor. His death, last December 30, leaves a deep sense of sorrow and loss.

Continue reading for Ezechieli’s exclusive interview with Ricardo and Victor Legorreta. 

See Through Townhouses / Suzane Reatig Architecture

© Robert Lautman & Suzane Reatig

Architects: Suzane Reatig Architecture 
Location: 506 O Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Year Completed: 2006
Photographs: Robert Lautman & Suzane Reatig


Tanum Karl Johan Bookstore / JVA

Architects: JVA
Location: Karl Johans gate, , Norway
Client: Tanum AS
Size: Bookstore ca. 750 sqm, Offices ca. 225 sqm
Completion: 2011
Consultants: RISS AS, Linda Knoph Vigsnæs/LYSSTOFF
Primary architects: Einar Jarmund, Håkon Vigsnæs, Alessandra Kosberg, Siv Hofsøy, Ane Sønderaal Tolfsen, Paul Henri-Hann, Jens Herman Næss
Photographs: Courtesy of JVA


Kimball Art Center Shortlist

BIG Proposal - Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group

In 1976, art enthusiast Bill Kimball transformed the 1929 Kimball Bros automotive garage into a non-profit community center for the visual arts, now known as the Kimball Art Center. Located in the heart of downtown Park City, , the non-profit center serves as a gathering place for individuals to experience art through education, exhibitions and events. The aging historic building is in need of restoration and an addition that will allow the organization to increase their educational outreach and enhance the quality and scale of the exhibitions, while maintaining free admission to the public.

BIG, Brooks + Scarpa, Sparano + Mooney Architecture, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, and Will Bruder + Partners LTD are the five architects selected to submit final proposals for the transformation of the Kimball Art Center.

Continue after the break to watch each firm’s introductory presentation.

Mine Plug: Didactic Subterranean Architecture

© Brandon Mosley

The Mine Plug proposal, by recent Louisiana Tech graduate Brandon Mosley, explores an innovative technique for appropriating a now defunct mine shaft in the once thriving city of Picher, Oklahoma. The city which peaked at a population of almost 20,000 during the mining boom of the 1900’s, has since suffered the inevitable after effects of such environmentally destructive activities. Designated as a superfund site in 1981 by the EPA, the state of Oklahoma began offering buyouts for residents to relocate in 2005. The remnants from years of lead and zinc mining have left mountains of waste called “chat” on the peripheries of the town, as well as contaminated water and over 14,000 underground voids that threaten the stability of the town above. Read more after the break.

Culture Cluster / SeARCH

© Christian Richters

Architects: SeARCH
Location: Enschede,
Project Team: Bjarne Mastenbroek & Uda Visser
Assistants: Remco Wieringa, Ton Gilissen, Thomas van Schaick, Ad Bogerman, Wesley Lanckriet, Guus Peters, Alan Lam, Alexandra Schmitz, Fabian Wallmüller, Mónica Carriço, Nolly Vos w/ Frisly Colop, Michael Drobnik, Noëmi Vos, Bert van Diepen
Client: Gemeente Enschede, DMO
Contractor: Heijmans IBC Van den Belt VOF
Interior Design: Opera Ontwerpers (exhibition design)
Completion Date: 2008
Project Area: 12,000 sqm
Photographs: Christian Richters

A brief guide for recently hired interns

A brief guide to recently hired Architectural interns at Svehn-Björner-Rödskägg Design Collective:

- If you take the last cup of coffee, make a new pot, and return your key-card to Anneka. She will escort you out of the building.

- Remove shoes prior to entering the contemplation gallery. Do NOT place shoes on the stainless steel bench outside the glass doors.

- All details will be drawn full scale, using standard Swedish proportions.

- The Lutefisk in the refrigerator is left over from last night. It’s supposed to smell that way, do not throw it out.

Dead Sea Resort & Opera House / Accent Design Group

overview 01

The main concept in the Resort & Opera House by Accent Design Group is to create a resort that naturally blends in this special site, by having the built up areas merge naturally with the surroundings, appearing as terraces in the landscape. These terraces, or strips, would contain the individual housing units, amidst a natural/artificial landscape of palm trees and water pools. The idea again is to have something that infringes as little as possible on the experience of the Dead Sea, and that would provide an antidote to the other reigning ideas of suburban recreational facilities, which create completely artificial surroundings. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Museum Rüsselsheim / Heinrich Böll Architekt

© Thomas Mayer

Architects: Heinrich Böll BDA DWB 
Location: Rüsselsheim,
Client: City of Rüsselsheim
Project year: 2011
Structural Engineer: Imagine structure, Frankfurt
Mechanical Engineer: ZWP, Wiesbaden
Fire engineering: BSCON Brandschutzconsult GmbH, Essen
Photographs: Thomas Mayer 


Inconvenient Space / Maziar Behrooz

Special thanks to Maziar Behrooz for sharing this lecture with us! Filmed during a PechaKucha event at the Parrish Art Museum, we enjoyed a good laugh while watching and hope you do, too.  Behrooz’s selections made us wonder, what’s your favorite “inconvenient” piece of architecture?  Be sure to share your thoughts below.

Courtesy of Cornell University

Design Tactics and the Informalized City Symposium

Informality, which was first categorized and described in the 1970s, is now pervasive — across cities, in the places we live, work, and move through the everyday. For many, the informal is no longer a discrete sector appended to the…

Helix Bridge / Cox Architecture with Architects 61

© Christopher Frederick Jones

Architects: Cox Architecture + Architects 61 
Location: The Helix at Raffles Avenue and Bayfront Bridge, 
Project Year: 2010
Cost at completion of construction: SGD$82,900,000
Project Area: 1379.08 sqm
Project Team: Philip Cox, Michael Rayner, Hang Chung Ling, Spyros Barberis, Lynn Heng, Michael Ngu, Siti Suriah Taib, Sunita Menon.
Consultant Team: Arup – Structural consultant, Arup – Civil consultant, Arup – Mechanical consultant, Arup – Electrical consultant, Arup – Lighting consultant, Tierra Design – Landscape consultant, Davis Langdon Seah – Cost Consultant.
Construction Team: Sato Kogyo (S) Pte Ltd – Builder
Photographs: Christopher Frederick JonesAngus Martin



Wimmer Medien Business Center and Urban Development / Atelier Thomas Pucher

The proposal for the Wimmer Medien Business Center and Urban Development in Linz, Austria by Atelier Thomas Pucher… recently won the third prize in the international invited competition. Their main concept is the creation of a 33,600 m2 gross floor area central public

Costanera Lyon / Eugenio Simonetti + Renato Stewart

© Nico Saieh

Architects: Eugenio Simonetti +
Location: Santiago,
Design Team: Juan Santa Maria, Danilo Magni, Alvaro Romero
LEED certification (Silver): Energy ARQ
Lightning: Oriana Ponzini
Structure: Eduardo Spoerer
Client: Inmobiliaria Almahue S.A.
Year: Costanera Lyon 1, 2009-2011 (Completed), Costanera Lyon 2, 2011-2013 (Under construction)
Area: 42,000 sqm
Photographs: Nico Saieh, Guy Wenborne, Ana Maria Pincheira

Open Call for Entries: The Next Issue of Scroope, The Cambridge Architecture Journal

Open Call for Entries: The Next Issue of Scroope, The Cambridge Architecture Journal

Drawing on the celebration of the Cambridge Department of Architecture’s Centenary, the next issue of Scroope, the Cambridge Architecture Journal will focus on the development of teaching, practice and research in architecture over the last century and speculate about the…

Student Salon The LSE London School of Economics / Feix & Merlin Architects

© Andy Matthews

Architects: Feix & Merlin Architects
Location: St. Clements Lane, LSE Campus in Holborn, London,
Client: The LSE London School of Economics
Constructor: Sykes & Son Limited
Use: Student Salon – a social space for the Students of the LSE
Project Area: 30 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Andy Matthews

House In Machalí / HLPS

© Marcos Mendizabal & Martín Labbé

Architects: HLPS – Carolina Portugueis, Martín Labbé
Location: ,
Project area: 300 sqm
Project year: 2008 – 2011
Photographs: Marcos Mendizabal, Carolina Portugueis, Martín Labbé

Dieter Rams 10 Principles of “Good Design”

© René Spitz via flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/renespitz/

As the New Year begins, architects and designers everywhere for the latest information in hopes to find inspiration to provide them with ample amounts of motivation. Unsure of my inspiration, I found myself reading Neither Restrospective, Nor Predictive: Dieter Rams & Design of Self on the Semantic Foundry WordPress. I was then reminded of the famous German industrial designer and his ten principles of “good design”. The straightforward list lays down key points, clearly stating what makes a good design. This information is a timeless source of inspiration that most any designer can appreciate.

Continue reading for Dieter Rams Ten Principles of “Good Design”