Spotlight: Alejandro Zaera-Polo

© Princeton University, Office of Communications, John Jameson (2012)

Alejandro Zaera-Polo is an internationally recognized architect and scholar and founder of London, Zurich and Princeton based firm & Maider Llaguno Architecture (). First rising to prominence in the 1980s with his writings for publications such as El Croquis, Zaera-Polo has had a prolific career in both the academic and professional realms of architecture.

Alejandro Zaera-Polo Steps Down as Princeton’s Dean of Architecture

Courtesy of Princeton University Office of Communications, © John Jameson (2012)

Alejandro Zaera-Polo, the head of Alejandro Zaera-Polo & Maider Llaguno Architecture, today announced that he is stepping down as the Dean of Architecture at Princeton University’s School of Architecture. Zaera-Polo was appointed to the position in 2012 having been a visiting lecturer at the school since 2008, but stepped down in order to devote more time to his research and professional activities. He will continue to serve as a professor at the school, and his predecessor Stan Allen will take up the role of Acting Dean until a permanent replacement is found.

14 Architectural Trends That Will Define The Next Decade

Courtesy of MAD

When you think about the future, how do you envision the built environment? According to this article, originally appearing on The Huffington Post as The Architecture of the Future is Far More Spectacular than You Could Imagine, the future is closer than we might think – current projects are already answering the imagined needs and desires of the next generation. From a tower with rotating floors to a park with the ability to cleanse raw sewage, check out fourteen projects believed to embody the architecture of tomorrow, after the break.

AZPA to Transform Nineteenth Century Building into Locarno Film Festival Headquarters

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London and Barcelona-based practice AZPA (Alejandro Zaera-Polo Architecture) has been announced as winner of an international competition aimed to establish a permanent residence for the International Film Festival in Switzerland. Breaking away from the starchitect notion of public architecture needing to make an “extravagant gesture”, AZPA’s innovative proposal partakes in an act of “urban recycling” by reusing the pre-existent, nineteenth century structure of Piazza Castello and transforming its interior courtyard into three sizable theaters. Additionally, a complimentary renovation will take place on the surrounding Piazza Remo Rossi, which will be repaved with red natural stone that essentially provides a “permanent red carpet” qualified to host an array of festival related events.

As Architect Alejandro Zaera-Polo describes: “I do not want to redraw the city, but keep the city.”

AZPA’s winning design not only preserves and capitalizes on the existing integrity of the city, but the strategies employed makes this an economically viable solution. With an estimated price tag of 28 million Swiss Francs, this renovation is said to be no more than the cost of a complete demolition.

More on AZPA’s winning proposal after the break. 

St. Martin Library Competition Entry / AZPA

Courtesy of

The main aim of AZPA in their design for the New Library of St. Martin in was to create an envelope that is not only functional but also representative of the local and global contents of a cultural institution found in a library. This design would have the architectural potential to transcend the specificities of the place to reach a global character. More images and architects’ description after the break.