In this second episode of GSAPP Conversations, Amale Andraos speaks with Spanish architect and GSAPP Professor Juan Herreros about the relationship between teaching and practicing architecture, and how he has carefully designed a particular way of working globally. Herreros, who co-founded Abalos&Herreros in 1984 and currently leads estudio Herreros, offers insight into how working sensitively in foreign settings also helps to develop a robust local practice, and how he is bringing new models of emerging practices to his students in GSAPP’s Advanced Architecture Studios.
“Belonging,” the curatorial quintet of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale, After Belonging, argue, “is no longer something bound to one’s own space of residence, or to the territory of a nation.” For this group of Spanish-born architects, academics and theorists—Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, Ignacio Galán, Carlos Minguez Carrasco, Alejandra Navarrese Llopis and Marina Otero Verzier—the very notion of our belongings and what it means to belong is becoming increasingly unstable.
After Belonging is the sixth incarnation of the Triennale and the first one in which a single curatorial thread has woven all of the festival’s activities together, including the international conference. The goal of the two primary exhibitions—On Residence and In Residence, including a series of Intervention Strategies—is to develop platforms with the aim of “rehearsing research strategies,” providing new ways for architects to engage with “contemporary changing realities."
Herreros Arquitectos just sent us their recent project for a mixed-use building in Casablanca, Morocco. Resulting from a series of urban, spatial, formal and sustainable variables, the project--which includes housing, commercial and athletic spaces--is characterized by a permeable facade that directly responds to the climate. The repeated decorative element is a reinterpretation of a traditional geometric code that is common to the region.
Juan Herreros is one of the most influential Spanish architects practicing today. Executing a delicate balance between his role defining the practice of architecture with work in the academy, he has not only overseen the construction of significant built projects, but also teaches at School of Architecture of Madrid and is a Full Professor at GSAPP Columbia University in New York. It was recently announced that his winning proposal for the Munch Museum/Deichman Library competition was given the green light. The museum will house the world’s largest collection of Edvard Munch artworks and is scheduled to open in 2018.
Herreros strives to highlight architecture’s multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary nature by revealing the complex relationships that lie behind individual projects—undergirded by what Herreros identifies as a “technical culture” (see the exhibition Dialogue Architecture that he curated at the last Venice Biennale).
Together with Iñaki Abalos he founded Abalos&Herreros in 1984. In 1992 they founded the International Multimedia League (LMI), an organization that contributes to the simpliﬁcation and intensiﬁcation of artistic practice. Since 2006 he practices with the firm Herreros Arquitectos a collaborative office that has won numerous competitions and commissions. His projects can be found around the world and range from schemes for public spaces to designs for houses.
“Something unique about [our] studio is that, given the difficulties of doing research in architecture today and the usefulness of the “research applied to architecture” concept, we maintain two open, integrated lines of work: one line maintains small projects, very quick, very immediate; and the other is related to the large projects, generally the result of international competitions around the world.”
Check out a full transcript of our interview with Herreros after the break…