Miami-based architecture office Arquitectonica, headed by Laurinda Spear and Bernardo Fort-Brescia, has been selected as the 2019 winner of the American prize for architecture. The firm, known for its “Trendsetting Modernist Miami Style”, was launched back in 1977.
With an architecture that has defined mainly the city of Miami, Arquitectonica is present on the world scene and has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Manila, Lima, and Sao Paulo. Launched by Laurinda Spear and Bernardo Fort-Brescia, together with Andrés Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Hervin Romney, the architectural cabinet has nowadays projects in 59 countries on five continents.
The firm’s early, legacy buildings became immediate media sensations, lauded in the U.S. and international press and used as shooting locations for fashion labels and photographers and TV shows. […] In the early 1980s, Fort-Brescia and Spear rejected the formalist “Postmodern Style” with an architectural style representing an ebullient, hopeful, confident, and creative version of a Postmodernism, which had become auspiciously reactionary—regressive, classicizing, and heavy in many of its more northerly manifestations. -- Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, President/CEO of The Chicago Athenaeum
Their work include a diverse range of projects such as mixed-use developments, schools and universities, resorts and casinos, hotels, luxury condominium towers, retail centers and office buildings to specialized projects such as a U.S. Embassy, opera house/symphony halls, museums, courthouses, multipurpose arenas and convention centers, airports and transportation centers, television studios and several bank headquarters.
Arquitectonica has received hundreds of design awards, because of their continuous quest and exploration with limits and innovation especially in the use of “geometry, pattern, and color to introduce a new brand of humanistic modern design to the world”.
The firm is known for sophisticated surface patterning and facade articulation. […] Arquitectonica's structures are bold in color and graphic in form and the firm has become famous for its own signature style—a dramatic, expressive 'high tech' modernism. […] This firm for all its achievements and for several decades now is laudable for its fresh approach, its visionary attitude, its forward-thinking with the invention of an architectural style that is publically popular and one that celebrates, embraces, and enhances the city, its citizenry, and its urban landscape. -- Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, President/CEO of The Chicago Athenaeum
The American Prize for Architecture, also known as The Louis H. Sullivan Award, organized by The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, honors every year American architects and international architects practicing on those continents. It is granted to outstanding practitioners that have an impact on the history of American Architecture, and have contributed to humanity through their architecture. Previous Laureates include Norman Foster, Michael Graves, and Richard Meier.