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Recessionary Interviews: The Latest Architecture and News

The Recessionary Interviews: Spain's Josep Ferrando

Josep Ferrando being interviewed at the ArchDaily office.
Josep Ferrando being interviewed at the ArchDaily office.

“Spain used to be a sexy, fit and energetic country. Envy, inferiority complexes, greed, arrogance and pride soaked it in fat. It is currently suffering from moral obesity.” That was Architect Manuel Ocaña’s incendiary take on the current state of his home country, one of the hardest hit by the Recession due to its extraordinary pre-Crisis construction boom (a.k.a “the mother of all housing bubbles”).

For this week’s edition of our Recessionary Interviews series – in which we talk to Architects across the globe surviving the Recession - we decided to get one final perspective from the Iberian Peninsula. We chatted with Spain’s Josep Ferrando, of Josep Ferrando Bramona Architecture, who told us how the economic bust has shifted focus from public works towards an architecture of “re”: rehabilitating, re-structuring, re-inhabiting.

Get Ferrando’s take on the state of Architecture in Spain today, after the break…

The Recessionary Interviews: Spain's Manuel Ocaña

Manuel Ocaña. Photo © Manuel Ocaña.
Manuel Ocaña. Photo © Manuel Ocaña.

The Recession has provoked a variety of responses – disillusionment, frustration, woe. For those not inclined to wallow, however, it has also provided ample time to reflect on (and, if you’re Manuel Ocaña, rip apart) pre-Recession society.

In our Recessionary Interviews, we talk to architects living and working where the Crisis has hit hardest. Last week, we spoke with architect Luis Pedra Silva, who offered us a realistic, and yet optimistic, take on the state of architecture in Portugal.

This week, on the other hand, we bring you an outlook more incendiary than optimistic. Manuel Ocaña, the controversial Spanish architect behind the Manuel Ocaña Architecture and Thought Production Office, is far from impressed with how his home country has handled its economic boom and bust. “Spain,” he says, “used to be a sexy, fit and energetic country. Envy, inferiority complexes, greed, arrogance and pride soaked it in fat. It is currently suffering from moral obesity.”

More on Manuel Ocaña’s take on Spain, including why Spanish architects are no better off than Vampires (or, worse still, MacDonalds employees), after the break…

The Recessionary Interviews: Portugal's Luis Pedra Silva

Luis Pedra Silva.
Luis Pedra Silva.

When Pritzker-Prize Winner Eduardo Souta de Moura faces unemployment in his own home country, you know things must be bad.

Due to the dissolution of its Parliament in 2005, Portugal has been in economic slow-down even before the 2008 global Recession set in. Factor in the Recession, and Portugal’s staggeringly weak economy rivals even Spain’s, making Portugal – along with Greece and Ireland – one of the EU’s “crisis countries.”

For the first of our “Recessionary Interviews,” we spoke with Portuguese architect Luis Pedra Silva, of Pedra Silva Architects, who gave us a first-hand account of the situation, the Darwinian mindset he’s been forced to adopt, and his (he’ll admit) stubbornly optimistic belief that Portuguese architecture, which boasts a particularly plucky history, will survive this crisis to the end.

Read the Complete Interview with Luis Pedra Silva, after the break…