Subscribe to Archdaily feed
ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwide
Updated: 2 hours 58 min ago

Musicality School / Manuel Collado Arpia

Sun, 12/09/2018 - 09:00
© Manuel Collado
  • Architects: Manuel Collado Arpia
  • Location: Calle de Padilla, 88, Madrid, Spain
  • Architects In Charge: Manuel Collado Arpia
  • Other Participants : Miguel Lantero, Ana P. Moriyón, Thais Loira, Marta García Sánchez-Infante
  • Clients:
  • Area: 2152.78 ft2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Manuel Collado
© Manuel Collado

Text description provided by the architects. The project for the musicality school is born from a great conversation about the processes of musical learning and creativity. As a result of this symbiosis, key concepts arose to which the architecture of the new space had to respond: awakening musical curiosity / discovery, the circle, collective practice and community, awareness of space and body plus sustainability.

© Manuel Collado

These concepts are developed through the following tools:

Light and color
Undoubtedly the first key element in the conditioning of space occupying a ground floor or a basement is to provide suitable lighting qualities for the activity. We have sought to obtain as much natural light as possible in the interior, always negotiating with the requirement of acoustic isolation. To achieve this we’ve decided to open a 2 meters diameter circular window in the entrance classroom in order to get light in depth on the distributing spaces. A periscope mirror device has been introduced into the mezzanine classroom to connect interior and exterior sunlight.

© Manuel Collado

We have worked with energy in an innovative way at different levels; directly with a responsible management of the demand through the design management of the demand through the design. Afterwards, we worked on the harmonization of more subtle energy patterns, combining materials and color, where the energies of the wood and the immersive blue tones of the classrooms are balanced with the fluid and dynamic energy of the common áreas through red floors. This polarity of tones invigorates or calms depending on the activity.


Music and Geometry
The circle has been a constant in the idea of musical learning and works as a unifying geometry at different levels. As a symbol of community in the musical practice, transmitting the type of interactions in groups of this school. Then as an archetypal geometric symbol of unity, where by means of its repetition at different scales, from lighting to openings, it organizes a spatial form of musical composition. The environmental harmony is completed by the triangle that appears in the treatment of the sockets and the square / rectangle of the classroom form. These three geometries are considered foundational in all traditions of environmental knowledges.

© Manuel Collado

Getting In: Admissions Advice from Architecture Programs Around the World

Sun, 12/09/2018 - 08:00
MIT. Image

As a follow up to A Glimpse Into the Weird World of Architecture Students' First Assignments I wanted to explore what architecture schools from around the world are looking for in creating their institution’s community of young architects.

Approximately 3,550 students enroll annually in the United States into an accredited Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) program according to the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and about 70% of that enrollment eventually graduate with a degree in architecture. There are 51 Accredited BArch programs in the United States compared to over 2,000 architecture programs worldwide. The United States has such a minimum amount of architecture schools relative to the world. An interesting fact is there are twice as many Master of Architecture programs in the U.S., but the initial quantity of student enrollment into each program is very similar.

Each school and country has different expectations of their candidates - expectations not always made clear in application forms or promotional material. Through speaking to admissions officers and school administrators from a number of schools, I gained a great deal of insight into what is expected from the applicant. There are varying perspectives on admissions and how an ideal applicant is selected. Expectations range from concrete requirements to loose suggestions; impersonal to deeply intimate. No two are the same, which is why it can be helpful to understand what they are looking for.

Below, some advice from professors and admissions officers at universities around the world: 

United States

Cal Poly Pomona, Department of Architecture

Sarah Lorenzen, AIA

“As a public school, admissions are primarily based on a combination of GPA and test scores (referred to as the CSU Eligibility Index - EI). Since architecture at Cal Poly is what's referred to as an "impacted" program we take far fewer students than what is listed as the minimum requirements. For our BArch we receive between 1500-2000 applicants for around 100-150 admits. To make a selection we (the university, not the department) start at the highest EI number and work down the list until we have the number of students we can fit into the program. Transfer student admits are based on GPA only and once admitted they are placed into a given year (1st, 2nd or 3rd year) based on the courses they've taken at their Community College and on their portfolio.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Admissions Office

MIT. Image

"When we admit a class of students to MIT, it’s as if we’re choosing a 1,100-person team to climb a very interesting, fairly rugged mountain—together. We obviously want people who have the training, stamina, and passion for the climb. At the same time, we want each to add something useful or intriguing to the team, from a wonderful temperament or sense of humor to compelling personal experiences, to a wide range of individual gifts, talents, interests and achievements."

"We are emphatically not looking for a batch of identical perfect climbers. We are looking for a richly varied team of capable people who will support, surprise, and inspire each other."

Syracuse University, School of Architecture

Joseph Godlewski, Ph.D.

Syracuse University. Image

"Architecture school is academically challenging. Some think math ability is the most important. While it is critical, I've found success in other AP level courses is sometimes a better indicator of future performance in architecture school."

"Perhaps more importantly than grades and test scores is expressing a passion for architecture. This can take many forms-- being well-versed in an architect's work, travel to inspirational projects, a sketchbook full of thoughts and ideas, or enrollment in a pre-architecture or other "discovery" program, etc. I always find it perplexing when prospective students haven't read a book about architecture."

"Lastly, portfolios are important, but not in ways many may think. What I look for in student work is potential for projective thinking. What separates architecture from other disciplines is its ability to imagine new worlds. Architects creatively speculate about things that are not yet in the world as is. The best portfolios hint at this ability."

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Brian Kelly

  1. Curiosity: an insatiable desire to ask why and to find connections between interests 

  2. Rigor: the commitment to see work through and to pursue it with vigor

  3. Awareness: of contemporary culture and topics outside of architecture

  4. Professionalism: maturity to navigate collaborative work in a professional manner

University of Hawai'i at Honolulu, School of Architecture

Simon M. Bussiere, Assistant Professor

Honolulu, Hawai'i. Image

  1. Overall potential

  2. Representative process work, evidence of iterative conceptual thinking

  3. Craft and documentation precision

University of Minnesota, Graduate Program 

Ali Heshmati, Adjunct Assistant Professor

University of Minnesota. Image

The most important quality in an applicant is their ability to show how they can be a creative problem solver and an independent thinker. In other words, I do not think students need to seek to find out what the grad school is asking them to do, but emphasize how they can contribute to an existing culture while creating a unique value. 

Past performance is also very important to me unless one can convince me that they can shine even if they have not done so as of yet. This can be done through a portfolio of past work or current and immediate work that shows engagement with a passion. 

Statement of purpose is also very important as I see too many students that lack vision and passion. Vision and passion must come from within and be personal. Do not define architecture and tell me what it means to you. Try to consider what it means and then question it. Because if you know what architecture means then you have no business going to school.

University of Nevada Las Vegas, School of Architecture

Joshua Vermillion, Assistant Professor

  1. Diversity. Being situated in the U.S.'s most diverse campus we feel that our professional architecture community should do better to mirror the demographic diversity of the communities that we serve

  2. Determination. Many of our students are first-generation college students in their families. Often, we see this as an indicator of one's ability to persist and overcome adversity, even while stepping way outside of their comfort zone.

  3. Work ethic and motivation. The ability for someone to take initiative.

University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Architecture

UIC. Image

Kelly Bair, Associate Professor + Associate Director of Graduate Studies

  1. Characters with Positions
  2. Obsessed Fans

  3. Cockeyed Optimists 


Dalhousie University School of Architecture Halifax, Canada

Diogo Burnay, Associate Professor + Director

Applicants are requested to submit a portfolio with a variety of work ranging from watercolors, painting, graphic work, wood work, carpentry, models, photography, poetry...basically a variety of work that allows the admissions committees to appreciate their special qualities. We do value a sense of delight for their subject matter, a love for craft in their work and a sense of caring for how the portfolio is presented.

All admissions committees have senior and junior professors and senior students in them.


Las Palmas De Gran Canaria Area, Spain

Juan Ramírez Guedes, Full Professor

Gran Canaria. Image

The main characteristics that are demanded can be defined as:

  • critical capacity; 
  • interest in the context, the environment and the landscape; 
  • interest in the social dimension; 
  • interest in construction and technologies and their adaptation to the environment. 
  • Good level of drawing and knowledge of the arts.


University of Porto, Faculty of Architecture

Jose Pedro Sousa, Faculty of Architecture

  1. Enjoy using representational tools, either traditional (e.g. sketching) and new ones (e.g. digital), as extensions of our minds to trigger the imagination and to communicate ideas.

  2. Self-commitment to engage in a 5 years period of an intensive education requiring a strong dedication, resilience and hardworking.

  3. Curiosity and open minded to investigate and learn beyond the class environment and the disciplinary boundaries of architecture.

  4. Readiness for collaborative and interdisciplinary work.

These four qualities will open the door to the growth of an endless passion for our beautiful and unique discipline.

Czech Republic

Czech Technical University in Prague

Henri Achten, Faculty of Architecture

Prague. Image

  1. Artistic expression, by (a) drawing a model; (b) drawing abstract composition; (c) perspective drawing.

  2. Spatial ability through working with rectangular projections and stereometry.

  3. Written exam about general knowledge of architecture, landscape architecture, and design.

  4. Hand in results of National Equivalence Test. This test the following:  (1) general test of study skills, (2) basic social sciences aspects, (3) mathematics, (4) biology, (5) chemistry, and finally (6) English, German, and Spanish language skills

  5. Interview with a committee that tests motivation, general knowledge, argumentation, and in which portfolio with maximum 15 own creative works.


University of Belgrade Department of Architecture

Vesna Mila Čolić Damjanović

We have an admissions test with two parts and lasts 90 minutes. The first part tests a candidate’s general knowledge that includes history, philosophy, geography, etc. and general knowledge of architecture and art. The second part tests candidate’s verbal and cognitive skills such as understanding of text, logical thinking, and the ability to solve problems and make independent conclusions. Some of the main qualities looked for in a candidate is a passion for studying of architecture with an understanding of cultural, historical, philosophical, socio-economical context in relation to architecture. 


Universiteti POLIS Tirana, Albania

Saimir Kristo, PhD

We are looking for students that are open, open to challenges, knowledge, and education. The first step to develop creative thinking as we are looking for students with potential for creativity.

Architecture, design, engineering, urban planning, and environmental studies are fields that tackle in a wide spectrum many problems, students with a background in scientific, social issues and also artistic formation to respond in these challenges.

We stimulate our students to express their independent personality and unique way of thinking as they must feel free to express their qualities and what they believe in… POLIS University is “space for thinking” and all the above qualities are fundamental to make it possible.


Erciyes University Department of Architecture Kayseri

Burcu Salgin

Admission is based solely on the national level university entrance examination Student Selection and Placement System. They are selecting students (for the department of architecture) in terms of students' math, science and Turkish scores in this exam. This is a national exam for all of the students in Turkey. This year, 1.2 million students partook.

Generally, one month later, their scores are declared and then, they are trying to list their choices. I don't know how many choices they are listing (maybe 10 or 20), but they are trying to fit more suitable departments in terms of scores. Some of my students come to the architecture department with knowledge about the profession. But some of them come to our department without knowing how difficult it is. Sometimes, they want to give up after one month in the department.


Lebanese American University

Elie G Haddad

Open mind, versatility, dedication and commitment, curiosity

Design and Built Environment at Beirut Arab University

Marwan Halabi

We look for experience, motivation, team spirit, and maybe a persuasive character.


Imperial University, Lahore Pakistan

Ali Akbar Husain

  1. Evidence of interest in building sites, historical and contemporary.

  2. Some awareness of the importance of context in architecture.

  3. Many hobbies including creative arts

  4. Public speaking skills  


Sushant School of Art and Architecture Gurgaon, India

Parul Munjal

  1. The eligibility criteria will revert back to students who have math, chemistry and physics.

  2. Candidates need to have cleared a national aptitude test NATA in which their logical thinking, comprehension, visual conceptualization and communication are tested.

  3. The ideal candidate should have the following that we nurture further: Critical thinking ability Communication skills Awareness about their physical and social environment


Siamak Panahi Islamic Azad University

Admissions Office

Scoring well on Konkour… that’s it!

(Note from the architecture admissions: [Konkour] is not a proper exam for Architecture. It only covers questions about diploma of mathematics, [chemistry, mathematics, physic, geometry, literature & similar studies], nothing about architecture and designing.)


Qatar University

Kas Oosterhuis

  1. I look for that twinkle in the eyes of the candidate when responding to more specific details I raise on design, to find out whether they are really interested or just reciting a predefined couple of lines.

  2. I try to see how they use their hands when expressing their ideas, to find out whether they have a strong driving force from within.

  3. When the occasion is there is look how they move their fingers over the keyboard, to see whether they move freely and swiftly, whether they have a natural feeling towards the digital / mechanical interface, which is needed to use laptop / machines in the design process

  4. I discuss with them the role model that Zaha Hadid is for almost all of them [we have only female students here at Qatar University]

  5. Almost all candidates seek for a marriage of the traditional and the actual, and they believe Zaha is/was doing just that, which says a lot of their perception of the traditional, typically they see in the parametric a relation with traditional masrabiyah patterns.

  6. Qatar is a very young country, with a very young architecture department, as of now only open for ladies, which means we are selecting the power-women that will be in charge within one decade.


Cairo University

Mohammed Ghonim 

Cairo University. Image

Architectural education is expected to grow a wide range of knowledge, skills, and abilities in order to enable graduates to achieve an appropriate competency level to practice architecture. Readiness to learn architecture is the concern of many architecture schools, so they usually hold admission exams to check how candidates are ready to handle the architectural learning tasks. Actually, measuring the capabilities of the candidates is a critical task that cannot be done easily through few questions or one type of exams. Therefore, besides written exams, oral exams, interviews and portfolios are sometimes applied.

Comprehensiveness of admission exams is required to achieve higher reliability levels, as these exams should cover the different knowledge and skills required to learn architecture. Focusing only on the general architectural knowledge and drawing skills might lead to unreliable results. In addition to the aforementioned capabilities, admission exams should always assess the critical and creative thinking skills of candidates, as well as some important personal skills such as communication and management.

Moreover, due to the interdisciplinary and sometimes unstructured work environments in architecture, I do believe that self-directed learning skills are highly important to learn and practice architecture. Consequently, when it is possible, these skills should be tested early to achieve a better architectural education. Finally, the reliability of an admission exam -as a prediction tool- should be regularly checked and developed, through comparing the exam records of the accepted candidates against their final records at graduation.


30 Years After Luis Barragán: 30 Architects Share Their Favorite Works

Sun, 12/09/2018 - 06:00
Los Clubes - Cuadra San Cristóbal y Fuente de los Amantes / Luis Barragán. Image © Rodrigo Flores

On November 22, 1988, one of the most important and revered figures in the history of Mexican and international architecture died in Mexico City. Luis Barragán Morfín, born in Guadalajara and trained as a civil engineer left behind an extensive legacy of published works, conferences, buildings, houses, and gardens that remain relevant to this day. While Barragán was known for his far-reaching research in customs and traditions, above all, the architect spent his life in contemplation. His sensitivity to the world and continued effort to rewrite the mundane has made him a lasting figure in Mexico, and the world.

Undoubtedly, Luis Barragán's legacy represents something so complex and timeless that it continues to inspire and surprise architects across generations. It is because of this that, 30 years after his death, we've compiled this series of testimonies from some of Mexico's most prominent contemporary architects, allowing them to reflect on their favorites of Barragan's works and share just how his work has impacted and inspired theirs. 

Casa Barragan

Casa Barragán. Image © Rodrigo Flores

Javier Senosian

"Almost all of Barragán's works inspire me. However, the most important for me is Casa Barragán. Once I went to see it and while we chatted in the studio with classical music playing in the background, somebody commented that concrete was a cold, gray, dirty, and sad material. Barragán stood there for a moment and then nodded...'above all it is sad.' When we left we all felt as if we were in a trance. The memories I have of Casa Barragán are always serene."

Alberto Kalach

"For me, all of Barragán's works are relevant, even the most functional. There are many lessons to be found in his creations. His own house is truly a masterpiece. It's a place that keeps absolute harmony and, from the moment you enter, you're transported into a state of peace and serenity. 

Casa Barragán. Image © Rodrigo Flores

Tatiana Bilbao

"Barragán was many things, but what I like most about his work are those moments where he reminds me that he was a human being. That window in his private room that opens up to the neighboring property (the Ortega Garden) is a gateway to his desires, his love of the garden, his past, the nostalgia, and prevalence of beauty. I've always been obsessed with that window. For me, it's an element that speaks profoundly about the human that Barragán was." 

Javier Muñoz of Muñoz Arquitectos

"I think the work that has most influenced me is Casa Barragán. From its discreet positioning on the street, we can see Barragán was more interested in the habitable space than in showing off the house's exterior. Its paths and walkways represent the jarring alternations between compression and liberation in human life. The color, far from being a mere accessory, unites with the light as a way to "paint the space" and to create atmospheres that change throughout the day.  The garden first appears unreachable behind the large windows, but afterwards can be penetrated and inhabited as a part of the house, an invitation to enter the depths of your own being and to forget the hostility and enjoy the austerity and simplicity that allow you to experience the peace and quiet that Barragán sought in his home."

"I believe that Barragán's greatest lesson was to be an architect without ambition... to achieve an architecture that speaks directly and profoundly in a way that touches the heart. In a time when we're saturated with architects that talk and exaggerate without saying anything of substance...There's so much to learn from Luis Barragán!"

Casa Barragán. Image © Rodrigo Flores

Héctor Barroso of Estudio Héctor Barroso

"Casa Barragán is Luis Barragán's most important work. I try to visit it periodically, since, for me, it's important to keep reflecting on it. It helps me to step away from the quantity of information and images that we have at our fingertips and to truly live and enjoy his architecture."

Augusto Quijano of Augusto Quijano Arquitectos

"My favorite work is definitely the house, his house, and workshop … it's the creation of Luis Barragán that has most impacted me because it's about a series of spaces that capture a pressure and tension that can be difficult to convey, but here it is done in a powerful and spatial way. The Portrait of Saint Christopher is the one that has had the greatest influence on me because of its scale and the overwhelming spatial lesson that it gives." 

Raúl Medina of DOSA Studio

"The work by Luis Barragán that has most inspired me is his house in the old Tacubaya neighborhood. It's the creation that unites his maturity as an architect. It's interesting to see and feel how he was able to transmit his spiritual essence into the space. It reminds me a lot of something Richard England said about Barragán: 'It's one of the few times in architecture to have achieved so much with so little and it's one of the few times that such a poor supply of materials has produced so much spiritual wealth.' At the end of the day, I don't believe that architecture is architecture if it doesn't move the viewer or user."

Casa Barragán. Image © Rodrigo Flores

Salvador Macías of Estudio Macías Peredo

"Casa Barrágan is, without a doubt, my favorite work by Luis Barragán because  out of all his works, it's his own house where the architecture, landscaping, and furniture come together in perfect harmony." 

Javier Sánchez of JSa

"What I like about Barragán is his bravery and compromise in the search for his own language and, of course, his house, which I consider a laboratory."

The Chapel of the Capuchinas

Rodrigo de la Peña of RDLP Arquitectos

"My favorite work of his is The Convent of the Sisters Clarisas Capuchinas. This is one of the works that has impacted me most as an architect. In all of Barragán's work, but especially in these types of spaces, there is a mastery of light as an architectural tool and as a recurring motif in the living spaces. You can see this particularly in the altar, where you get a stunning sensation as a spectator in this contemplative space as if you were on the receiving end of a spiritual message."

"Monumentality is a recurring theme in this work of Barragán's, the weight of the materials used in its construction transmits a somber and direct message, an implicit elegance based on historical references and emotional architecture. You can see this in the central patio of the monastery, an example of the excellence of traditional Mexican architecture, in this case, a trough that also serves as a fountain, using details with multiple intentions and functions."

Ignacio del Río of Estudio MMX

"As much as I would love to be able to choose a garden (they fascinate me as much as the next person, after reading Axel Araño's analysis of proportions and multi-dimensional sequencing in Barragán's work, I have to choose the Capuchinas Chapel. It offers the possibility of becoming aware in an immediate and intuitive manner, a unique space designed for introspection and spirituality."

Derek Dellekamp of Dellekamp Arquitectos

"The work of Barragán's that has most impacted me is the Capuchinas Chapel. The integration of light and space in perfect harmony makes the experience of being inside it profoundly spiritual. The space loses its materiality to become metaphysical."


"For Barragán, it was essential for architecture to surpass purely rational analysis. He wanted people to acknowledge the wellbeing and peace of religious spaces in his work. Upon visiting his buildings and gardens, it's evident that he understood perfectly the spiritual value of architecture, regardless of faith. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the Capuchinas Chapel, built to evoke total serenity as an antidote against anguish and fear, two feelings that plague the collective conscience of our generation. You cannot deny its relevance."

Fernando Romero of FR-EE

"My favorite work is the Chapel. I used to go as a student when I was unsure of pursuing architecture."

Torres de Satélite

Torres de Satélite / Luis Barragán + Mathias Goeritz. Image © Rodrigo Flores

Javier Sordo Madaleno de Haro of Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos

"My favorite work by the master Luis Barragán is the Torres de Satélite, mainly because it was an agent of change for the area and served as an identity for the Ciudad Satélite. Moreover, I really admire his collaboration with Chucho Reyes, a good friend of my grandfather, Juan Sordo Madaleno."

Torres de Satélite / Luis Barragán + Mathias Goeritz. Image © Rodrigo Flores

LANZA Atelier

"One of the most exciting spatial experiences in Mexico City has to be the Torres de Satélite; the evolution of its shape when driving at fast speeds. Afterwards, you get the magnificence of two levels of abstract colors as you walk between them on an inclined plaza and finally uncover the mystery of its interior space that opens to the sky."

Cuadra San Cristóbal

Los Clubes - Cuadra San Cristóbal y Fuente de los Amantes / Luis Barragán. Image © Rodrigo Flores

Carlos Rodríguez Bernal of SPRB arquitectos

"My favorite work is Cuadra San Cristóbal. The scale and sequencing of the space are truly flawless. It's a masterpiece where the landscape is built into the architecture and the architecture itself turns into the landscape. It's what we understand as architectural scenery. The landscape doesn't complement the architecture but rather is the architecture. In the case of Cuadra San Cristóbal, Barragán was a minimalist in terms of resources and details... And this made it all the more brilliant... A genius."

Casa Gilardi

Casa Gilardi / Luis Barragán. Image © Eduardo Luque

Gilberto Rodríguez of GLR Arquitectos

"Without a doubt, my favorite work is Casa Gilardi. I first came across photos of the house in the Artes de Mexico magazine, where through its doorway I saw its mythical yellow hallway flooded with light. To see it in real life was truly exciting, similar to the surrealist pool with the red wall rising out of the water. I once read that the house had a great sequence of surprising elements that gave it an almost magical theatricality. The only thing I know is that the photos come nowhere near actually visiting the place. I returned a few years ago, accompanied by Alberto Campo Baeza, who was dying to see Barragán's works in person. I believe that Casa Gilardi is a masterpiece, and all of Mexico City's architecture students should witness it."

Casa Gilardi / Luis Barragán. Image © Eduardo Luque

Los Bebederos (Drinking Troughs)

Gabriela Carrillo of Taller de Arquitectura Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo

"I love Barragán's drinking troughs... I love the synthesis of the three elements dematerializing in the reflections, light, and shadows as if to represent profound silence."

Ingrid Moye of Zeller & Moye

"As a young girl, I spent a lot of time playing in the gardens around Barragán's troughs. My grandmother lived in a colonial house close to the gardens in Arboledas, and this was my favorite place to go with my cousins. I even learned how to ride a bike there. Even though I was small, Los Bebederos always struck me as a different and mystical place. I spent years playing there even though there wasn't a jungle gym. I was happy just running around and exploring every corner of it. What I'll never forget is the smell of the eucalyptus, the reflections in the water of the Great Pool, the shadows of the trees over the walls, and the images of textures, both natural and constructed. The thing that most attracted me was that the place couldn't be placed into just one category. It's somewhere between architecture and nature, between intimate and public, between control and freedom."

"I haven't been back to the park since I was a child and, unfortunately, I know it's not in the best state, however, the memories I have of it have stayed with me through the years and in that time I've found the words to describe them. As an adult, I've visited many of Barragan's works but I've never felt as intrigued or at peace as I felt at Los Bebederos."

Christoph Zeller of Zeller & Moye

"When I still lived in Basil, Switzerland, many years before moving to Mexico, I was moving from my house and I passed into a person that I met in a place that I don't remember. In my conversations with him, I found out that he wasn't only an architect, but, to my surprise, an expert on Luis Barragán. In fact, his project was to research the unknown works of Barragán in order to come up with the most complete compilation of Barragan's works ever published. He was to do this with a series of books published through the Barragán Foundation. At the same time, he was the guardian of the entire archive of Barragán's drawings, outlines, images, books, etc. that strangely found his home in Switzerland via an ocean voyage in an air-conditioned bunker made from walls of meter thick concrete. One day, he showed me the archive that, as of that moment, was off limits to the public. Walking into the cave, I found myself surrounded by walls that could withstand a nuclear bomb. It was there that I found the most moving works of architecture ever put on paper, boxes and boxes of them. We went through a variety of projects, both finished and unfinished. We saw drawings, outlines, and colored illustrations. The work put into every detail of every drawing was astounding. It was like a trip through time from the first mark on paper to the colors carefully put onto the images. It was a very intimate moment with Barragán's work as if I was visiting him in his studio."

"Years later, I met my friend out of sheer luck on a street in Houston, Texas. He told me that he was scoping the area for a fountain designed by Barragán for a local neighborhood. Apparently, he had found a sketch of the fountain buried deep in the archives but no other references. Nobody knew if it had even been built. I haven't heard from him since, so I don't know if he ever found that mystical fountain."

Casa Ortega

Fernanda Canales

"Unbeknownst to me, the first Luis Barragán work I saw at seven-years-old was an influence to me. Casa Ortega, where I played one morning, has since marked me as an architect: the importance of color, textures, and the presence of materials. The garden was an infinite universe and the house a refuge within a landscape full of surprises. Afterward, in university, I visited the Capuchinas Chapel, and then the Casa Egerström which were fundamental to understanding what spaces were made of. Barragán is one of the clearest examples of this concept: you can't understand architecture without first considering the body."

Casa Pedregal

Michel Rojkind of Rojkind Arquitectos

"The Casa Prieto or Casa Pedregal is one of the projects that I've been able to visit on different occasions and, for this reason, I've been able to thoroughly enjoy it inside and out. From the gardens of lava to the rocky grounds incorporated into the space, all of these elements make the work one of my favorites and reinforce the emotional aspects of architecture that Barragán so defended."

The Glorieta Melchor Ocampo Workshops

Melchor Ocampo / VRTICAL. Image © Rafael Gamo

Luis Beltrán of VRTICAL

"Without a doubt and for reasons of professional involvement, my favorite work of Barragán's are the Workshops of the Glorieta Melchor Ocampo. It was here that we discovered the line between a master who was fixated on international style but who also found purpose in the innards of a project and in sophisticated spatial sequences. I think these were the beginnings of his mature stage."

Juan Carral of JC Arquitectura

"The work that has always stayed with me is the building where I lived in Cuauhtémoc. I consider it a challenge to talk about Barragán and surprise, Barragán and light, silence, labyrinths, and gardens. I've always found his previous period interesting, where, with a vision of business, he began to design urban buildings that were still very much suburban. This is a lesson in optimism with vision, truly necessary in rescuing our contemporary city."

Cortesía de Juan Carral

Enrique Norten of TEN Arquitectos

"My favorite work and the one that has interested me most of Barragán's, are the two houses on the east side of Parque México (1928). The modern rigor of the houses isn't only surprising, but it also establishes the parameters for his most known works. Furthermore, it's truly vanguard!"

Ana Patrón + Carlos Patrón of TACO Taller de Arquitectura Contextual

"Luis Barragán is an architect whose practices we hold dear at TACO. In 2014, we took a team trip to see three of his most emblematic works in consecutive order (The Chapel of the Capuchinas, Casa Barragán y Casa Gilardi), which turned out to be one of the most fulfilling learning experiences that we've had to date. These works introduce modern factors to discussions about architecture, such as local culture and spirituality (among others). Through his mastery of space, materials, light, sound, nature, details, and furnishings, Luis Barragán transmits the essence of traditional Mexican architecture that, although simple, is loaded with delightful emotions for those who witness it."

Casa Gilardi / Luis Barragán. Image © Eduardo Luque

Pavel Escobedo of Escobedo + Soliz

"We cannot mark Luis Barragán's work as unambiguous since all have been created under a wide variety of circumstances and all carry significance. However, we can talk about experiences around the work. The first of these happened in front of the Capuchinas Chapel. We were searching for a concrete architectural experience that would guide us to the beginning of a project -- we found silence. The second was in the house called Prieto Lopez. It was here that we encountered the atmosphere of a house mutating into the sunset."

Carlos Bedoya of PRODUCTORA

"More than one work, in particular, it's the speech that Luis Barragán gives after receiving the Pritzker Prize, explaining what sustains his work. In it, he brings to life new, universal, temporary, and transcendental ideas about the task of architects: ideas about myths, beauty, silence, solitude, serenity, happiness, death, nostalgia, enchantment, intimacy, wonder, etc. Ideas that, for me, are essential to our practice and even more so in a time when architectural creation is dictated solely by market values."

Los Clubes - Cuadra San Cristóbal y Fuente de los Amantes / Luis Barragán. Image © Rodrigo Flores

Manuel Cervantes of CC Arquitectos

"In a compilation of Barragán's texts by Fernando Márquez, Barragán talks about his trips to Morocco and how he found inspiration in the vernacular of the medina for the project he would complete in 1948. Following his footsteps through the places that he talks about in these texts and visiting them is what most impressed me about Barragán. Understanding his way of abstracting and re-interpreting was truly amazing. My favorite of his works was his abstraction, his architectural task."

Temporary Pavilion at Picnic «Afisha» / project eleven

Sun, 12/09/2018 - 05:00
© Ilia Ivanov
  • Architects: project eleven
  • Location: Moscow, Russia
  • Lead Architects: Igor Chirkin, Pavel Prishin
  • Area: 400.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2016
  • Photographs: Ilia Ivanov
  • Other Participants: Olga Boris, Alisa Semanova
  • Collaborators: Departament
  • Consultants: MAX group
  • Clients: PIK Group, Departament
© Ilia Ivanov

Text description provided by the architects. This pavilion is a part of a project “Open-Air Flat” organized by PIK Group – a leading real estate developer in Russia – for Picnic “Afisha” music festival. Pop-up structures that symbolized the rooms of an abstract flat were situated in different areas of Kolomenskoye park, where the festival has been taking place since 2007.

© Ilia Ivanov Floor plan © Ilia Ivanov

The object is a reinterpretation of a living room which is a common space for communication and activity in any flat. Not by chance it was situated in one of the most crowded areas of the festival just between food court and main music stage. This specific location implied the pavilion to be an art object as well as having a clear practical purpose.

© Ilia Ivanov Isometric © Ilia Ivanov

With its semi-transparent walls constructed out of rainbow-colored plastic tubes, the pavilion truly stood out from the surroundings. Inside this building is divided into various compartments. Each of them has a separate and individual structure forming together an accurate rectangular-shaped form filled in with an irregular grid of white metal framework and plastic tubes. Deliberately uneven sections create a dynamic and expressive composition that brings a slight ripple into this seemingly austere shape. Situated on a bright green lawn, the multi-colored living room pavilion can be compared with a glitch effect that had suddenly appeared in a CGI landscape.


Apart from its remarkable design, the pavilion was also meant to be a functional chill out area. Comfortable armchairs and loungers for festival goers had been installed in every section. These pieces of furniture were merged together with coffee tables and lamps into light-weight constructions. Pavilion’s lucidity allowed the visitors to see what was going on in the festival’s other areas and even watching the show on main stage without leaving the space.

© Ilia Ivanov

Despite being a living room, the building is more of a one-story mansion that calls to mind such 20th century classics as Villa Savoye and Farnsworth House. Its furniture is also inspired by the iconic designs of Marcel Breuer and Le Corbusier. Though highly influenced by a modernist architecture, the pavilion offers its very own outlook on the international style private mansions.


The extreme transparency of this pavilion is different from that in Philip Johnson’s Glass House or the already mentioned Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House. Its emptiness is an emptiness of a clear prism that is waiting for a ray of light to turn into a rainbow. This ambivalent impression is amplified by an irregular framework grid that symbolizes the result of the building’s total deconstruction as well as a layout of a building that hasn’t been constructed yet. A flickering and always evolving structure relates to the works of 1960s conceptual architecture groups such as Archigram and Superstudio – they both were using grid in their utopian projects considering it an ultimate never-ending game board for their experiments. Few decades later the grid was immortalized in science-fiction cliché of “cyberspace”. Using its deconstructed version in this contemporary yet retro-futuristic pavilion is a smart and elegant solution.

© Ilia Ivanov

Secretariat of the Atlantic Sailing Club / Studium

Sun, 12/09/2018 - 02:00
© Studium / Joana Silva
  • Architects: Studium
  • Location: Av. Da Liberdade, 4450-718 Leça da Palmeira, Porto, Portugal
  • Architect In Charge: Sérgio Miguel Magalhães
  • Area: 1771.7 ft2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Studium / Joana Silva
  • Collaborator: Joana Silva
  • Clients: Clube de Vela Atlântico - CVA
© Studium / Joana Silva

Text description provided by the architects. A small sector of the old pavilions of the shipyard of the Port of Leixões has been the secretariat of the Atlantic Sailing Club since 1944. With a privileged location, two facades on the first line of the sea, the area is the best location for the function it serves - welcoming the navigators and supporting events at sea.

Container floor Container walls

However, as the club expands - year after year it hosts a growing number of events, with more and more renowned sailors and sportsmen from all over the world - the original compartmentalization has become obsolete, as well as the aesthetic language and the suitability of the materials.

© Studium / Joana Silva

The available area was poorly optimized, with no room to welcome the athletes, no working conditions for the press or even to locate informative panels, so important in world championships. In relation to the program, new requirements were imposed - medical office, storage, meeting rooms, press areas, all in addition to the secretarial work space and internal meetings.

© Studium / Joana Silva

In 2017, the space was redesigned, maintaining the original structure and adapting it to new needs. All the core was removed, leaving the original materiality at sight and taking advantage of the rough textures, in this construction near the sea - stone, wood and tile - to which a screed concrete floor was added. The whole building was rehabilitated, improving the performance of the windows and the roof, the stone was cleaned, entablatures were fixed and plasters conserved - all millimetrically adjusted, in favor of maintaining an image of coherent set and rooted in the collective memory of the patrimony classified.


The concept of intervention, with the purpose of making greater use of space, was the use of functional empty space, where the height of every space is used to segment the functions. Closing a set of spaces that require greater privacy - medical office, secretariat, arranging - and affecting the upper space to functions that require some reservation to meetings and library, the area next to the entrance gets a higher ceiling height and an amplitude of public reception. The proposed structure for the “box” interior - in Banema's panel - leaves the wood in full view in its natural color - in contrast to the existing casing, the exterior "box" - in stone structure with wooden cover and tile coating - and is the element that organizes all functions into an optimized distribution. The original pavement - in wood over an air box - has been replaced by a smooth concrete pavement and is the only fully replaced structural element, opting for a material that combines its roughness with the general concept of the intervention. The attention to detail had here quite expression. From the flap of the panels to the floor, that defines a slight line of shadow and absorbs the irregularities of the rough materials; the "footer" of these panels, which guarantees the protection of this part of the wall only with the expressiveness of a varnish that respects the wood; the nautical inspired handles; the clear assumption that infrastructures are an independent element, necessary but external to the roughness of these primary components, well visible in the resilience of skirting boards, technical columns and electric armatures. All the parts are combined on the basis of the authenticity of intentions and the honesty of the materials, new, old, necessary, real.

© Studium / Joana Silva

After the intervention, the Atlantic Sailing Club now has at its disposal a completely renovated and functional facilities, which respects the pre-existence, adapt to the current reality and the trend of growth, besides giving a confident language, consistent with the international projection of the Club.

Đại Kim house / Aline Architect

Sat, 12/08/2018 - 23:00
© Triệu Chiến
  • Architects: Aline Architect
  • Location: Vietnam
  • Architect In Charge: Lê Minh Đức
  • Manufacturer: Hai Long glass, xingfa
  • Area: 56.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Triệu Chiến
© Triệu Chiến

Text description provided by the architects. With Dai Kim house (4x14m), as most of the street houses in Vietnam, the solution of natural light and ventilation is a prerequisite for the design task.

© Triệu Chiến

We hope to create a rhythm and flexible space, where people can live in harmony with the sun, natural wind and trees by the closest way in this small plot of land.

© Triệu Chiến

Deviated floor solution is designed to blur the boundary between the top and the bottom, which creates a continuous connection and eliminates the sense of multi-floors (5 floors). We take advantage of the stairwell space when the floor landing is designed to be the hall of the room, creating a sense of privacy.

© Triệu Chiến

Toilet is distributed flexibly and functional spaces are separated to ensure optimum density.


We also consider carefully bringing “nature” to living space. Nearly every location of the house always has at least a corner of the trees that will “soften” the space and make the feeling relaxed and gentle!

© Triệu Chiến

As a house located in the western direction, it is imperative to calculate anti-heat solution in summer. We use a 3-layer solution for anti- heat. The first layer is 220 mm external wall to prevent the direct sunlight, the second layer is a green buffer that blocks dust, generates oxygen and pushes hot air outward; the third layer is glass door to get the light and prevent indirect heat to the house. This solution makes the house always cool, light-filled and has a view of natural trees.

© Triệu Chiến

The whole staircase is made of iron frame and wood surface instead of concrete. Therefore, the light and wind can go freely to all the spaces of the building to create an airy and aesthetic sense for the people living in Dai Kim house.

GwangHwaMunHaeMul / gongsangplanet

Sat, 12/08/2018 - 21:00
© Choi Yong Jun
  • Architects: gongsangplanet
  • Location: 65 Sejong-daero 21-gil, Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
  • Lead Architects: Kim Kyoung Mok
  • Area: 182.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2018
  • Photographs: Choi Yong Jun
  • Other Participants: Heo Sung Young
© Choi Yong Jun

Concept: Coexistence of old and modern appearance
This building with Gwanghwamunhaemul is believed to have been built in 1940. We wanted to see the Gwanghwamunhaemul as a brand suitable for Jeong-dong, where the modern and old tastes coexist, and thought that they were both modern and contemporary in the 1940s. So, before we started to look for the old look of space, we started ironing out the wooden ceiling, the interior and exterior structural material of the metal, as well as the modern design elements.

© Choi Yong Jun Floor plan © Choi Yong Jun

Exterior Design
Facade in front of the building was constructed in a two-story building to overcome its narrow drawbacks compared to the size of the building, and a fish formation was hung on the second floor to indirectly express the feeling of a seafood restaurant.

© Choi Yong Jun

In order to increase customer accessibility, they also created an entrance to the back of the building that was attached to the parking lot, randomly pierced small windows to secure lighting during the day, and dim lights at night to let out. To capture the appearance of the brick on the back of the building, it was intended to show the waterproof area only with a structure that could be cleaned and displayed.

© Choi Yong Jun

Interior Design
The space was divided into large halls, kitchens, and rooms, and counters were installed in the center of the customer's line considering two entrances. And the room can be used as a separate room for six people, and the wall between the room and the room can be used as a group up to 18 people, and the hall and the room boundary did not look like a room. The hall was also constructed of fixed-type partition seats on one wall of the hall, and the space next to the counter was designed to make a single-seat table long to widen the choice for various customers.

© Choi Yong Jun

Traditional wooden structures in the form of gable have been refined to the extent of strengthening the structure, and used as elements that allow vertical viewing of the hall space and showing the past. In addition, lighting was secured to the ceiling and the vertical downlight was installed on the hall table in order to show the ceiling at night.

© Choi Yong Jun

The absence of metallic materials falling from the rugged old wooden top serves as a part of modern expression. Partition, which is the boundary between hall and room, was intended to add refinement to the sliding door form using metal + glass, and room ceiling was lowered to accentuate the hall ceiling, giving room users a cozy atmosphere.

© Choi Yong Jun

Hangzhou Liangzhu Mengxi Town / CUC·zoyo

Sat, 12/08/2018 - 19:00
© ZYStudio
  • Architects: CUC·zoyo
  • Location: Mengxi Town, Liangzhu, Hangzhou, China
  • Architect In Charge: Ye Fang
  • Design Team: Wei Wang, Yongchao Hu
  • Area: 21140.39 m2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: ZYStudio
© ZYStudio

The old Industrial Remain, the Reborn Liangzhu
Mengxi Town is the hometown of Shen Kuo and the first industrial design town in China, of which the name is homophonic with Mengxi (One of Shen Kuo's masterpieces' title). Every year, more than 500 design elites from more than 30 countries around the world will gather here. Architects of Zoyo are trying to find design basis from the historical relics of Liangzhu culture with thousand-year history and design means based on industry in order to create a special interval between the new and old in space, and the past and the future in time.

© ZYStudio

Initial Impression: The Cognition and Reorganization of Memory in Old Factory Buildings
The construction machinery factory block was originally an abandoned industrial area with five original plants, which were randomly scattered and were disorganized in spatial relationship. The supported beams and columns have decayed and mottled because of age, and the floor boards have also shrunk and ex-panded under the multiple natural effects of moisture and exposure under sunshine. Therefore, how to properly preserve the remaining building elements and balance the demand for buildings of the use re-quired by the scene is the key point for designers to consider.

© ZYStudio

Remains: Assumption and Creation of Industrial Reconstruction Means
According to the original building layout, the design plan determined the overall layout of the design through combining the characteristics of land with road direction. 1 to 5# building was rebuilt and 6 – 8# was newly built. And the No. 8 building was speard out in sequence along the central road of the park and became an integrated architect by two outdoor corridors.

© ZYStudio © ZYStudio

The designer rebuilt the 1 # building in the former address after tearing it down, and this building mainly bears the functional requirements of exhibition hall and substation, control and monitoring room as well. The same method was used for the 5# building, as an important place where the report hall is located, it owns a series of practical places such as exhibition halls and coffee bars that may be used for visiting and leisure.

© ZYStudio

Building # 2 was dismantled into two, half was maintained as the original building and the other half would be rebuilt after being pull down with standpillars left. In order to ensure the safety of the building, the stand-pillars and beams of the building were secondarily reinforced. In this way can open space be created to meet the basic needs of exhibition halls, water pump rooms and so on.

© ZYStudio

Building #6 - 8 was a newly-built concrete steel structure building, which was distributed from south to north on the east side of the plot and undertook the functions of office, meeting and exhibition hall of the town.

© ZYStudio

Realizing: Integration and Expression of Pioneer Industrial Attributes
Facing the construction machinery rebuilding project, the designer does not deal with the old as before, but chooses to solve the practical needs of the world industrial conference site by means of industrial design. Everyone's first impression about here must be related to industry. Qualitive skin and texture, bright color shocks and modern facade expression ... as the permanent venue of the World Industrial Design Confer-ence, all the elements complement each other with the practical function and the original design intent.

© ZYStudio

1. Industrial Seal, Cultural Memory
The project grew out of the old factory building of the construction machinery factory, and the roof truss and gantry crane with the mark of the factory are retained as symbols of cultural memory. It takes industrial cul-ture and courtyard enjoyment into account. A hydrophilic platform is set up around the gantry crane, and space and platform can also be provided here for the town to hold various modern activities such as salons and press conferences. The truss is not only the background, but also the stage, and it is also the history of construction machinery factory standing in the site.

© ZYStudio

2. Industrial Attributes, Color Shock
The visual shock of orange and pure white can be seen everywhere in the construction machinery factory project, echoing the original color of the gantry crane. As for the newly-built exterior wall, its surface is made of high strength anti-corrosion steel, which conforms to the history with its rust texture. The facade of large office building is paved with aluminum alloy perforated plate sunshade louvers, the modern light hole makes the facade enjoy rich changes in different periods of sunshine.

© ZYStudio

3. Industrial Design, Communication Link
As the permanent venue of the World Design Congress, the project is an important international exchange platform for industrial design. Through the design of the corridor that runs through the whole area, it implies the integration of industrial design and the link of international exchange to guide the flow of people. And the bright orange lines echo the large-area facade elements of the park, which being vitality into the whole park.

© ZYStudio

4. Industrial space, Hidden Ingenuity
30 cm-deep mirror-like water reflects and shines mutually with the airplane model to dissolve the sense of geometrical volume. Open wooden platform, in a hydrophilic environment with local open grass, trees and shrubs, forms a strewn and orderly outdoor communication space.

© ZYStudio © ZYStudio

Reborn: Echo and Connection between New and Old Factory Buildings
Different from the remains of the industrial attributes demanded by the original factory building, the design of new factory building pays more attention to the expression of form and meaning. Jade Cong, a typical artifact derived from Liangzhu culture makes use of its horizontal lines and turning relationship. Deconstruct-ing and rebuilding the facade to play a different role in shading the sun. At the same time, the color glaze glass with varying thickness is used to create the gloss change of the building facade, to show the delicate texture as jade of the building, and to show the ancient cultural history of Liangzhu.

© ZYStudio

Connotation: Focus on the Contemporary Practical Building
In addition to the industrial transformation of the construction layout and form of the construction machinery factory area, the humanization of the interior space of the building is also the focus of the designers.

© ZYStudio

The light bands with rich industrial textures create a rhythmic facade for the corridors and aisles inside the building. The interior wall of the exhibition hall is made of the wooden skin and the glass wall in turn, which not only completes the unexpected modeling with conventional materials, but also introduces the maximum degree of natural light into the room. Industrialized reinforced concrete has been added to form the architec-tural trace of the sense of age, orange aluminum mesh ceiling shows the conflict of modern sense, and glass elements are collaged to form a space form linking ancient and modern times. The integration of in-dustrial works makes the interior of the building more dramatic and presents a shock of industry on modern life.

© ZYStudio

Events: Efficiency and Quality of Zhonglian Speed
The reconstruction and expansion project of the construction machinery factory block is a general contract-ing project of CUC · Zoyo architectural design. The whole project started design in March and was complet-ed by the end of November, which takes only 200 days. This project adopts modular design to effectively control the cost and duration. The whole process adopts three-dimensional construction, and the design and construction are advanced simultaneously.

© ZYStudio

Expectation: The Reborn Liangzhu Connects Global Industrial Culture
The World Industrial Design Conference pushed Liangzhu, a cultural treasure for thousands of years to the front of the world again. Architects of Zoyo believe that architecture not only provides an environment for human activities, but also respects history, region, culture, economy and aesthetics. It's history, it's the future, it's Liangzhu, it's the world.

© ZYStudio