“I Want to Build Lighter”: Francisco Gonzalez Pulido of FGP Atelier

    <figure>
Harmony. Image Courtesy of FGP Atelier Harmony. Image Courtesy of FGP Atelier

After graduating from Tecnológico de Monterrey, a leading technical school in Mexico, Francisco Gonzalez Pulido worked on design-build projects for six years before leaving for the US where he earned his Master’s degree from Harvard’s GSD in 1999. The same year the architect started working with Helmut Jahn in Chicago where he stayed for 18 years – from intern to becoming the president of the company in 2012, at which point he renamed the firm into Jahn. By then he developed his own body of work there. Last year Gonzalez Pulido started FGP Atelier in his adopted home city.

Today the studio, counts a dozen of architects and is overseeing the design of a couple of high-rises in China, a baseball stadium in Mexico City, and university buildings in Monterrey, among other projects. The following interview was conducted at FGP Atelier in Chicago,

Shenzhen Gate. Image Courtesy of FGP Atelier
Harmony. Image Courtesy of FGP Atelier
DIABLOS. Image Courtesy of FGP Atelier
Tecnano. Image Courtesy of FGP Atelier
ART. Image Courtesy of FGP Atelier
Harmony. Image Courtesy of FGP Atelier
Continue reading "“I Want to Build Lighter”: Francisco Gonzalez Pulido of FGP Atelier"

“We Learn From the Ordinary as Well as From the Extraordinary”: Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

    <figure>
Best Products Showroom, Langhorne, Pennsylvania (1978). Image © Tom Bernard Best Products Showroom, Langhorne, Pennsylvania (1978). Image © Tom Bernard

There are so many complexities and contradictions in life in general and architecture in particular. I am writing this intro to an interview I held in 2004 with Robert Venturi and his life-and-architecture partner Denise Scott Brown, while visiting Beijing’s Tsinghua University where I was invited to teach this fall. Was it simply a coincidence when, at the last moment before leaving my New York City apartment I would, almost by chance, grab a 2001 issue of Architecture magazine with Venturi on its cover and his contradictory quote, “I am not now and never have been a postmodernist.

I learned of Venturi's passing last week on my first day of teaching at Tsinghua; the news arrived as I and the students discussed their proposals to improve their campus. In yet another strange coincidence, Venturi and Scott Brown

Sainsbury Wing at the National Gallery, London (1991). Image © Timothy Soar
Continue reading "“We Learn From the Ordinary as Well as From the Extraordinary”: Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown"

“Making Problems is More Fun; Solving Problems is Too Easy”: Liz Diller and Ricardo Scofidio of Diller Scofidio + Renfro

    <figure>
© Hufton + Crow © Hufton + Crow

It is so refreshing to hear the words: “We do everything differently. We think differently. We are still not a part of any system or any group.” In the following excerpt of my recent conversation with Liz Diller and Ric Scofidio at their busy New York studio we discussed conventions that so many architects accept and embrace, and how to tear them apart in order to reinvent architecture yet again. In New York the founding partners of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro have shown us exactly that with their popular High Line park, original redevelopment of the Lincoln Center, sculpture-like Columbia University Medical Center in Washington Heights, and The Shed with its movable “turtle shell” that’s taking shape in the Hudson Yards to address the evolving needs of artists because what art will look like in the future is an open question.

 

Zaryadye Park / Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image © Maria Gonzalez Zaryadye Park /
Institute of Contemporary Art / Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image © Iwan Baan
© Beat Widmer, Courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro. ImageBlur Building / Diller Scofidio + Renfro
The High Line / Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan
The Broad Museum / Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image © Iwan Baan
Continue reading "“Making Problems is More Fun; Solving Problems is Too Easy”: Liz Diller and Ricardo Scofidio of Diller Scofidio + Renfro"

Sergey Skuratov of Sergey Skuratov Architects: “I Imagine the Building as a Living Thing”

    <figure>
Copper House / Sergey Skuratov Architects. Image Courtesy of Sergey Skuratov Architects Copper House / Sergey Skuratov Architects. Image Courtesy of Sergey Skuratov Architects Sergey Skuratov, founder of Sergey Skuratov Architects, an award-winning Russian practice (2008 Architect of the Year), is known for his sleek and well-composed portfolio. Projects such as Copper House, Art House, and House on Mosfilmovskaya Street demonstrate his sensitivity to materiality and ability to retain his vision from concept to reality. Over the last two decades Skuratov has succeeded in producing a whole strata of world-class architecture in Moscow, far more than any other local practitioner. His projects, predominantly residential and office complexes, have remained attractive and versatile without ever veering into conservatism. Vladimir Belogolovsky: Speaking of a site that you were given for one of your projects you said, “How chaotic, repulsive were the surrounding structures. It was unclear if it was possible to bring any order there, to do anything sensible compositionally or stylistically.
House on Mosfilmovskaya Street / Sergey Skuratov Architects. Image Courtesy of Sergey Skuratov Architects
Garden Blocks / Sergey Skuratov Architects. Image Courtesy of Sergey Skuratov Architects
Minsk Hills / Sergey Skuratov Architects. Image Courtesy of Sergey Skuratov Architects
Ego House / Sergey Skuratov Architects. Image Courtesy of Sergey Skuratov Architects
Continue reading "Sergey Skuratov of Sergey Skuratov Architects: “I Imagine the Building as a Living Thing”"