Emerging Voices 2015
Recorded: March 19, 2015
ATELIER ARSº draws on historical references, architectural precedents, and traditional building techniques, believing “a good building [is] a record of a relevant tradition.” Founded in 2000 and led by principals Alejandro Guerrero and Andrea Soto, the Guadalajara-based firm combines a reconsideration of modernism with a deep appreciation for local craftsmanship.
The pair presents their Emerging Voices lecture as a manifesto in ten points that reveals their commitment to the universal principles of architecture, modifying historical precedents to create original, profound forms. They detail six recent projects in Mexico, beginning with three residential buildings — SMO House, House with 7 Courtyards, and House and Studio in Mar Chapálico — that highlight and complement the natural environment, reinterpreting modernist typologies in a contemporary language. The Levering Trade building expresses the beauty of industrial architecture through its tectonic expression, with a steel frame, sawtooth structure that includes details such as a woven palm handrail. The ongoing NOVASEM masterplan treats buildings as abstract solid volumes in the landscape to create new spatial relationships between building and nature. The TID Annex at ITESO University, a model fabrication space for architecture students, considers air as an “essential material” in a building with a steel frame infilled with wooden louvers. The form has a “strong presence” despite no piece having a decorative purpose. Collectively, the firm’s projects evoke the structural clarity and forms of modernism, but instead of nostalgic revival, they connect with nature and incorporate the handmade to create contemporary spaces.