Thursday, December 12, 2013

Two from Spain in Design Vanguard

Héctor Fernández Elorza, School of Cellular and Genetic Biology
Of the ten young architecture firms from around the world selected for Architectural Record's annual Design Vanguard issue this December, two are Spanish: Héctor Fernández Elorza and Grupo Aranea, led by the couple Francisco Leiva and Marta García Chico.

My article on Elorza begins:
"Using raw primary materials such as concrete and galvanized steel, simple forms, and an adroit manipulation of scale, the Madrid-based architect Héctor Fernández Elorza gives even small projects a monumental authority. Two horizontal glass slashes across the facade of his Faculty of Cellular and Genetic Biology at the University of Alcalá, for example, transform the rows of diminutive offices and seminar rooms behind them into a mysterious, iconic mask, while deeply projecting concrete planes shade the interior spaces from the western sun. At a larger scale, in the Valdefierro Park outside his native Zaragoza, long concrete retaining walls emerge from the hillside like the ruins of a lost city."

Grupo Aranea, The Braided Valley River Park, Elche
I write about the obsession with spiral movement in the work of the Alicante-based Grupo Aranea:
"Their first building, a library in San Vicente del Raspeig completed in 2004, is a continuous spiraling ramp. And both a seaside spa in Gijón and an Environmental Observatory in Alicante spin around themselves in open-ended loops. Their Lude House sits like a hard white seashell atop an existing building in the town of Cehegín, rippled inside and out by the curving, rising movement of its stair and double-height living area."
"Even a completely orthogonal design, a public high school in the village of Rafal, is organized around circular movement: a pink-carpeted bleacher opposite the entrance, which doubles as a wide stair and meeting point, kicks off a sequence of corridors and outdoor spaces that circle back over the entry and around a playing field to connect classroom pavilions."
Héctor Fernández López Architects 
Architectural Record, Design Vanguard, December 2013

Grupo Aranea
Architectural Record, Design Vanguard, December 2013

Photo top  © Montse Zamorano
Photo bottom © Jesús Granada

No comments:

Post a Comment