Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Langarita and Navarro in Architectural Record

(Imagine them talking with animation instead of posing)

I profile architects and partners María Langarita and Victor Navarro in the May issue of Architectural Record. Their profile appears in a new section, Firms to Watch (link). The quotes below are from my original submitted text, as the published version got a bit diluted in the editing and cutting process.

All photos © Luis Díaz Díaz

On their Red Bull Music Academy in Madrid's Matadero Cultural Center (above):
"For Red Bull, the paintings of Philip Guston –"all his juxtapositions, the accumulations of heterogeneous things," says Langarita– helped inspire the whimsical gathering of house-like rehearsal rooms along a raised walk. The couple collected other visual references for the project, including pictures of sleds, as they studied different ways to lift the temporary structures off the earthen floor. The sleds may also have suggested the combination of bright-red exposed electrical conduits with the unfinished plywood walls."

"Our need to bring images to the project arises from working always in dialogue with others and not alone," Langarita explains. The visual cues serve as instruments in the ongoing "conversation" of the design process. The two see a similar social role for architecture, "as a tool for negotiating co-existence" and avoiding conflicts. In the Baladrar house in Alicante, for example, they gathered a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces around the main living area. "With groups of friends or families, some can play cards while others are with the children, being together without giving up what they want to do," says Langarita."

"The openness to different uses, the focus on social organization and the relative impermanence of these projects can be considered a continuation of the squatter culture of community gardens and occupied public spaces that has sprung up with the crisis in Madrid, the visible face of social protests in which many young architects have participated. Langarita and Navarro's work shares the freshness of these collective experiments, taking their lessons to the next level of deliberated designs."
Visual Cues
Firm to Watch: Langarita-Navarro
Architectural Record, May 2015

Other entries on Langarita-Navarro:

Red Bull Music Academy 
The View from Madrid
November 30, 2012 

Red Bull Music Academy
The Architectural Review
December 2012, pages 46 - 51, cover

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