Fernando Romero is having an amazing run. Along with his collaborative architecture firm FR-EE (that's Fernando Romero EnterprisE), which he brought to New York in 2010, the design pioneer has just released a new book entitled You Are The Context full of built and speculative projects like the Museo Soumaya and even a "mash-up city" of the future. Architizer and FR-EE threw a lavish party to celebrate the launch, where Romero lit up the Guggenheim rotunda with a light show, DJ, and 16 fantastic architectural models built especially for the event. Now, the visionary architect is joining the Architizer + Awards, and we couldn't be more thrilled to have him.
Romero's approach to architecture is unique. Rather than coming to each project with a fully-formed, rigid vision, he allows a building's context and programmatic requirements to inform the design process. This dovetails with the spirit of the Awards, which are meant to bring Architecture back down to earth and celebrate the ways in which it's both accessible and relevant to the public. Romero and his firm have based their work on this type of exploration, out of entering spaces and seeing how processes (like energy efficiency) and places (like the mountain ranges of Chile) can be used to make buildings better.
These models represent both FR-EE's existing and proposed work, and provide a healthy dose of context.
1. Bicentennial Moebius Ring
All model images by Ryan Koopmans
Mexico City, 2009. A proposal to commemorate the country's bicentennial.
2. Chile Tower
Santiago, Chile, 2012. The design of the building echoes and integrates with Chile's natural mountainous landscape, and is meant to serve as a symbol of conservation.
3. Free City
2012. A prototype for designing ideal urban cities in the twenty-first century, complete with efficient public transportation that radiates outward and data-driven policy-making.
4. G2 Los Cabos
Los Cabos, Mexico, 2012. The convention center for the 2012 G20 summit, and so in constructing the spaceFR-EE focused on enabling sustainability and an environment that could easily adapt to different climates; for example, the lobby maintained humidity, in order to cut down on the use of air conditioning. The building was constructed in less than seven months.
Woodside, California, 2012. A proposal to honor Steve Jobs with a museum at the site of his home.
6. Madu Museum
Mexico City, 2011. A proposal for a museum with small, compartmentalized areas to display small works of art and artifacts.
7. Mexicarte Museum
Austin, Texas, 2012. This museum, which celebrates American and Mexican art, takes its form from circular objects in Mexican culture, such as the Aztec calendar.
8. Miami Chapel
Miami, Florida, 2013. A church that takes into account its multicultural congregation, representing all 27 Latin American Virgins gathering around a central point.
Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico, 2011. Houses the offices, headquarters, and hotel suites of the Omnilife Corporation. Epcot 2.0!
10. Panama Museum
Panama City, Panama, 2010-2011. This competition entry is meant to fully integrate with its surroundings; the museum's plants help clean the nearby wetlands, and the entrance is lit with natural light.
11. PH Museum
Qatar, 2012. This museum concept draws on its desert context to provide shade to visitors. It's designed to look like a camera, in step with its purpose to display photography.
Merida, Mexico, 2009-2010. Meant to hold both housing and offices, the plant-covered, pyramid-like building is just as adaptable for the changing needs of humans as it is sensitive to its surrounding environment.
13. S Tower
Mexico City, 2007. This multi-use building concept was designed to be the tallest structure in Latin America.
14. Soumaya Museum
Mexico City, Mexico, 2005-2011. The museum looks different from every angle, and houses a multitude of artwork in its twisting, spiraling halls. No two visits will ever be the same.
Toluca, Mexico, 2009-2010. This expansive structure houses multiple families by a soccer field at the base of a mountain.
16. Tulum Museum
Tulum, Mexico. This ongoing project draws inspiration from Mayan ruins and will be constructed with locally-sourced limestone. It epitomizes FR-EE's commitment to sustainability, integration with surroundings, and championing of local culture and history. It also looks like something out of the last Indiana Jones movie. You know, the one with alien-dwelling Mayan pyramids.
To get Romero's masterful eye on your work, submit to the A+ Awards by January 25th.
All model photos: Ryan Koopmans