The Architecture League of New York has picked the winners of its annual Emerging Voices Awards. Each the year the League chooses eight practitioners from the United States, Canada, and Mexico through an invited, juried portfolio competition. This year’s winners include three firms from Mexico. The rest are based on the East Coast of the U.S. The winners will be giving
“We both enjoy nature, we try to construct always in tune with nature,” said Etchegaray. “We think that earth, gravity, and light must be present to realize a building. Letting time be the one to revealing its significance.”
“We don’t want to mimic nature,” added Ambrosi. “We enjoy what we see in the natural world and try to translate that into solutions for architecture. We believe that architecture should respond in some plastic way to nature, not in complex forms, but in simple solutions that respond to the cultural ideologies we have in our country.”
The firm’s first constructed project was a house for an 80-year-old woman located in a region of urban sprawl on the fringes of Santiago de Querétaro. The one-story structure is made up of brick bearing walls that support thick concrete slab roofs at varying heights, defining different spaces. Set well back from the street and fronted by a grass lawn, the reclusive home acts as a sanctuary for its elderly occupant.
From this simple beginning, the firm has expanded to take on larger projects. Currently numbering 10 architects, Ambrosi Etchegaray has been designing cultural and sports infrastructure for GMexico, a large mining company that has constructed worker settlements in remote parts of Sonora near the U.S. border; several multi-family housing projects in Mexico City; and is just completing a 30,000-square-foot landscape project for Papalote Museo del Niño, the children’s museum in Mexico City.
In the future, Ambrosi Etchegaray hopes to work on more cultural buildings. Whatever sort of work the firm winds up doing, it is committed to seeing its work through construction. “We enjoy putting all kind of ideas on the table and as the projects develop we work on making them as simple and clear as they can be to be constructed,” said Etchegaray. “When we do things that don’t get built, we understand that our responsibility is not complete,” added Ambrosi. “Each project teaches us, but in the end we need to develop buildable projects.”