GSAPP Conversations offer a window onto the expanding field of contemporary architectural practice through discussions on the current projects, research, and obsessions of a diverse group of invited guests from emerging and well-established practices. Hosted by Columbia GSAPP’s Dean Amale Andraos, the conversations also feature the School’s influential faculty and alumni, and give students the opportunity to engage architects on issues of concern to the next generation.
Antonio Cruz in Conversation with Jorge Otero-Pailos
Jorge Otero-Pailos, Professor and Director of the Historic Preservation program at Columbia GSAPP speaks with Antonio Cruz, co-founder of Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos. Cruz delivered the Paul S. Byard Memorial Lecture at the school on on February 19.
They discuss Cruz y Ortiz’s renovation of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the firm’s philosophy of making contemporary adaptations that respect and incorporate the existing structures. With the expansion of the ‘Wanda Metropolitano’ Football Stadium in Madrid, also known as La Peineta, they had the opportunity to revisit their own iconic structure of 1989.
“The problem is to do things in the right way … The criteria is if we are able to maintain the value of the initial building. We have to not only restore the building but introduce something of our moment, the moment that we live in.”
Camilo Restrepo Ochoa in Conversation with Jarrett Ley
Jarrett Ley, a dual degree student in the Architecture and Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices programs, speaks with Colombian architect Camilo Restrepo Ochoa of AGENdA, on the occasion of his lecture at the school on February 5, 2018.
They discuss the nature of architecture in the tropics and its difference from Northern forms, seen in AGENdA’s projects exhibited at the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Mexico City gallery, LIGA 25. They also touch on Colombia’s perceptions of architecture and shifting client relations.
“European and Northern thought have been always about this black and white dichotomy. But the Tropic brings us a very different approach to things, which is that black and white happen at the same time. It’s a tense condition of here and now, before and after, past and present—everything happens at the same time.”
—Camilo Restrepo Ochoa
T+E+A+M in Conversation with James Brillon
They discuss how the creation and workflow of their collaborative practice, working with two other principles Thom Moran and Ellie Abrons. They also touch on their innovative use of materials, which travel between the digital and the physical.
“We've come to realize the way that ideas get better when they're part of a conversation…. it was a really exciting chance do architecture projects that maybe we wouldn't individually have the capacity to do.”
Rozana Montiel in Conversation with Luiza Furia
Luiza Furia, a first year M.Arch student at Columbia GSAPP, speaks with Mexican architect Rozana Montiel, founder of Rozana Montiel - Estudio de Arquitectura, on the occasion of her lecture on January 22, 2018.
They discuss how to engage local communities, the politics of architecture, and the questions young architects should ask when taking on a project. Montiel also touches on the Albino Ortega house, and creating a space designed for reflection.
“Architecture is not only the brick construction but it’s a social construction. If you don’t pay attention to people’s needs, then you’re not engaging any type of architecture…. If people engage, they feel ownership”
Rahul Mehrotra in Conversation with Jarrett Ley
Jarrett Ley, a current student in the Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices Program at Columbia GSAPP, speaks with Indian architect Rahul Mehrotra, founder of RMA Architects, on the occasion of the Kenneth Frampton Endowed Lecture he presented on November 8, 2017.
They discuss Mehrotra’s Magic Bus project, an educational campus which uses ordinary materials found in informal settlements in order to help young students feel more at ease while training away from home. Mehrotra also touches on permanence in architecture and the architect’s role as negotiator and advocate between a project’s different clients.
“How do you design a house for ten years? How do you recycle everything? What’s the material geography? How does the material come in? Where does it go out? I think we talk about sustainability, but in our pedagogy it doesn’t find its way.”