The Architectural League’s 32nd annual Emerging Voices Award brings a focus to creative practices that will influence the future direction of architecture. Each of the eight firms will deliver a lecture this month in Manhattan. The first lecture takes place tonight, Thursday, March 27 at 7:00 p.m. when Estudio Macias Peredo and SITU Studio will present their work.
Estudio Macias Peredo
While Guadalajara is Mexico’s second largest city, it is still in many ways trapped in the past, specifically in the way in which manual labor continues to dominate most means of production. This is especially true of the construction industry, and that hands-on, craftsman-like approach to building is at the heart of the architecture of Estudio Macias Peredo.
“We try to have an open attitude to this condition, it’s been fundamental to the work we do,” studio co-founder Magui Peredo Arenas told AN. “We are interested in these conditions and we try make them noticed in projects. We like to think that our work is about a continuity of construction processes, materials, and skills that are nearing extinction because of contemporary ideas of progress. It is not nostalgic. We truly believe there are still opportunities and valuable contributions to architecture in this track. That’s why we use references that invoke primitive Mexican buildings.”
Peredo and her partner, Salvador Macias Corona, met at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO) in Guadalajara, where they both earned architecture degrees. They continued their education together, pursuing graduate degrees at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. In 2012, after working at another friend’s practice, the duo founded their studio.
Macias Peredo’s first project was a competition-winning installation design for Pabellón Eco 2013 at the Museo Experimental El Eco in Mexico City. The installation was simple, but transformative. It inserted a sloping ground plane within the museum’s sunken courtyard that connected the building’s floor-to-ceiling windows with the elevated street, activating a space that had previously been restricted.
Most of the studio’s work, however, is made up of residences and office projects. Standouts among the houses include Casa Arenas in Guadalajara, Casa Atlas in Zapopan, and Casa Prado in Tapalpa. Each of these projects exhibit the raw materiality, simple forms, and hand-crafted character that shows the studio’s commitment to traditional Mexican building. Meanwhile, the practice’s commercial projects, such as the Toyo Food Offices in Zapopan or the Oficinas Hidalgo, prove that Macias Peredo is no stranger to sleek modernism.
The two-architect studio gets by with help from the students that Macias and Peredo teach at ITESO, who do time building models while benefitting from the educational experience, which includes an annual architectural tour of some foreign place. But Macias Peredo hope to grow their practice and one day earn the honor of designing a public project. “It’s not easy to get government work or even to try to get into public contests,” said Peredo, “but we would love to do this.”