Laureate 2012

Portrait DeboraAnton_LQ

Ensamble Studio is an architecture office founded in 2000 and headed by architects Antón García-Abril and Debora Mesa for both the conceptual and physical research in the field of architecture and other connected disciplines. The studio is formed by a cross-functional team of architects and engineers with urbanism and landscape knowledge, in the search for the development of projects through the integral control of the processes, creating a scientific understanding of the architectural work. Techniques, history, nature, industry, at global or local scales, are the working tools to achieve a sincere and coherent result.

Among the studio’s most relevant constructed works are the Hemeroscopium House (Madrid), the Martemar House (Malaga), the Music Studies Center and SGAE Central Office (Santiago de Compostela); and more recently, the Truffle (Costa da Morte, Spain) and the the Museum of Mesoamerican Art (Salamanca). Currently, very important projects are being developed like the Cervantes Theater (Mexico D.F.), the Reader’s House (Madrid) or the Berklee Tower of Music (Valencia).

Ensamble Studio is headed by Anton Antón García Abril and Debora Mesa. Anton Ga have been awarded with several prizes like the Rice Design Alliance Prize (Houston, USA) to emerging architects in 2009 or the Architectural Record Design Vanguard Prize (NY, USA) in 2005; and diffe­rent works have been nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Awards, the more recent, the Truffle, in 2011. In 2010, the office was selected to participate in the 12th International Architecture Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia, by its director Kazuyo Sejima; and in 2011 the work of Ensamble Studio will be exhibited in GA Gallery in Tokyo, while also three important monographic publi­cations by Skira, Hachette Publishing House and Edilstampa are being prepared for next year’s edition.

Manifesto

1. We work with our hands, we experience. We control the processes better than the results. Because finding the logic in the deve­lopment makes it harder to be wrong.

2. We go to the origin of the processes, to the raw materials, we try to arrive to the essence of the elements and construction systems. And this scientific understanding enables a extreme freedom to operate outside the preconceived processes. We use industry at the service of architecture but not vice versa.

3. We conceive the spaces, design the construction accurately, play with the scale of the building elements to affect the scale of space; and the final form is simply the result of following a clear strategy.

4. We move easily in the contradiction. We design the shadow to obtain spaces of light and we build with heavy elements to obtain light and transparent spaces. We commute from stressed structures to dense structures, from the small scale of the house to the bigger scale of the city, from reordered nature to prefabricated systems.

5. We do not ignore history, we have studied it and we reread it with every project. But we use actual technology and we face the problems of our present times.

6. The structure is the architecture, which is not only entrusted with the important task of dealing with gravity, but also traces the space, frames the landscape, orders the program, expresses; and so, defines architecture. Without dressings or disguise, with constructive honesty.

7. And above all, we do. And if we make mistakes, we learn. But the perseverance in doing keeps us alive. If we do not have work, we invent it.