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EUROPA 1: SPAIN + PORTUGAL

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Royal Institute of British Architects

66 Portland Place

London

W1B 1AD

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Hear from architecture practices Ensamble Studio, MAIO, Fala Atelier and Skrei at the first of the EUROPA talks series.

SPAIN

Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa Molina are architects and principals of Ensamble Studio, a cross-functional firm established in 2000, currently based in Madrid and Boston. Balancing education, research and practice, the office explores bold approaches to architecture that lead to ingenious spaces, structures, programs and technologies, and dilute unproductive boundaries between disciplines.

Their work is extensively published in both printed and digital media, exhibited worldwide and awarded with international prizes. Beside their professional career, Antón and Débora keep an active research and academic agenda; and founded in 2012 the POPlab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) to advance their investigations on Prototypes of Prefabrication.

Based in Barcelona, MAIO is an architectural office that works on spatial systems that allow theoretical and practical positions converge. The practice has developed a wide range of projects, from furniture and exhibition design to housing and urban planning. MAIO’s members combine professional activities with academic, research, editorial and curatorial ones. They are currently teach and MAIO also co-curates an event space and gallery based in Barcelona.

MAIO has lectured internationally and their work has been published in magazines and received several awards for architecture and criticism. Their work has been exhibited at the Art Institut of Chicago, Storefront for Art and Architecture and at the Museum of Modern Art of New York MOMA, among other galleries. At the last Venice Biennial 2016, their work was included in the Spanish Pavilion awarded with the Golden Lion. The team also participated at the previous Venice Biennial and the first Chicago Architecture Biennial, and they have been also invited to participate in the 2017 edition.

PORTUGAL

Skrei was established in 2009 after an exploratory journey Pedro Jervell and Francisco Fonseca undertook across Portugal as to index autochthone materials such as loam, wood, stone, lime, from there launching a pragmatic quest for contemporary architecture. From the very beginning, Skrei has manufactured its own plasters and paints. Back in 2014 it began a self-supply of compacted earth blocks which later evolved into flooring and wall claddings. It self-supplies and offsets the wood trees it expends; it maintains beehives for the production of propolis and beeswax, it collects and transforms manure, and manufactures its own linseed oil among other ingredients for building purposes.

Skrei strives to bring under the same roof the pillars of a new integrative architecture discipline, which includes building design, construction, materials manufacture and artistic production, thus seeking to reintegrate the operative chain of architecture into a multidisciplinary practice. Skrei’s large-scale models and prototypes were publicly showcased at the Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2016 exhibition ‘Building Site’. Skrei is presently active in the regeneration of Porto’s downtown area and conducts research projects with several universities.

Fala is a naïve architecture practice based in Oporto, led by Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luisa Soares and Ahmed Belkhodja. Established in 2013, the atelier works with methodical optimism on a wide range of projects, from territories to birdhouses. Fala’s projects are a medley of formal languages, references, quotations, and themes, only regulated by an obsession for clarity; its architecture is hedonic and post-modern, intuitive and rhetorical.

Fala has lectured internationally and Fala’s work has been exhibited at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Istanbul Design Biennial, the Walter Knoll Gallery in London, the Pavilion de l'Arsenal in Paris and the Storefront Gallery in New York, among others, and in single exhibitions in Panama City, Strasbourg and Lisbon. Fala has published ’01’ and ‘portraits’ and its work has been widely published in international magazines and websites, including Domus, Engawa, Arq.a, Mark magazine and the Architectural Review.

This event is part of the EUROPA – Connecting Ideas Across Borders talks series.

The EUROPA Talks Series is generously supported by L.K.E. Ozolins and The London Community Foundation and Cockayne - Grants for the Arts. Additional support has been providing by The Danish Embassy and TAP.

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Royal Institute of British Architects

66 Portland Place

London

W1B 1AD

United Kingdom

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