Peruvian architects Barclay & Crousse gave the closing speech at the Latin American Architecture Biennial

Over two days, a group of Latin American architects under the age of forty exhibited their lines of work and architectural production in the Main Hall (Aula Magna) at UIC Barcelona

On 5 October, Peruvian architects Sandra Barclay and Jean Pierre Crousse, founding partners of the Barclay & Crousse studio, provided the closing address at the extension to the Biennale de Arquitectura Latinoamericana – BAL 2021 held on October 4 and 5 at the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture.

In their talk, entitled “Other tropics,” the architects reviewed their professional career and some of their most representative projects, including Lugar de la Memoria, la Tolerancia y la Inclusión Social (LUM) in Lima, the Museum of Paracas Culture Site and the University of Piura’s Aulario. “Our concern has always been to work in a pertinent manner with the resources we have available, while paying attention to the location and investigating the opportunities offered by the climate, landscape and culture. This is the fundamental changed gaze and the great potential that Latin American architects have,” they explained.

Sandra Barclay and Jean Pierre Crousse began their professional career in Paris, where they founded their studio in 1994. In 2006 they moved to Peru, where they have undertaken most of their professional activities over the past two decades. Their work has been recognised through the Mies Crown Hall Americas Award 2018 and the first Oscar Niemeyer Award. They twice won the National Prize for Peruvian Architecture, in 2014 and 2018, and also received the Latin America Prize in 2013, awarded by the International Committee of Architectural Critics (CICA). In 2016, they served as Peruvian Pavilion commissioners at the 15th Venice Biennale.

A great forum for emerging Latin American architecture
Over the course of two days, the Aula Magna at UIC Barcelona became a great forum for exchange between architects under the age of forty from different Latin American countries. “We have seen examples of the cultural debate on architecture that understand it is necessary to have a deep knowledge of one’s own culture, a growing awareness of values and a defence of context. Contextual architecture that, when truly understood, creates a cultural and architectural identity,” explained the deputy director of the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, Carmen Mendoza-Arroyo.

The biennial opened on 4 October with participation from architect Marta Maccaglia, founder of the “Semillas” Association (Peru) and winner of the World Prize in Sustainable Architecture, held in Paris by the Cité de l’Architecture and sponsored by UNESCO. This young architect has specialised in the development of educational spaces in emerging contexts in the Peruvian Amazon and in human settlements in Lima.

Subsequently, Leandro Alegre, Horacio Goday and Martín Olivera, founding partners of the Uruguayan studio TATŪ Arquitectura, also gave talks. In their talks, they analysed the phenomenon of new rurality that is being experienced in Uruguay and described the strategy of permanent links to landscape and valuing a territory and using it as a guide for its architectural production.

The first day ended with a talk from Cásio Sauer and Elisa T. Martins, founders of Brazilian studio Sauermartins. “Our professional research focuses on understanding the relationship between architecture and scarcity, while understanding scarcity as one of the essential characteristics of Latin American architecture,” they explained.

The second day, which took place on 5 October, began with a talk from Argentinian studio Huarte & Pugliese Arquitectos Asociados, represented by Gabriel Huarte and Fabrizio Pugliese. In their talk, they set out some of the principles they employ in their professional activity, such as the desire for their projects to preserve the memory of the place, the strict choice of materials or the value they place on construction details. At the end of the event there was a talk given by Barclay & Crousse, who were invited as special guests.

This year’s extension is the second extension to the BAL organised by the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, after the one held in 2019. Both events were coordinated by the school’s deputy director for Institutional Relations, Iñigo Ugalde.

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