Our spotlight series hopes to shine a light on some of the great architectural minds of Hodder+Partners and discover what inspires them, the styles they love and how they expect the landscape to change over the coming years.
Our next Spotlight is with Senior Architect Alberto Lavela. Alberto is running our New Cross scheme in Manchester, which is due to start on site very soon. Read on to hear of Alberto’s love of Modernism, his passion for sketching and how his home town influenced his career path.
Who is your favourite architect?
I have always admired Mies van der Rohe, whose masterpieces are in my mind as a reference, as well as the work of Alvar Aalto which still inspires me today. I also appreciate the recent architecture of Dominique Coulon, Vazquez Consuegra, and Nieto & Sobejano.
What is your favourite architectural style?
Modern architecture. Since I studied History of Architecture at University I was astonished by the simplicity of the shapes, how the subtlety of the geometry defined the volumes and the absence of add-ons combined a pioneering way to explore the architecture. This set of principles still rule in the design of contemporary buildings today.
What is your favourite building/structure?
Farnsworth House of Mies is my favourite building. It is very inspirational how the building is elegantly placed and neatly detailed. This translates into one of my icons of architecture.
In terms of structures, the Eiffel Tower is my favourite for many reasons, not only for its majesty and the ground-breaking way it was erected, but it has become one of the most admired and visited buildings in the world.
What are your biggest architectural influences?
I remember the first time I watched the film ‘The Fountainhead’ (Gary Cooper) when I was a teenager. His integrity as an architect, talent, perseverance and passion truly influenced me. Architecture in my hometown has a great effect on me too especially having the work of Rafael de la Hoz Arderius as a reference. Also working closely with Juan Cuenca and Martín Gómez gave me the essence and the inspiration of how I wanted to work and develop myself as a professional.
I would also include my passion for sketching, modelling, and construction toys when I was a child, which provided me the tenacity to create what I was envisaging.
What will make the biggest change to architecture in the next 5 years?
The commitment with our natural environment will be a key factor in the buildings and in the cities, where the public spaces will become the leitmotif of urban regeneration. Also the exponential progression of software technology will provide a better understanding of our cities and construction process, and at the same time a more coordinated method will develop architectural projects in a more efficient way.
What is your proudest achievement whilst at Hodder+Partners?
Well, running New Cross residential scheme is an exciting opportunity for me as a Senior Architect, where leading the coordination of such a big team is essential to getting thoroughly in control of the project.
And that’s it!
We will be frequently publishing a new Spotlight blog so you can find out more about our team.