“It is obvious that an architect’s professional task is becoming more and more complex every day, but, at the same time, the creative burdens -including the ethic ones- cannot be left to one side- since they have always been present as the intellectual basis and commitment to culture. This creates a situation which, if not reorganised in a fundamental way, can become catastrophic. The participation of new professionals on the project and the management of the building work is an irrefutable fact, not only for work commissioned on a large scale, but for any issue that needs to be faced with a minimum of operational effectiveness. Very often, these professionals come from other careers such as the many engineering disciplines, sociology, economics, management, graphic expression, legislation. And so, at times, another problem appears: the lack of knowledge these professionals have with regard to the basis of architecture, including the normal instruments of architecture. The danger of deforming the architect’s creative synthesis with successive specialisations is, sometimes, obvious enough although it is often disguised with derivations in project and style. That is why it is so important to set up architectural offices that deal with these specialities without in any way abandoning a persistent activity which involves the whole world of construction. Offices which are, at the same time, training schools for those professionals who wish to take part as sectorial specialists.
AIA is a very successful example in this meritorious effort. It is basically an architecture office in the fullest professional sense. It is also an auxiliary centre for the various sectors that are involved in construction today. And, further more, it is a school in which technicians and specialists from other disciplines manage to assimilate architects’ methods and instruments. The years of experience they can muster guarantee their reliability. And the youthful enthusiasm they show ensures the capacity of dialogue and battling non-conformity in favour of creativity.”
ORIOL BOHIGAS, MBM ARQUITECTES
“The project gives the life to the technique not the opposite, this is our though. We had been searching for engineering whom understand us, till we meet this young architects and engineers team, whom are able to work together since the beginning of the project our relationship with INSTAL·LACIONS ARQUITECTÒNIQUES, has prove us that the quality of there work enhances ours; we don’t have to hide the technique any more.
Although people affirms, architect is someone who seams an engineer at the artist’s home and at the engineer’s home seams as an artist, at AIA, home, we just seam architects.”
ESTEVE BONELL I JOSEP MARIA GIL
“The ACTIVITATS ARQUITECTONIQUES team adds a new organisation concept in the architectural offices in Spain. This combination of architecture and engineering, design and technical efficiency of quality (…) has seduced me to work with them, since it’s exactly the same feeling I have about the architectural evolution so technical and cultural inside and outside of Europe. This collaboration work began for a very important project as the “Torrent de la Batllòria” Sport Complex in Badalona (…), it has been only the beginning, so other important projects are waiting for us.”
“Pour Ledoux c’était facile; il n’avait pas de tubes.
That is what Le Corbusier said… and was completely right. The load bearing structure responsible for defining architectural spaces throughout millenniums has given it up. Our roofs are no longer able to express how they remain stand, we no longer see domes, vaults with ingenious geometries, structural wood frameworks, wood panelling, metal beams, ceramic filler blocks; but instead, we can see pipes, supply and return grilles, fire detectors, sprinklers, speakers, fluorescent light trays, downlights, wallwashers and so on. While having dinner at one of these scary underground banquet halls in any contemporary hotel, the idea of look upwards come to mind, is natural to suffer a serious indigestion and not only by the poor quality of food and wine habitual in these events.
The works from AIA that we can observe here are a meritorious contribution to the battle that architects have against both bylaws, firefighters, insurance companies, project managers and quality controls, as against horrible standard technical elements produced by obtuse companies designers…This is about a final battle and we are lucky enough to have Salazar and Navarro among us.”
OSCAR TUSQUETS BLANCA
“It was through Enric Miralles, unfortunately no longer with us, that they first met in the early nineties and that the vocations and aspirations of the young Navarro and Salazar, both graduates of ETSAB (the Barcelona School of Architecture) were fi rst brought together. And it was through their dialogue with Miralles, united by their enthusiasm and desire to put into practice a new architectural language, that Salazar and Navarro learned how to break free of architectural clichés and, during this early phase, acquire the mental attitude of the architect, and it I on that basis that they have laid the foundations of their own particular idiosyncrasy: “Architecture is a trade in which it is the architect that defi nes his own limits. With Enric Miralles we consolidated, in our minds, the conviction that in architecture almost anything is possible. One has to establish the boundaries of the field on which one is going to play and within which one is going to take risks”.
This has turned them into pioneers in their understanding of the idea that architecture, as a service and as work of collaboration, is a product of the capacity of a group structure that can make possible an optimised resolution of the most minute technical and design details, converting the architect’s studio into a many-headed beast, in which creative genius is positively subordinated to the combined contributions of the team as a whole and to the generation of an intelligent network in which every specialised aspect plays a fundamental role in the achievement of the common goals.”
FREDY MASSAD I ALICIA GUERRERO YESTE
(…)Today it is a unique position in a world of such established specialties. I think it has been useful for them, since the mastery of the technical knowledge they have acquired has not made them lose sight of the subordination and/or creative complementarity with respect to the conceptual idea that originates the whole process of elaboration of the project until the completion of the work. Subsequently, we have collaborated in several competitions. It is closely related to everything I have just said, the ease that AIA shows, as seen in this volume, by the teamwork with various partners. This virtue, as well as knowing how to associate architecture and technique in an enriching way for both, I think is very “modern” current and timely.
A fundamental characteristic of AIA, which is at the core of its varied activities, is the generosity to be willing to occupy various positions and roles in the scenarios in which they are always willing to appear to act in the service of the best architecture. Finally, a not lesser merit of its founders is that the AIA character is present in all members of its team.”