INTERVIEW with ADELA SAINZ DE VICUÑA

Architect at BSV Arquitectos de Madrid 2021-01-12
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INTERVIEW with ADELA SAINZ DE VICUÑA

This has been his professional career so far:

Adela Sainz de Vicuña Cabeza, architect who graduated from ETSAM in 2009. After doing an internship at the KMD studio in San Francisco, California, she has worked as a junior architect at the L35 architecture studio in Madrid, where she participated in retail, office, and residential projects.

For 5 years she lived in Zurich (from 2011 to 2016), the city where she began her work in relation to interior architecture, both hotel and residential, collaborating as an architect with the decoration team of the Frédéric d'Haufayt firm, responsible for the remodeling of the Hotel Baur au Lac. From 2013 she worked at Barbara Gschwend Architektur Innenarchitektur, a Swiss-German architecture studio, on residential and corporate projects. Since 2016 she has been working at BSV Arquitectos in Madrid collaborating on works both in Madrid and in Malaga.

Let us get to know you a little better ...

What is architecture to you?

Architecture to me is the dialogue between the concrete need to create a refuge, a continent, and the conceptual and aesthetic response offered by a solution based on proportion, space, the relationship between full and empty ... It continues to impress me that, at the end of the process, there is a building in which people live, work, interact ... What luck and what responsibility to have such a beautiful profession that can influence people's lives so much.

Sustainability and architecture are increasingly united ...

Sustainability has multiple and varied applications in Architecture. Some of which are inextricably linked to the origins of Architecture, it is built to protect itself from the outside, so the construction itself must be efficient. In traditional architecture, we see many examples of this, with the indigenous materials and techniques of each area, from which we still have much to learn. Today we also have technological developments that enhance insulation, construction systems, and materials, to name a few. Another application, which interests me especially, is sustainability in the design, in the spaces, in the distribution itself, factors that favor the proper functioning of buildings. Basic elements in the design of a building such as patios, cross ventilation, orientation, natural lighting, etc., are of paramount importance both in terms of aesthetics and comfort.

Currently, other aspects that make architecture more sustainable are also increasingly being taken into account: renewable energies, low-polluting materials, or «proximity» materials that avoid transport generating pollution around the world ... The sum of all these elements allows us to make architecture better and better, quality and sustainability, in my opinion are closely connected aspects.

How do you imagine the architecture of the future?

I imagine it to be very human, very in contact with people and with the environment. Large skyscrapers and urban centers will continue to exist, but I believe that we will integrate nature into these spaces, making them closer and more respectful. In addition, new technologies will change our way of living and moving, as well as our way of building, which opens up infinite possibilities as to what the city of the future will really be like, and therefore its architecture and urban planning.

Any important project that you are working on and that you can reveal to us?

Well, right now we are working on several very exciting projects. Some of them are related to giving a new life to existing buildings, of great architectural value, and that we are going to be able to recover and rehabilitate. In these projects it is a challenge to value the existing building, preserving its value and its essence, and at the same time make a current intervention that allows the new hotel, residential or commercial use that you want to give it. We are also working on the reform and updating of shopping centers, adapting them to new commercial and leisure trends.

What is the most curious place where you have been inspired?

When you're working on a project, anything can be a source of inspiration. From material samples scattered on a table, to an image from a movie. And although it sounds cliché, Classical Architecture and Nature are always a source of inspiration.

Some dream project come true?

Although I have been lucky enough to work on many very interesting projects, I believe that the dream project has not yet arrived.

What led you to dedicate yourself to architecture?

I am the daughter of an architect and an art historian, and I come from a family of architects, so Architecture has always been part of my life. I have always been very fond of history, art and literature, but also physics and mathematics. Architecture is naturally the space in which I can bring together all these fields, continue learning and developing these concerns. Each project is different, as is the environment where it will be physically reflected.

How do both concepts come together?

One of the greatest charms of architecture is that starting from a concept, an idea, you have to get to materialize what is projected, you have to go from the abstract to the concrete, turning the project into a building. Therefore, construction solutions and materials are absolutely linked with design and abstraction. A building has to function, and respond to its formal function, but also to its physical function. Not to fall, of course, but also to be well ventilated, well lit, that its facilities respond to the needs of its users ... The challenge is to translate the pencil line into "brick".

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