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16 November 2022 | Posted by angela.tuduri

Josep Ferrando - Buenos Aires international Architecture Biennial Award

The Buenos Aires International Architecture Biennial held its 18th edition.

The Faena Art Center in the Argentine capital became the stage for one of the biggest events for professionals and architecture lovers. In its 18th edition, the main theme valued inclusion, integration, sustainability and transformation of urban centers in the architecture of the future.   

For the first time since its opening more than 35 years ago, the Biennial was free to attend. It also included a new 100% digital exhibition model that showcased the more than 50 invited architectural firms and 120 selected projects.   

An exhibition that brings together the most outstanding professionals of the contemporary architectural scene. Josep Ferrando, Director of the School of Architecture (ETSALS) of La Salle URL was part of the jury in the Biennial Grand Prize, being also recognized and awarded for the second time in the Biennial BA, the Biennial Prize in the section "public equipment" for the Saez Valiente Building of the Torcuato di Tella University of Buenos Aires.   

Read on to find out more!  

The Buenos Aires International Architecture Biennial  

The Buenos Aires International Biennial of Architecture brings together the largest community of architects and builders who, based on this new framework, define architecture as an engine of sustainability and integration.   

The Biennial articulates with cultural institutions of reference to generate a platform for contemporary production and reflection"   

Altered cultural codes, technological links, invisible borders, foreignness and discrimination, social diversity and new gender relations. We are facing a new technological era in which architecture is reshaped and rebuilt with the firm objective of promoting sustainable buildings through natural resources provided by the earth. As a result, the Biennial presents its new hybrid approach with digital access integrating communication systems and technological formats.  

The Faena Art Center became an exhibition addressing the current challenges facing society and the environment in terms of sustainability and technological progress: Architecture and metaverse, Art and city, Architecture and Design or City and future Heritage.  

2022 Edition - Keys  

The International Biennial is held in Buenos Aires as an international showcase for architecture. In response to current needs, international collaborative work was proposed this year. A new exhibition method that aims to create a space for the exchange of ideas in a global network. This network will increase the flow of information and actions in the architectural field of professionals and technicians. 

A space for debate and architectural thinking in which students and professionals could meet with leading national and international figures."  

For its most complete edition, the 120 projects exhibited were selected through an opening competition that obtained more than 300 applications. All the selected projects will participate in the Grand Prix Biennial of Buenos Aires, hosted by a prestigious international committee.  

The Biennial invites from this year, to think about the next event 2024 and deepen in the difficulties that architecture and building require to make the future visible.   

Prizes, jury and winners:   

This year's theme revolved on inclusion, integration and transformation of urban centers among others. The jury that made up the committee and oversaw distributing the prizes was made up of leading professionals in contemporary architecture and building. Among them were Carlos Sallaberry, Claudia Faena and Miguel Jurado, internationally recognized professionals.   

In addition to the Biennial Grand Prize, the established categories were single-family housing, multi-family housing, public and private facilities, landscaping, interior design and urban space.   

The winners included well-known architecture professionals such as Francisco Cadau (Biennial Grand Prize - Architecture Office) and Josep Ferrando (Public Facilities - Sáez Valiente Building). Cadau has taken part in international biennials such as Holland, Italy or Paraguay, winning prizes in different biennials and exhibitions. Ferrando, for his part, has won the International Young Architect Award on several occasions and actively participates in architectural projects as well as being director of the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de La Salle Campus Barcelona.   

Biennial Award - Sáez Valiente Building  

The director of Josep Ferrando Architecture received the Public Equipment Award for his project at the Torcuato Di Tella University; the Sáez Valiente building in Buenos Aires, built in 2019. The project is the result of a restricted international competition in 2016, with 15 firms selected in the first round and 7 firms in the second round.  

Ferrando, who has a long career as an architect and teacher, as well as being recognized in national and international projects, has achieved on different occasions the FAD (Promotion of Arts and Design) award for architecture and interior design and nominations for MIES awards in Europe and America.   

Complexity is the main challenge of present and future architecture: the habitat and the inhabitant" Josep Ferrando   

The proposal for the Sáez Valiente Building manages to combine classical and contemporary architectural discourse. The block is governed by a reinforced concrete base that, incorporated into the building, accommodates the uses of a flexible screen that is very open to the exterior.   

The work, of an extraordinary portent, follows a structural pattern that allows for modifications in the uses and sizes of the classrooms that make up the building. In this way, changes in the building's layout are possible, fostering the flexibility in technical and structural terms that define Ferrando's vision.   

It is fundamental to confer a didactic character to a building that contains a school of architecture" Josep Ferrando.   

From an architectural perspective, the materials used for its construction (concrete, steel and wood) configure the fusion between the permanent and the temporary. For Ferrando, elaborating a discourse between veteran and novice constructions is the inescapable response that strengthens an integral part of a unified urban fabric.   

In this way, his architecture allows him to formulate as many questions as possible through a balanced mix of research and discovery. Thus, analyzing all the available keys that we have at our fingertips.  

The project has been recognized internationally on several occasions. The building is a contemporary construction that responds to the needs of the habitat in an intelligent way, responding to energy issues in a flexible and versatile way.   

The result? An ephemeral and durable building that allows the interior to be modulated without changing the building's exterior structure.   

The Sáez Valiente project in images

edifico saez valiente universidad torcuato di tella

Josep Ferrando - Career as an architect and teacher  

Ferrando's wide experience has allowed him to acquire the keys to the real architectural challenge: the complexity of the processes. His purpose? To establish a series of rules directed by means of flexible systems that make it possible to respond to current questions through exploration.  

In his lecture as a speaker at the International Architecture Biennial 2022, Josep spoke about habitable infrastructures and valued the different scales and contemporary materials, exposing innovative solutions in constructive projects.   

In his multiple experiences as a professional and educator, he has participated in important conferences. Offering a formed vision on materiality, integrated rhythms or habitable infrastructures, Ferrando has collaborated as a speaker at universities such as:   

  • Cooper Union - New York, USA - Livable Infrastructures.  

  • Cornell Architecture Art Planning AAP. Cornell, USA - Materiality  

  • Massachusetts Institut of technology MIT - Cambridge, USA - Integrated Rhythms  

  • Harvard University - GSD (Graduate School of Design) - Mono-materiality  

His deep polyhedral vision invites him to work on minimum elements in terms of stability and maximum elements in terms of efficiency. Combining the practical, academic and cultural part, he works as a professional architect, director of the ETSALS and director of the Open Center of Architecture of the College of Architects of Catalonia.  

La Salle School of Architecture URL - ETSALS  

As director of the La Salle URL School of Architecture, Ferrando integrates three fundamental values in the faculty: design, technique and culture.   

These values provide a strong vision in the formation of professionals with values capable of projecting a future with their works. The transversality, internationalization and personalization integrate a new educational model that, through common interests, personalizes the training of students to turn them into independent professionals.   

We prepare our students for the complexity of the future, to live passionately from the trade and continue learning every day." Josep Ferrando, head of ETSALS   

La Salle URL strengthens these three fundamental axes, inviting its students to dream through design, to make those dreams come true through technique and to share dreams with culture.  

The Design Studio is also an open and unique space prepared for teaching that activates transversal and collective knowledge between students and teachers. The objective? Learning by doing through a methodology associated with space and transdisciplinary.    

Ferrando envisions the architect of the future as increasingly multifaceted, flexible and complex. As he mentions, the faces of the polyhedron will be larger, and architecture will advance in terms of complexity. At La Salle URL we train professionals capable of responding to current issues through innovation and technology.   

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