We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Gaudi La Coma Artists’ Residences" competition – Alexander Herrera-Rojas, Kasia Ziolkowska and Rafael Domínguez from United Kingdom!

Alexander Herrera-Rojas, Kasia Ziolkowska and Rafael Domínguez from United Kingdom

We are an international, creative, innovative, and fresh thinking design studio, founded on the convergence of Architecture, Research, Technology, Environment + Sustainability “ARTES”, as the driving force to produce design that is aesthetic yet functional, adaptable, and responsive to the constantly changing climate, technology, cultural & socio-economic global demands.

Since formation in 2016 by Colombian Architect Alexander Herrera-Rojas, ARTES has been working on exciting private and commercial projects alongside other disciplines and expertise in design and construction industry. We enjoy collaborating with other design studios, excelling in design creativity, technical ability, and project buildability. ARTES is located at the heart of West London, United Kingdom. We are a team of 5 strong, and also collaborating with other architects, design and engineering professionals in Europe and The Americas.

ARTES leadership of RIBA, ARB, IARP & CPNAA registered architects and designers, have over 33 years of combined experience in master planning, architecture, interior design, and project delivery. Our studio continuously aspires to expand its portfolio with exemplar design.

Alex is a Colombian architect graduated from Los Andes University in Bogotá in 2000. His interest in architecture and design was born when growing up surrounded by an environment of constructors, architects, engineers, and developers. After graduating from university and completing professional registration, he travelled to London to continue his architectural education and research at the prestigious Architectural Association. In 2003 he was awarded a Master of Arts in Environment and Energy from the AA.

Since his AA graduation, Alex has collaborated with some of the most renowned and international architectural studios in London, such as Hamiltons, EPR, Perkins+Will (former Pringle Brandon) and Leslie Jones Architecture, and other very large multidisciplinary design firms like Aedas, Atkins & BDP, working on masterplanning, residential, office, retail, hospitality, exhibition, sport cinema venues.

Kasia is a British-Polish architect graduated with merits from Greenwich University in London in 2012 and gained her professional qualifications from the prestigious Architectural Association in London. Kasia’s interest in design and architecture came from an early age while growing up in Poland. She was surrounded and influenced by the craftsmanship of her family and a culture of ‘making’. Kasia's experience comes from working with renowned architectural studios in London, such as Hamiltons & Apt and currently leads the architectural technical design at ARTES London, working in a variety of exciting projects alongside other professionals like planners, engineers, designers & manufacturers. She is driven by implementing technical design strategies with great attention to detail for project delivery.

Rafael is a young Colombian architect graduated from Universidad Piloto De Colombia in Bogotá in 2015. After completing his studies and qualifications, he began his professional career as freelancer, which allowed him to get involved in the design and construction of diverse small to large size projects within the residential, education, wellbeing & airports infrastructure located in different parts of his home country.

In 2017 he enrolled into a postgraduate program in interior & fit-out design to further his architectural design education and knowledge, in 2018 he was awarded a Master of Retail Interior Design from ESDESING Escuela Superior de Diseٕño de Barcelona.

Rafael joined ARTES London in mid-2021, under our RCT (Remote Collaboration Team), allowing him to operate and support the studio from other locations around the globe, such North and South America. He currently leads the architectural 3D design division at ARTES London and undertakes the role of as preliminary point of contact for new business in Colombia, Mexico, and the USA.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance, what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where the company/ individuals have been involved?

Our architectural design work covers from small, medium to large projects, within master planning, urban regeneration, living and working for new build, refurbishment, renovation, and extensions within the private and public sectors. We also, provide architectural and technical design consultancy to other professionals within architectural and construction industry in retail, hospitality, leisure, performance, sport, and exhibition venues, as well as transportation. Currently, we are involved in some exciting barn conversions in England and Poland, an urban roof top terrace regeneration in London, and few other private residential projects in Oxford, UK and New Hampshire, United States.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

We value working as a team and collaborating with others, which is essential in architecture. Architecture allows us to contribute to society, helping to shape and transform communities for a better, long-lasting quality of living and promoting health and wellness. We believe architecture can not only create buildings but can shape places both functional, enjoyable and accessible to worldwide society.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

We enjoy participating in competitions, as the thinking process during competitions allow us to push boundaries and experiment, and those experimentations can certainly create the unusual and spectacular.

Architectural competitions are a fantastic opportunity to research new ways of designing, explore more sustainable construction methods, and implement new technologies to deliver outstanding designs solutions.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?

Competitions are great way to think outside the box and use this time to switch to more unconventional debates and thinking time. Think of it as an escape and an opportunity to expand your interest. Choose the competition that is right for you, for some it may be an area to test and challenge yourself, for others could be an opportunity for discussion to address certain topics, from social, cultural, economic to political.

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