We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the Sustainability Award winner of our "Iceland Beer Spa" competition – Guillermo del Río Cogolludo from Spain!

Guillermo Del Rio Cogolludo

Please tell us about your company (when it was founded, where it is based, how many employees, etc) Alternatively, if you do not have a company, please give us some insights on your own professional/academia background.

After graduating from Polytechnic University in Madrid, Spain, I embarked on a journey to Iceland, a country that had captivated me since my visit in my younger years. I was particularly fascinated by the refined Scandinavian architecture, known for its clean and sincere design principles. Working in an Icelandic architecture firm on residential and hospitality projects enriched my understanding of construction systems. This experience not only ignited a lasting passion for architecture within me but also deepened my appreciation for Iceland's sensitivity to details within a space and its surroundings, with a profound respect for nature. This journey, along with my project experience working on schools, commercial buildings, and luxury residences across the US and Spain, led me to create “DREAM BIG Architecture.” Specializing in the residential and hospitality sectors, the firm draws from this varied experience to bring innovative and visionary designs to life and create inspiring spaces.

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?

My work experience as an architect in Iceland, the United States, and Spain has exposed me to a wide range of projects, varying in scale. For example, in Iceland, I learned to prioritize integration with nature when designing hospitality spaces, medical facilities (Landspítali), and residential buildings. In the US, I tackled projects ranging from remote luxury homes to high-rises in major cities. Overall, these diverse experiences have enriched my architectural perspective and shaped my approach to design across diverse landscapes and cultures.

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

Architecture to me is the art and science of creating spaces that enhance the human experience. Growing up in Madrid inspired a love for well-designed intentional spaces that facilitate connection and community. This influenced my perspective that as an architect, my role in society is to design environments that not only meet functional needs but also inspire, uplift, and contribute positively to the community. It is our duty to balance aesthetics, functionality, sustainability, and social considerations to create spaces that enrich lives and add value.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

I participate in architecture competitions because they allow me to explore innovative design concepts, push the boundaries of my creativity, and refine my technical skills. They provide an opportunity to tackle design challenges that I might not encounter in my day-to-day work.

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

Go for it! Architecture competitions offer a unique opportunity to explore your design aesthetic, unleash your creativity, and expand your skill set. Getting involved also helps you broaden your perspective and gain valuable insights.

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