We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our “Mega Dunes Eco Lodges - Abu Dhabi” competition – Jose Lopez and Alejandro De Jesus Mendoza Repetto from the United States!

Alejandro De Jesus Mendoza Repetto and Jose Lopez

Alejandro and Jose have been good friends and colleagues since their college years. They were both students at the State University of Yucatan (UADY) in Merida, Mexico. They also participated in an international exchange program together at the Ecole D'ARchitecture de la Bretagne, France [EAB – School of Architecture of Brittany, France].

Jose Lopez, Architect AIA, NCARB

Principal and founder of Habanero Architecture, Jose Lopez, was born and raised in Merida, Mexico where he earned his bachelor’s degree from the State University of Yucatan (UADY) in 2008. During his architectural studies he was able to study abroad in Panama City at the Ithsmus University in Panama, and in Rennes in the Ecole D'ARchitecture de la Bretagne, France [EAB – School of Architecture of Brittany, France]. Previous to moving to the United States, Jose ran a design-build studio where he worked as an architect and general contractor. As principal in charge, he was able to design several small residential and commercial projects. In 2009, he moved to North Carolina and was honored to work for great firms where he was exposed to a diverse collection of projects of different scales and complexities. He has ample knowledge of construction materials and methods, as well as a deep passion for quality, sustainability and thoughtful design.

Habanero Architecture was founded early this year, in January of 2020. We practice architecture in North Carolina, the United States, and in Mexico.

Habanero Architecture is a studio that predicates in designing simple, yet delivering bold design statements. Our firm believes in architecture as a tool to improve lives and our vision is to provide our clients with practical and aesthetically balanced buildings. We promote modern architecture as a state of mind rather than a style.

Alejandro de Jesus Mendoza, Architect

Architect and CGI artist at A.S. Arquitectura. He is also the founder of RettoStudio, an architectural visualization firm.

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?

Habanero Architecture focuses mainly on residential and small commercial projects. While pragmatic, the studio practices highly conceptual and artistic approaches towards design. Habanero has done a couple of houses around North Carolina’s Triangle Area as well as in Yucatan, Mexico. Recently Basiq Blaq House, an affordable-contemporary single-residence project, was awarded 2nd place for the prestigious Matsumoto Prize in the People’s choice category.

Retto Studio is an experienced firm in residential, commercial and mixed-use projects.

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

Jose: Architecture is a profession that uses art as a tool to craft spaces that will make the world a better place. Not taking any opportunity for granted is important to push the envelope and continue innovating towards our built environment. Architecture to us needs to have a meaning and a soul. Offering this to a building goes beyond the program, function, four walls and roof; it provides a cohesive sense of identity that evokes excitement and brings the best out of our daily lives.

Alejandro: Architecture is a language. This language allows to shape the landscape of our society through our built environment by solving problems through creative means.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Jose: These competitions offer a platform to innovate and test ideas. By sharing your ideas with the public, you allow yourself to keep your design edge and profession relevant. It promotes good design and alternative ways of solving design problems. Architectural competitions render images and diagrams that promote innovation and creativity throughout our profession.

Alejandro: I just thought it would be fun and also help me feed my creativity towards the competition’s given challenge.

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

Architecture competitions are like wet stones to your sword. They sharpen your ability to be creative and keep up with the latest innovations. They offer the opportunity to test your limits and grow as a designer. If you are an architect who wants to take your profession to a different level, participating in architecture competitions elevates your skills and knowledge.

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