We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the Sustainability Award winner of our "Portugal Olive Guest House" competition – Juan Pablo Lopez Isabella from Mexico!

Juan Pablo Lopez Isabella from Mexico

I am an independent architect born in Uruguay, I obtained my degree in the Architecture and Urbanism Faculty of the Republic. I am currently developing my career in Mexico, I have academic and work experience in Spain and Japan.

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?

Throughout these last years I have developed several projects independently and collectively. Among the most memorable projects are the nature interpretation center located in the countryside of Uruguay, the woman's house in the village of Baghere in Senegal, a project awarded and published in various sites, and a meditation cabin in Tokyo, Japan that I perform with two colleagues. I have developed significant larger-scale projects associated with firms such as Manuel Cervantes in Mexico and Kengo Kuma in Japan.

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

I feel close to the reflection made by the finnish theoretician and architect Juhani Pallasmaa about architecture as an impure discipline that mediates between two poles, the objective and the subjective. I believe that being an architect has enabled me to explore new issues, address personal concerns, get to know places and, in turn, share my perception of things with other people. I believe in an empathetic architecture, peaceful with the environment that seeks to provide a sensitive background for life.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Architecture competitions serve as a powerful tool to enhance the creative process. I also believe that they provide a virtual journey to different places, allowing us to immerse ourselves in their customs, aromas, landscapes, and diverse architectures. This experience serves as a prelude to the project and enriches the design exploration.

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

I definitely encourage my peers to compete, since the fact of dealing with different themes and issues that may arise along the way lead to professional and personal strengthening.

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