Fernando Marquez Cecilia & Richard Levene.
Text by RIBA announcing the 2014 International Fellowships of the RIBA.
Fernando Marquez Cecilia + Richard Levene. It is hard to imagine the world of architectural publishing without the dependable series that El Croquis has become in the past decades since its inauguration in 1982 and over 167 editions. Particularly in today’s world of vanity publishing, in which almost anything can – and unfortunately does – get published and circulated, it is refreshing that the small team run by Márquez and Levene continues to maintain the exceptional quality of their highly selective publications.
They publish the work of not only internationally established architects but of promising younger practitioners whose work exhibits a theoretical grounding even if they have built very little. Their particular gift for tracking down and supporting these architects in the formative years of their careers not only helps these young professionals in establishing their reputation, but at the same time has created retrospectively an international Who’s Who of the architecture of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
These are consistent and high quality productions. Márquez and Levene take care in the selection of texts to explain the work of the architect; the explanation of the concepts behind each project; exhaustive interviews with their subjects; the set of clear and beautiful drawings; and the sequence of invariably excellent. All this scholarship (way beyond journalism) is complemented by not over-styled photographs by Hisao Suzuki who has been working as an integral part of the El Croquis team for many years.
Further to their activities as editors and publishers, in 1999 Márquez and Levene inaugurated the El Croquis Architecture Gallery that exhibits, in model form, the most significant construction projects in Spain. As architects Fernando and Richard designed their own offices and exhibition centre in Madrid.
For their generosity, dedication and the excellence with which they the disseminate the cultural values that promote a broader understanding of the role that excellence in architecture plays in our society, Marquez and Levene are worthy recipients of RIBA International Fellowship.
Member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and of the Royal Academy of Doctors, he is an International Fellow of the RIBA, and has been Cullinan Professor at Rice University, Franke Fellow at Yale University, a visiting scholar at the Getty Center of Los Angeles, a visiting critic at Princeton, Harvard and the Berlage Institute, and has given lecture series at the Universidad Menéndez Pelayo and the Fundación March.
He has also chaired the international architecture congresses ‘More for Less’ (2010), ‘The Common’ (2012) and ‘Necessary Architecture’ (2014). President of the jury in the 9th Venice Architecture Biennale, juror of the Mies van der Rohe Award and of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, he has curated the exhibitions El espacio privado, Extreme Eurasia (in Tokyo and in Madrid), Bucky Fuller & Spaceship Earth and Jean Prouvé: Industrial Beauty (these last two with Norman Foster), as well as Spain mon amour (in the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale and in Madrid), and The Architect is Present.
He has been on the jury of several international competitions in Europe, America and Asia, including those of the National Library of Mexico, the National Art Museum of China, the National Library of Israel and the Noble Qur’an Oasis in Madinah. Among his books are La Quimera Moderna, Fire and Memory, Spain Builds (with New York’s MoMA in its English version, and presented in its Chinese version with symposiums in Shanghai and Beijing) and Atlas, Architectures of the 21st Century, a series of four volumes.
Alberto Campo Baeza. Born in Valladolid (1946), where his grandfather was an architect, from the age of two he lived in CADIZ where he saw the LIGHT. From his father he inherited a spirit of ANALYSIS and from his mother the determination to be an ARCHITECT.
He lives in Madrid, where he moved to study Architecture. His first professor was Alejandro de la Sota, who instilled in him the ESSENTIAL architecture that he is still trying to erect. He is a PROFESSOR at the Madrid School of Architecture, ETSAM, where he has been a tenured professor for more than 25 years.
He has taught at the ETH in Zurich and the EPFL in Lausanne as well as the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. And in Dublin and Naples, Virginia and Copenhagen. And at the BAUHAUS in Weimar and at Kansas State University. He spent a year as a research fellow at COLUMBIA University in New York in 2001 and again in 2011. He has given many lectures and has received many awards like the TORROJA for his Caja Granada building. And he was awarded the Buenos Aires Biennial 2009 for his Nursery for Benetton in Venice and his MA Museum in Granada. He has recently been nominated by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for the prestigious Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize of 2010.
His works have been widely recognized. From the single family houses Casa Turégano and Casa de Blas, both in Madrid, to Casa Gaspar, Casa Asencio and Casa Guerrero in Cádiz. And the Olnick Spanu House in Garrison, New York, the Centro BIT in Inca-Mallorca, the Caja de Granada Savings Bank and the MA, the Museum of Andalusian Memory, both in Granada, and a nursery for Benetton in Venice. And Between Cathedrals in Cádiz, and just recently a building for Offices in Zamora (2012). And the construction of the new Offices for Benetton in Samara, Russia, which is about to begin.
And more than 20 editions of a BOOK with his texts “LA IDEA CONSTRUÍDA” [THE BUILT IDEA] have been published in several languages. A fourth edition of “PENSAR CON LAS MANOS”, a second compilation of his writings, has just been published. And just now “PRINCIPIA ARCHITECTONICA”, a collection of his texts written during his sabbatical year at Columbia University in New York in 2011.
He believes in Architecture as a BUILT IDEA. And he believes that the principle components of Architecture are GRAVITY that constructs SPACE and LIGHT that constructs TIME.
He has exhibited his work in the CROWN HALL by Mies at Chicago’s IIT and at the PALLADIO Basilica in Vicenza. And in the Urban Center in New York. And at the Saint Irene Church in Istanbul. In 2009 the prestigious MA Gallery of Toto in Tokyo made an anthological exhibition of his work that in 2011 was in the MAXXI in Rome.