#THE NOTE BOOK OF Belén Moneo

Belén Moneo Feduchi - Moneo Brock Studio - Madrid, España
Termas de Tiberio in Panticosa, Fundación Telefónica Space in Madrid, Glass Pavilion in Cuenca, and the Northwest Corner Building of Columbia University in New York.

1 – Who is Belén Moneo?

A Spanish architect, with a calling for travelling.

2 – When did you discover that you wanted to be an architect?

When I understood that I could do it well and I overcame my hesitations.

3 – A reference in architecture…

A japanese woman: Kazuyo Sejima.

4 – If you had not been architect, you would have been…

Some other visual art.

5 – One defect and one virtue.

I am a demanding person.

6 – What is your house like?

A composition of elements which necessarily include greenery, natural light, peace, color, and design.

7 – Sunday is a day for…

Outings and enjoying nature, away from the city.

8 – A place to look for inspiration.

Where one least expects it, nowhere in particular and everywhere at the same time.

9 – What is the last book that you have read?

In Place of Splendor, a very personal memoir about the Spanish Civil War, a great story by Constancia de la Mora; I highly recommend it.

10 – 15 Years from now…

I would like to be working more in Spain and be traveling less, that would mean that the country would also be at a better point. And I hope to continue working on what I like, because our field is very broad and varied, and includes all aspects related to the manipulation of space: architecture, town planning, landscaping, and design. We never get bored.

11 – When you think of architecture you think of…

How to transform cities in order to improve the quality of life of their population.

12 – Pencil or computer?

I work with both. I personally use pencil, but the computer helps me a lot at work. But we must learn to use it well. With the computer, it is easier to take shortcuts during the project development process because the drawings might seem to be finished quite soon.  And you have to realize that they need more development. We must hesitate during the process and consider different versions, and that’s easier to do with a pencil.

13 – How would you describe your work?

As a process where, without a predetermined idea, circumstances are analyzed until a unique solution is found that combines the solution of a space with other fundamental elements, such as the project program or its inclusion in a singular context, whether natural or urban.

In other words, the characteristic circumstances of the specific situation and their analysis generate architecture, where space is a plastic element that occasionally, through the structure, has an expressive value.

14 – One project you would like to do.

One involving town planning.

15 – Your opinion of Spanish architecture.

Spanish architecture, despite the economic crisis, is in a good moment, with a large number of professionals. I think that, together with Japanese and Portuguese architecture, it is currently one of the best.

16 – How do you keep your own style while meeting your clients’ needs?

In first place, by understanding the client well, and what their needs are. From that point on, by earning their trust, convincing them that, as architects, we are looking out for their interests. Ultimately, with good communication and a seductive design.

17 – In architecture, what are you better at and what do you have more trouble with?

I don’t know if it is what I am better at, but certainly what I have the most fun with is the creative part, although many times it is also hard to achieve a satisfactory solution. The part of our work that bores me the most is the one that is more alien to architecture, i.e., the administrative and organizational issues related to owning a small business, those that nobody talks to you about, and they don’t teach you anything of at school.

18 – Your recipe for success.

I don’t have it… but surely working with precision is one of the ingredients.

19 – What is the role of natural products in your projects?

A fundamental role, because in our work we think emphasizing each material’s intrinsic characteristics is important, both in architecture and in product design.

20 – Your flagship L’Antic Colonial product is…

The Andes White Tailor Rhombus bathroom wall covering.

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