#THE NOTEBOOK OF Carlos Jiménez

Carlos Jiménez - Carlos Jiménez Studio - Houston, Texas (EE.UU)

Houston Fine Art Press, Jiménez Studio complex, Museum of Fine Arts Houston Administration building, Spencer Studio Art Building at Williams College, Irwin Mortgage Headquarters, Cummins Engine Chile De-velopment Center, DePauw Peeler Art Center, Rice University Library Service Center, Crowley House, What-ley Library, Rice University Data Center, Crowley Theater Addition and Tyler School of Art9…

 

1 – Who is Carlos Jiménez?

An Architect with his own Firm in Houston, and Professor at the Rice University School of Architecture, in the same city. Born in San Jose, Costa Rica (1959) and permanent resident of the United States since 1974.

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

Ever since I was very small I have been stimulated about building everything from tree-houses to farmyards at my parents’ two (coffee and rice) farms. I had no notion of architecture as a profession, but rather a desire to build. For as long as I can remember that force vital of architecture has always made an impact on me: Transforming a place or a moment in time.

3 – A reference in architecture… 

Many, but for sure Louis Kahn, Luis Barragán, Alvar Aalto, Aldo Rossi, and the early works of Álvaro Siza.

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

Write poetry or make films.

5 – One defect and one virtue.  

The slowness with which I finish a work, and at the same time I consider the appreciation for the slow quality of architecture as a virtue.

6 – What is your house like? 

It is small for Houston standards but spacious, overlooking a lush garden. Its walls are filled with windows that fade into the landscape or beyond their frames. The silence of the walls in my house moves me daily and lets me to listen to all the possible sounds.

7 – Sunday is a day for…

Reading the New York Times from top to bottom, right to left, early in the morning, read other things, listening to music, or watching a movie in the afternoon.

8 – A place to look for inspiration. 

I travel to Marfa frequently because I have work in this part of southwestern Texas; it is a replenishing landscape.  Each trip clears my mind and I see everything more clearly. Having a clear vision of things is always inspiring, it frees and stabilizes you at the same time.

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

The last biography on Bob Dylan, my favorite and essential artist.

10 – 15 Years from now… 

I wouldn’t be able to say as I can only imagine the next day, and it is always a surprise. Despite our obsession with speed and the short range of things, I understand the future as a following and always challenging day.

11 – When you think of architecture you think of…

The beauty of a material, the immortality of a window, the discretion of a detail, simply in the dazzling delight generated by space and time.

12 – Pencil or computer? 

Both but the pencil is quicker and bolder.

13 – How would you describe your work? 

A constant and continuous reflection on how architecture helps us live better and why live in the first place.

14 – One project you would like to do. 

A chapel without a required religious denomination.

15 – Your opinion of Spanish architecture. 

One of the best, strongest, and most diverse in the global scene. I distinguish in it not just a superior quality to others primarily due to its constructive and urban strength. There is some Spanish architecture which is more into global trends as is common in all corners of the planet, and that tends to be the least interesting one.

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

I don’t think much about style, I’m too close to my work to be able to have that distance. I imagine there are nuances, interests, or details that are constant in my work, and that they are slowly consolidating as part of a work that is growing.

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

The thing that is always easiest for me is having a quick intuition toward a work’s conceptual resolution, finishing works in time is the most difficult thing for me because I simply don’t want to consider them as finished.

18 – Your recipe for success. 

Getting up every morning, knowing that every day you have to be thankful for, and deserve your freedom as a human being, as a thinker.

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

They are essential but I don’t speak much about them, they are in the work, they whisper or propose their textures or qualities, they enrich with their beauty and natural quality.

20 – Your flagship Porcelanosa Group product is… 

I admit that the kitchens that Porcelanosa is making are excellent, on par with the German or Italian ones.

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