Masrampinyo apartment building, Montcada i Reixac, Barcelona
© Jordi Surroca
inspiration – Our work comes from desire to draw relations between pieces of reality. R+B is fascinated by advertising. Advertising has made real the “less is more” myth that Mies enunciated. Advertising and cinema are some of our preferred libraries. Sometimes, although not very often, we look at architecture to make architecture.
problem finding – In a certain way we prefer to enter the game when the decisions have not yet transformed into architecture. As architects we are interested in the previous moment where ideas move themselves into the territory of promises. We are experts in discovering promises in a problematic site, in a confusing program, in a low budget, in an incomplete product or in an even slope. For us all those problems are opportunities. We call it finding the resources of a project. A good problem is good resource. We are what the knowledge profile experts would call “problem finders”.
mark not style – We believe there is a way “to have a mark” that is not “to have a style”. That is the type of identity that interests us; not a mark as a collection of easily identifiable signs in a competitive market of other architectures. When all is said and done our mark is our personal search - the things we emphasize in our projects, something like that type of reiterative question you ask yourself in the face of changing circumstances, and not the same repetitive answer you would give to different questions.
roots – Let us present ourselves: we come from Barcelona. We are architects and professors in several schools. Our office began in the early 90s. From architecture school we learned: speed, a high degree of professionalism, and the knowledge that we were ahead not only of a profession but also of a rich system that we were able to get to know very well. In time the general nature of all that we were learning and that which we would need to study more deeply once we had abandoned the protection of the walls of academia.
educators – We learned that there is one part which is enthusiasm and another which is deception, and that to be an architect is to administer doses of intrigue, doubt and euphoria. On the other hand school did not teach to us to work as a team, nor did it teach us other important chapters that exist outside the protected walls of the university. That we learned later. As educators we have always wanted to promote a good balance between reflection and action.
spirit of competition – We have always liked to challenge students to compete, and also to face irreverently challenges which are beyond their supposed degree of architectonic maturity. And this is so because we confide in the fact that architecture not only has a strong base in acquired experience and technical knowledge, but that part of the magic of architecture resides in intuition and risk.
diversity – Our studio is a multidisciplinary team of architects, engineers, artists, writers, and archaeologists. Based in Barcelona, Spain, we come from all over the world including Croatia, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Israel, the United States, and Mexico. We understand and embrace the integration of interdisciplinary collaboration in our work, which consists entirely of competitions. Our clients are always public institutions at local, national, or international levels. We are also members of the Fundació Natura for the protection of the natural heritage of our country.
double rigor – In a brave map of the Catalan architectural culture that "Quaderns Magazine" made in issue 221, R+B appeared with the phrase "Dry Rigor". Dry Rigor could very well have been single Rigor or Sweet Rigor or Soft Rigor. In any case, for "Quaderns" we were hard, strict, and dry rigor. Dry Rigor: double rigor.
-excerpts from Arquitectura Plus #126 pp 126-127.