Antón García-Abril

April 15, 2009
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Spotlight Award and Lecture

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Ensamble Studio was co-founded in 2000 by Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa, with offices now in Boston and Madrid.

The practice’s design methodology is inherently intertwined with the process of building. Visiting the quarries from which their stone is sourced and dreaming up new ways to utilize raw materials, García-Abril and Mesa have situated the art of making at the very heart of their office. The result is a body of work that implements unconventional techniques to produce fantastical and radical forms.

The projects themselves seem to teeter on the edge of fiction and reality. Often primordial and cave-like in aesthetic, they appear to be excavations from the earth, or to be excavating the earth themselves. In order to achieve these forms and ensure their structural stability, Ensamble established Ensamble Fabrica, an in-house manufacturing workshop. 

Led by builder and engineer Javier Cuesta Rodríguez-Torices, the workshop allows the studio to run tests and create mock-ups and prototypes of Ensamble Studio designs. This dedication to fabrication comes through in their representation.

García-Abril and Mesa have taught at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Cornell University, the University of Texas, The Cooper Union, Pratt Institute, and Georgia Tech. Ensamble’s work has been heavily published and lauded, as well as displayed at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Venice Architecture Biennial, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others.