Urban Filigree; Paris, France, 2014

Team: Adrian Aguirre & Gerry Cruz (gerrycruz.net)


“If you think about voids instead of working with the solid elements, the truth appears… the art of the structure is how and where to put the holes… strength but not weight.”*(A)

From some geometrical variations Urban Filigree responds to a series of basic notions, (a) the high redundancy of circulation on the proposed city which runs parallel to the river {vehicular (cars-boats) and pedestrian}, (b) the contemplative phenomenon consequent from water and floating structures and (c) an open plan space as a consequential of a geometrical system of grid patterns based on a certain number of members for the required programmatic area, and a tri-axial network based on repetition and deformation.

(a) Parallel circulations to the river are broken, Urban Filigree disrupts linearity; a perpendicular force disturbs and enables visual tension with its context, creating communal exterior spaces, green areas, circulation paths. “Our objective may not be at all how to structure, but how to structure circulations”**(B)

(b) A water landmark, responding to the natural-artificial conditions of the site, enabling human interaction adding complexity to a multifaceted site.

(c) Baron Haussmann carried out a renovation of public spaces; boulevards and squares were created with a strong linearity, connecting landmarks. Urban edge as a basic structure-geometry was created following a natural system, where programme and extended programme respond to a Fibonacci system, a nature based sequence {Each subsequent number in the Fibonacci sequence is the sum of the previous two (Fn = Fn-1 + Fn-2)}. The voids/additions were alternated, decomposing the whole structure into external areas, circulation, and services.

In parallel to these general strategies, specific approaches where developed applying the same framework of grid/cell and the Fibonacci sequence. Interior partitions, programme distribution, external circulation, green areas, a underwater structural system which treats the surrounding water with lemna minor (feeds on organic waste and reduces contaminating organisms), fixed/ loose furniture and a lighting strategy, creating a coherent and consistent system of architecture and design.


* **Robert Le Ricolais. Visions and paradox. Fundación Cultural COAM. Madrid 1997.

Metropolitan Vortex

Metropolitan Vortex. New dwelling, old context; Guadalajara, Mexico, 2013

Team: Adrian Aguirre & Gerry Cruz (gerrycruz.net)

The city is a buildup of vitalities, people, vehicles, and information on the move. Any architecture of the XXI century must be able to relate and adapt to these conditions (volume vs. context) as well as the needs of the individual (space vs. function). The proposed site favors the creation of an architecture that shares such qualities, creating a dynamic relationship between the architectural and social fabric of the context.

In a modern culture of ghost towns , where the generic architecture responds to human problems, the proposal establishes a coherent system of archetypal objects, adaptable to the city of Guadalajara, responding to extreme conditions, topologically describes transformational processes derived from context and program (deformations) and introduces discontinuous realities (structure) adapting to conditions of human habitation, the distance between the urban experience and the human experience is neutralized by exploring a trilateral plane, where the forces are released in all directions, symmetry and homogeneity are displaced by rigorous morphogenesis as a result of local conditions (climate, sunlight, program, views).
Metropolitan Vortex combines historical context (the Sanctuary) and public context (the Park) as part of the program, the park extends the Sanctuary atrium, creating a plaza for public events, and provides balance between void (the esplanade) and occupied (the Palace of Justice, the Sanctuary, and housing buildings). The park is dissolved from solid and green, creating a buffer in relation to the square. Metropolitan Vortex dynamically arises from the street level with an external structure interconnected with a central void (vortex); said vortex creates a natural platform for recreation as a public space and frames the Sanctuary from the north facade.

Metropolitan Vortex is configured as follows. The lower levels of parking are public and the upper level is private; at street level there is a commercial belt of high end retail with the intention of consolidating the public area by increasing the width of the sidewalk, referencing historical schemes of broad sidewalks and formal trade, two vertical cores interconnected all levels and aid as structural support. There are 100 homes with varying configuration and area(85m² – 110m²) overlooking downtown and its surroundings with ability to adapt to the needs of each individual, and common areas at different levels , such as lobby , pool, gym and multipurpose room, making up the new housing in an historic context.

KTISMA journal & Accidental Architecture

Accidental Architecture published on KTISMA journal #3, Latent Potentials

“KTISMA journal is proud to present its third issue, an investigation into Latent Potentials. By interpreting essays, mappings, architectural projects, and theoretical examinations we question the roles our environments assume. This issue is intended to promote focused critical thought into existent sustainable discourses through collaboratively examining Latent Potentials.”

Ktisma journal 3


Link to KTISMA journal website.

© KTISMA is not an official publication of the University of Oregon’s Architecture.

Archivo Pavilion Competition

Hyperbolic patterns. Archivo pavilion competition; Mexico City, 2012.

Team: Adrian Aguirre & Raul Rebolledo

Pattern. A discernible coherent system based on the intended interrelationship of component parts
“According to Albert Einstein, events do not happen, they are there and we merely encounter them in passing, in an eternal present; there are no minor incidents on the way, history is merely one long chain reaction”. The pavilion Hyperbolic patterns creates a link between present and past, it integrates history and design; characters like Luis Barragán y Félix Candela contributed to an aesthetical vision of Mexico City; on one hand, Barragan used light as a tangible material, on the other hand, Candela applied structure as an aesthetic exterior/interior element.

The event is a dominant element in Architecture, the pavilion, seen as a fragment of architecture, is the event as its best; the pavilion becomes the receptor of functions and transformations, is dynamic, flexible and transforms a neutral space into a collective space, this space promotes the interaction between individuals.

The shape responds to a melancholic vision of the hiperbolic paraboloid used by Candela, the pattern responds to structural stresses and creates a tension between open, closed, semi-open spaces (public and semi-public) and provides to the interior of the pavilion a series of light fragments, creating a different atmosphere based on natural light.

Booklet link below.

Archivo pavilion booklet

KTISMA journal & Self destructing systems

Self destructing systems published on KTISMA journal #1, YOU HOLD THE GUN!

Inspired by Bruno Latour’s and Albena Yaneva’s 2008 article “Give me a Gun and I Will Make All Buildings Move: An ANT’S View Of Architecture.”


Link to KTISMA journal website.

© KTISMA is not an official publication of the University of Oregon’s Architecture.

Material footprints

Material footprints
AADRL Phase I, Workshop II
Team: Kathleen O’Donnell, Paola Salcedo, Adrian Aguirre


The aim of the workshop was to investigate and developed and interface between environmental data and mechanical apparatuses, in this case, Arduino.

The context, as well as external variables such as temperature, light, air, sound, were part of the methods applied in order to react to the site.

Click on the links below for videos

Arduino setup

Follow the curve

Follow lines

Avoid obstacles


Follow the trace

Final setup

Strange Natures

Strange natures, AADRL 2010 – 2012, Architectural Association School of Architecture.

Team: Adrian Aguirre, Hyoun Hee Na, Carlos Sarmiento, Justin Kelly.

The ocean hosts a variety of mysterious processes, whose activities are linked to the emergence of complex life systems. There is still much to learn about the ocean, given that 75% of its species remain undiscovered, and 95% of its terrain is unexplored. To better understand the vastness and complexity of these environments, marine scientists go to great lenghts to study them, often spending several days across large areas of the Pacific. They deploy various devices into the water, collect samples, and engage in coral propagation. An extension of this existing migratory network would need to take all of these factors into consideration.

The design and deployment of a robotic fabrication process, which uses on site materials to produce optimized geological implants would allow for the extension of scientific activities directly into the ocean. This scenario, would augment the typical setting of a laboratory by providing an architecture capable of assisting scientists with their studies of the ocean. A key element of the proposal is that it embraces oceanographic science not as a passive system of record-keeping and data collection, but as an active experiment that is able to enhance circulating systems in the ocean. It thus challenges everyday forms of scientific inquiry, since it proposes the study of synthetic interventions and their effect on the natural world. This type of oceanographic research can create a body of knowledge based on synthetic and natural data, enhancing comparison between the two samples, becoming a dynamic presence in ecological growth.

As a method for achieving this, Strange natures proposes an alliance between natural and technological systems. By introducing technological interference into nature’s evolutionary processes, our project plays a role in coral propagation and regeneration. Through the use of complex material deployment strategies, the artificial ecology of the project ultimately enables coral and other natural life forms to grow, triggering a resurgence of marine life in places that may require it, while simultaneously creating a new kind of ocean laboratory.

Video links below.

Agent deployment // Data scan

Geometry generation

Robotic unit

Basic geometry // Sun exposure-sedimentation

Column variation // Birock simulation

Biorock simulation // Coral growth simulation

Geometry section

Strange natures


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