02.23.09 Enric Ruiz-Geli at UCLA

Enric Ruiz-Geli (head principle of Cloud 9 in Barcelona) unraveled his treasure trove of engaging, well-rounded and playfully investigative architectural creations Monday at UCLA, promoting many a post-reception attendee to ask (again): What the hell is keeping architecture like this from happening in the U.S.? In Spain it seems one could build anything the imagination allowed, a sweating expo center (with real salt water), a flickering building that moves like a whale, or a crashing wave suspended in air.

Ruiz-Geli’s presentation was a decidedly different in tone and reaction from a majority of recent architecture school lectures around town: with commonly young practitioners, contemporarily and timely in their concern for complex spatial geometries but thin on argument, stance and ideas. Fortunately, this was not the case with Ruiz-Geli, who managed to keep the restless Monday night crowd engrossed through three crashes of his laptop and sound problems. To boot, he managed to get former dean Sylvia Lavin down on her elbows in front of the crowd – to demonstrate a movement-translation software that was embedded in a cushion-like mat, of course.

Projects covered in the lecture (and the same projects that are on hand at the accompanying exhibit next door to Perloff hall in the UCLA Architecture building) included the “Villa Nurbs” house – situated in a Disney-fied, gated community in Spain that runs equal with our own O.C. – with its concrete cloud formation foundation and cladding in black ceramic thermal fins, the pool resides upstairs under bubble-eye skylights. Ruiz also highlighted his theatrical Edificio de Oficinas Media in Barcelona, an office that’s as structurally simple as it is brawny and wraps itself in a motion sensing, moveable skin.

Exhibit runs until April 24

No comments:

Post a Comment