Alejandro Zaera-Polo is an architect and a co-founder of Foreign Office Architects (FOA). He worked at OMA in Rotterdam prior to establishing FOA in 1993, where he has developed his professional activities since. FOA’s work is characterized by deftly integrating architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture, while developing a rigorous experimentation on construction technology searching for contemporary tectonic expressions. FOA’s critically-acclaimed and award-winning international projects, developed both for the public and private sector include the Yokohama Ferry Terminal in Japan, the Barcelona Forum Park and Auditoria, the Rioja Technology Transfer Centre, a Bamboo-House social Housing in Madrid, and the Highcross Retail complex in Leicester, amongst others. FOA produced the blueprint for the London 2012 Olympics and was part of United Architects’ proposal for Ground Zero.
Zaera-Polo’s work has consistently merged the practice of architecture with theoretical practice, providing a strong intellectual rigor to the discourse on architecture through a sharp capacity to identify social and political trends and creatively extrapolate them. In parallel to his professional activities, he has developed a substantial role as a critic and an academic: he was Dean of the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam from 2000–2005, and is still holding the Berlage Chair in Delft Technical University and partaking in the Institute’s current Research Board. He has been Visiting Professor at Columbia and UCLA School of Architecture and led a Diploma Unit for eight years at the Architectural Association in London. He has published extensively as a critic in professional magazines worldwide, including El Croquis, Quaderns, A+U, Arch+, Harvard Design Magazine.
Urtzi Grau is principal of Fake Industries. He graduated from the School of Architecture of Barcelona in 2000, was awarded Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design by the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, Columbia University in 2004, and is currently completing his Ph.D. at Princeton University School of Architecture on the 1970’s urban renewal of Barcelona. His work and writings have been published in different international journals as 306090, Architect’s Newspaper, Domus, Pasajes de Arquitectura y Critica, Pidgin, Volume, Via Arquitectura or Visions.
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