Globe-trotting and media savvy, up in the Cloud and down-to-earth, Ramiro Losada and Alberto García represent a new breed of Spanish architect. While previous generations often sought the limelight by editing a magazine, as did Rafael Moneo, who cofounded Arquitecturas Bis in the 1970s, Losada, 35, and García, 33, launched Studio Banana TV, a multimedia platform that produces interviews and documentaries about design, art, and culture on the Web. They opened their first office in Madrid in 2008, but work was scarce due to Spain’s economic crisis. Losada decamped for southern California, where he teaches at the New School of Architecture & Design in San Diego, and García returned to the rural province of Cáceres, in western Spain, where they both grew up and were childhood friends. To maintain this bicontinental partnership, the two communicate daily via WhatsApp, in the car or on the jobsite, as if they were both still back in Madrid.
Web-based media have influenced the concepts and values on which the men build their designs. In their largest project to date, La Gota Cultural Center and Tobacco Museum in their hometown of Navalmoral, the irregularly stacked, glazed floors are screened by a mesh of ceramic tiles mounted on wires. With its lack of depth and visible structural support, this fabric-like curtain reads in photographs almost as a computer rendering. According to the architects, it creates “a dematerialized elevation of refined geometries.”