BROISSIN Architects Blazes a Trail for the Next Generation of Mexican Architects
December 19, 2007
Perusing Gerardo Broissin's portfolio, it's hard to believe the depth and breadth of work the 32-year-old has built in his short career, especially considering he wasn't always sure of what he wanted to do. As a teenager he was torn between pursuing medicine and architecture. "They are both very passionate careers," he notes.
Eventually, architecture won out, and Broissin devoted himself to his studies at Anahuac University in his hometown of Mexico City. But it was at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles, while taking a design course abroad during his final year of school, that he had his moment of clarity. While there, he was exposed to the experimental and transformative potential of architecture—a departure from his studies at the more conservative and rigid Anahuac program. Returning to complete his degree with his newfound vision was a difficult transition, he says.
Shortly after graduating in 1998, Broissin set out on his own, eschewing the traditional apprenticeship route. His first project was a house for his cousin in Mexico City. "A typical commission in Mexico," he says, “where the client arrives with lots of magazines and shows you the house they'd like to have." The result, a white stucco building with a red-tile roof, was "like any house you can find in Mexico," says Broissin apologetically. "It didn't bring anything to architecture, but the client was very happy with it." What the architect describes as a "very common office interior" soon followed. While not exactly "big idea" material, these jobs served as the springboard for Broissin’s partnership with Jorge Hernandez and the founding of their firm, Grupo BH in 2000.