Arquipelago is an award-winning New York and Houston-based practice conceiving projects in architecture, interiors, urban design, and identity. Believing that buildings and spatial experiences are embedded with information, the practice pursues architecture as a form of applied design-research considering site-specificity, materials innovation, and regionalism. Arquipelago is led by Gregory Marinic.
Arquipelago designs environmentally-grounded buildings, interiors, and landscapes by engaging with context through a contemporary 21st century lens. Central to our work is an interest in identifying and analyzing temporal conditions within urban, social, and natural environments. Timelessness and weathering are equally considered in the design of total environments adapted to geography, climate, culture, and ecology.
Prior to establishing Arquipelago, Gregory worked in the New York and London offices of Rafael Viñoly Architects on performing arts, academic, high-rise residential, and by-invitation competition design teams. Additionally, he previously worked as project architect/project designer on several award-winning projects at Tsao-McKown, Gensler, and ABS Architects in New York. Gregory currently serves as Director of Interior Architecture and Assistant Professor of Architecture in the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston. He previously taught at Pratt Institute, City University of New York, and Universidad de Monterrey. He is director of d3, a New York-based art-architecture stewardship organization supporting collaborative innovation in art, architecture, and design. Gregory received his Master of Architecture from the University of Maryland and holds a Bachelor of Science in Geography/Urban Planning and Certificate of Latin American Studies from Ohio University. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Architecture at Texas A&M University where his research focuses on utopianism and interior urbanism.
Gregory’s critical essays and design work have been published in various international journals including AD, International Journal of Architectural Research (MIT Press), Design Issues (MIT Press), Design Principles and Practices, International Journal of the Arts in Society, International Journal of the Constructed Environment, and various ACSA publications. Gregory serves contributes as editor of International Journal of the Arts in Society, Design Principles and Practices, International Journal of the Constructed Environment, and d3:dialog.
Tito Mesias, LEED AP, has held a leadership position in Arquipelago since its founding in 2008. Tito is engaged in stewarding projects through sustainable practice, fee negotiation, consultant team identification, and contract administration. His expertise has been acquired through the management of construction and renovation projects in historic and contemporary buildings, as well as the design and procurement of projects in a fast-track, multiple bid methodology. Prior to joining Arquipelago, Tito gained experience as Senior Vice President for Citibank’s real estate strategies division. Over twenty years of project delivery experience enables him to seamlessly wed the design, documentation, and construction processes—whereby architects and builders are integrated into the core architectural team. Utilizing this methodology, Tito has successfully delivered over 300 complex projects in the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester County, and Connecticut. He is a LEED-accredited professional and holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Coastal Institute for Advanced Polytechnic Studies in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Arquipelago would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their efforts.
Design-Build Award, Project: Sukkanoe
AIA Cincinnati Bike Shelter Competition
Honorable Mention, Project: GROW
AIA Huron Sukkah Arbor Competition Award
Design-Build Award, Project: Coastal Harvest
BiciRACK Puerto Rico Competition Award
Finalist, Project: Topocleta
Seoul Metropolitan Government-Seoul Public Design Award
Honorable Mention, Project: Seoul Market System
ACSA Archive: Beauty Pagaent
Honorable Mention, Project: Tetherpoint
2011 Faith & Form/IFRAA-AIA Religious Art & Architecture Award
First Prize, Unbuilt Work, Project: Capilla de Guadalupe
AWR London LOFT Tower Competition
Finalist, Project: Town & Country
Socio-Design Foundation Award
First Prize, Project: Baltimore Calling
JCC Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI
AIA Huron Sukkah Arbor Exhibition, September-October 2012
Liberty Plaza, Ann Arbor, MI
AIA Huron Design-Build Exhibition, September 2012
Center for Architecture, New York, NY
New Practices/New York Exhibition, June-September 2012
ACSA National Conference Exhibition, Boston, MA
‘Reappropriation: Abandonment Adapted’ and ‘Baltimore Calling’ featured
Center for Architecture, Philadelphia, PA
‘AxA Art by Architects’
‘Bluenoir’ and ‘Madereria La Victoria’ conceptual process work featured
Dongdaemun History and Culture Park, Seoul, Korea
‘Seoul Public Design’
featured winning competition submission
Center for Architecture, Philadelphia, PA
‘Leverage: Strengthening Neighborhoods through Design’
‘Baltimore Calling’ and ‘Mercado La Victoria’ projects featured
Urban Design Center, Raleigh, NC
‘Raleigh Racks’, featured competition submission
SparkCon, Raleigh, NC
‘Raleigh Racks’, featured architectural submission
Estonian Architecture Museum, Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn Architecture Biennale ‘Street 2020’
featured competition submission
Cleveland State University Student Center, Cleveland, OH
2011 Cleveland Design Competition
‘Cleveland International School’, featured competition submission
D Center @ Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD
Open City Challenge‘Baltimore Calling’, featured competition submission
Centro de la Comunidad Universitaria, Universidad de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico
‘Sketch’ ExhibitionArchitectural concept sketches featured
Center Gallery, Fordham University at Lincoln Center, New York, NY
‘Aperture Screen’ featured Interior Installation
Anton Art Center, Mount Clemens, MI
ShopShack Design Competition
featured Architectural Submission
ArtCity Calgary, Calgary, Canada
Peepshow 2008, featured Architectural Submission
Beyond Housing Conference, St. Louis, MO
Universal Design Summit III, featured Architectural Submission
‘Cincinnati Bike Shelter Competition’. (2012), AIA Cincinnati: Cincinnati; project: GROW
‘Competition Panel’, Damdi Architectural Publishing Company Ltd.: Seoul; various projects
‘AIA Forward Journal’ 112, Spring 2012, Marinic, Gregory. Temporal Adaptations Embedding Information, Fluidity, and Time within Design Process AIA: Washington, DC; projects: Baltimore Calling and Estonian Flyway
‘Form & Faith’ magazine, 12/2011; Winning competition entries from 2011 IJRAA Awards; project: Capilla de Guadalupe featured
‘Urbanite’ magazine, 10/2011; ‘Open City Challenge’; project: Balitmore Calling
‘Architectural Model’, Damdi Architectural Publishing Company Ltd.: Seoul; various projects
‘Remodeling’, Damdi Architectural Publishing Co. Ltd., Seoul; project: Bleunoir
‘Portfolio’, Damdi Architectural Publishing Co. Ltd., Seoul; project: Aperture screen
Arquipelago is a multi-cultural and multi-perspectival practice that operates through design, research, teaching, and speculation.
Arquipelago bridges academic design-research inquiry with a contemporary, critical architectural practice. We pursue speculative projects, international competitions, and built work that furthers a belief that architecture is an inherently fluid, humanist, and globally-interconnected endeavor. Our work centers on experiential synthesis that balances the pragmatic issues of context, program, and economy with client desires and requirements. Migration and transition are simultaneously engaged from architectural, geographic, and ecological perspectives.
Arquipelago considers ‘architecture’ a continuum that negotiates all disciplines ranging from urban design-to-interior architecture and product design-to-graphic visualization. Our design approach emerges from intensive research paired with creative experimentation. Through a shared dedication to innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration, we work to blur boundaries between the design disciplines. Our projects range in size and scope from award-winning designs for bike racks and deployable marketplace infrastructure, to carefully detailed residential interiors and large-scale urban design proposals. Design teams at Arquipelago are characterized by global experience and multi-disciplinary expertise.
Arquipelago’s work has been recognized by awards, publications, and exhibitions both nationally and internationally. The practice has been awarded by the AIA, Seoul Metropolitan Government-Seoul Public Design Competition, Socio-Design Foundation, IFRAA-AIA, BiciRack Puerto Rico, and the ACSA. Arquipelago's projects have been exhibited worldwide at the Tallinn Biennale, Estonian Architecture Museum, Dongdaemun History and Culture Park-Seoul, Center Gallery-New York, Philadelphia Center for Architecture, D Center-Baltimore, Raleigh Urban Design Center, SparkCon-Raleigh, Cleveland State University, Universidad de Monterrey, and elsewhere. The practice has been published in various international media sources including AIA Forward, International Journal of the Arts in Society, Design Principles and Practices, and various books by Seoul-based DAMDI Architectural Publishers.
Arquipelago maintains offices in midtown Manhattan and Houston. The significant contrast of these two metropolitan environments cultivates an original perspective on the built environment. Arquipelago is dedicated to stewarding the creative, intellectual, and professional growth of emerging designers. The practice offers its collaborators a flexible work environment, characterized by an entrepreneurial spirit, team work, and cross-disciplinary engagement. An experimental design environment allows design teams to cross-pollinate concepts, research, and learning across the studio. Camaraderie and collegial support are highly valued, whereby innovation, ambition, and dedication define the studio as an open and non-hierarchical work environment.
Investigation brings us to solutions, whereby a designed ‘finding process’ fuels unanticipated architectural discoveries. We begin with intensive research paired with multi-layered conceptual experimentation. Project requirements, site conditions, and client needs are analyzed through multiple filters of inquiry, comparison, and speculation. Generative concepts are tested by form-finding, materials research, and iterative modeling using physical and digital media--then evaluated and visualized in a comparative and provocative manner.
Arquipelago’s approach to interior architecture and spatial design centers upon establishing strong environmental relationships, amplifying spatial performance, supporting social flows, and pursuing optimum material configurations. Balancing programmatic requirements, existing conditions, construction economies, and client desires--our work seeks to produce an experiential synthesis of form, space, and materiality that is simultaneously aware of and particular to its pre-existing context.
Arquipelago’s urban design and landscape ethos exists at the intersection of architecture, art, culture, and ecology. We believe in design strategies that do not simply form, but rather perform various functions beyond those conventionally associated with built interventions. Through our projects, we seek to bridge the gap between theory and design-practice by responding to the historical, social, regional, and ecological narratives of a given site. Each project is approached as an opportunity to research larger ecologies—both environment and social—that underpin a site within its region.
Arquipelago offers brand development and positioning services that provide creative solutions for projects of any type and scale. Since our inception, we have blurred the boundaries between conventional design disciplines. We offer multidisciplinary expertise in the development of ‘total’ design environments that evolve from logo and product development--to media, spatial, and architectural design. Our services range across the entire brand-identity spectrum to include strategic consulting, logo design, verbal identity, web consultation, peripherals, and integrated print-media materials.
Our civic, cultural, and institutional design methodology begins with cultivating a deeper understanding of the functional, environmental, social, spatial, cultural, and geographic conditions that impact each project. The resulting design concept addresses humanist needs, rather than a biased “solution” based upon a narrowly defined “problem”. Offering opportunities for adaptation and change, architecture expresses a natural outgrowth of an evolutionary process.
CAPILLA DE GUADALUPE & GALERIA CAPUCHINA
location_Santiago, Nuevo León MEXICO
program_Roman Catholic chapel, art gallery
intervention_architecture, landscape urbanism
This Roman Catholic chapel and contemporary art gallery explores the interface of building, materials, and site as a balanced living ecosystem. Proposed for the village of Santiago, Nuevo Leon, the chapel acts as a catalyst for reconsidering religious rituals and their subtle relationship to the natural world. The chapel and gallery are set in a common compound at the center of town. A shared interior water court-garden is designed as a secular oasis of tranquility and introspection. Considering ecological practices was a central strategy for the chapel/gallery—the structure is to be constructed entirely of sustainable bamboo wood, recycled glass, and eco-concrete floors. Visitors arrive at the chapel/gallery at a common entrance. The dual usage and specificity of each aspect of the complex is celebrated by clear typological cues. The chapel/gallery assumes an interdependent relationship of form, space, structure, and material while conveying the hybrid pre-Columbian and European nature of the Christian faith in Mexico.
Arquipelago team_Gregory Marinic, principal; Ivan Aguirre, Sofia Castillo, Maricela Macias, Aida Perez-Tejada, Alejandra Rios
SEOUL MARKET SYSTEM
program_deployable market system
This proposal enhances the common needs of Seoul’s citizens and offers a public amenity that can be deployed in customizable configurations serving various market functions. Seoul Market System is a component-based system based on five deployable modules. These modules may be deployed individually or in groups, offering optimum adaptability to seasonal change and neighborhood requirements. Components are based on analysis of cultural and natural generators specific to Korea, particularly, its timeless natural environment and ancient culture. A study of formal and material generators was undertaken to determine a configuration that reflects connectivity with place-specific qualities. As a component system, it is lockable and secure. When not in use, the entire system conceals market wares. Along with shelving, storage, electrical services, and display components, the modules also offer public benches. These components are provided in half-circle and linear configurations, offering endless ways to deploy social spaces intermingled within the markets themselves.
The system is sheathed in metal panels painted in eco-friendly enamel. Like Korean lacquerware and ceramics, the surface is intended to provide durability and will acquire a weather-based patina over time. Solid as well as perforated ‘viewing’ components are offered in the Seoul Market System. The ‘perforated’ components are designed to embed a hybrid natural/cultural pattern derived from analysis of conditions inherent to Korea. Seoul Market System activates the streets by providing an integrated and highly-customizable network of market and social spaces throughout the city. The system adapts to the needs of citizens and merchants, while simultaneously providing places of curiosity and delight.
Arquipelago team_Gregory Marinic, principal; Stephanie García
REAPPROPRIATION MADERERIA LA VICTORIA
location_Monterrey, Nuevo León MEXICO
context_urban, central city, post-industrial
program_green marketplace, urban farm, residential
intervention_architecture, interior architecture, historic preservation
This project for the Mercado La Victoria (Victoria Market) in central Monterrey reprograms the historic La Victoria Lumber Yard as a marketplace serving residents in the urban core of Mexico’s second largest metropolitan area. Rather than considering the market as a self-contained environment, this proposal transforms a neglected building into a fluid extension of a central city landscape. Operating under this axiom, Mercado La Victoria draws pedestrian activity and the urban fabric itself into the structure, and thus creates
a densified node within a characteristically decentralized downtown. Examining sprawl urbanism and resulting outward economic flows over time, potential was revealed for the systematic expansion of central city retail. Further study informed the development of a market providing regionally grown organic produce and handcrafted dry goods. The program separates these functions within the two-level existing building. New architecture and landscape, inserted into the Art Deco context, activates the space both formally and performatively.
The new market provides enhanced amenities for downtown residents, while drawing increased flows from suburban districts.
Arquipelago team_Gregory Marinic, principal; Darío Badillo, Miguel Buenrostro, Carlos Contreras, Stephanie García, Rodrigo Garza, Estefanía Mendivil
Central to our engagement with the urban scale is the notion that urban design can respond to an ecological context, as well as the historical, social, and cultural relevancy of its geographic location. Timelessness and weathering are equally considered in the development of adaptable interventions designed to effortlessly merge with their larger context. The resulting work is inherently social, ecologically-balance, and devoted to the needs and quotidian experiences of users.
location_Baltimore, MD USA
intervention_construction zone mitigation
In the 21st century, methods and means of communication have undergone rapid transformation. A dying icon, the public telephone was once a symbol of modernity and communication. Typically located at a busy downtown street corner or adjacent to bus stops, the telephone booth offered a simple, direct, and affordable way to connect and share information. Baltimore Calling recalls the fading memory of this mid-20th century communication device by reinterpreting its form, function, and performance. The project offers a way to simultaneously connect people with information, culture, and nature. This proposal for the Baltimore MTA systems suggest a flexible approach to embedding landscape into urbanism and providing a ‘third way’ adapted to various conditions, continual change, and unpredictability. The concept, Baltimore Calling, offers an insertable light infrastructure that mitigates the adverse effects of MTA Red Line construction from the inside, thus allowing the system as a whole to maintain balance. Here, the physical dimensions of the classic telephone booth (4’ x 4’ x 8’), as well as informal geometries of stacked cast-off construction pallets, simultaneously informed the design of site-specific performative architectural installations for Baltimore. Constructs may be temporarily installed at various locations impacted by construction activity throughout the MTA system.
Arquipelago team_Gregory Marinic, principal; Carlos Contreras, Jaime Garcia
location_Raleigh, NC USA
Conceived for the Raleigh Racks competition, Tetherpoint reconsiders the role and function of a conventional bicycle rack within a dense downtown urban environment. Adapted to the city’s material, visual, and environmental specificities, tetherpoint responds to citizen needs by introducing a series of usable architectonic follies as an urban design intervention. The system offers maximum customization--simultaneously providing for bicycling infrastructure, way-finding, and visual delight responding to the specificity of each district. The urban configurations of Raleigh’s five downtown districts were considered for their relevance as formal generators. Urban patterns inherent to the geometric complexities of Glenwood South, Capital, Warehouse, Fayetteville Street, and Moore Square districts were identified and analyzed. Five place-relevant modular components emerged from our analysis. Components may be used individually, or alternatively, they may be ganged onto additional components to generate custom-length bicycle racks. Connecting identical ‘Warehouse District’ modules, for example allows bike riders to identify their ‘location’ within the city. ‘Hybrid’ assemblies that incorporate multi-district components allow bike riders to visually identify transitional zones between districts. Built from blackened steel and finished with five custom paint washes that communicate the five color-coded districts of downtown Raleigh, Tetherpoint has been designed to adapt to its urban environment over time. As an insertable and adaptive device, the system offers a highly-customizable and functional infrastructure for an expanding sustainable transportation network. Tetherpoint has been designed to continually and effortlessly wear into its site. Looking better over time with zero maintenance, the blackened steel and rusticated paint-wash finish is inherently imperfect and weathered. Sculptural system, bicycling amenity, or way-finding device--these roles suggest only a few of the urban-scale potentialities for this networked soft infrastructure.
Arquipelago team_Gregory Marinic, principal; Ivan Aguirre, Karen Mendoza
MEMORYSCAPE: American Dystopia
location_St. Louis, MO USA
context_landscape, urban forest
intervention_architectural follies, landscape urbanism
There are two sides to every story. This proposal for the ‘Pruitt-Igoe Now’ competition casts its lens simultaneously upon the past and present for its conceptual inspiration--interrogating conventional wisdoms and asking: How might the Pruitt-Igoe legacy be reinvested into the territory from which it was erased, whereby positive and negative narratives may be presented through an unbiased filter? ‘Natural Fluidities: Pruitt-Igoe Memoryscape’ challenges the conventional notion that the Pruitt-Igoe story was an overt failure. Rather, this concept engages an American utopia turned dystopia, reflecting upon a social, architectural, and urban legacy that has been unapologetically wiped away from the American urban landscape.
This ‘erasure’ has had a devastating impact on former Pruitt-Igoe residents and the people of St. Louis, as well as urban planners, architects, theorists, and the general public worldwide. The arguably savage act of clearance reinforced an equally savage act of ‘slum’ dislocation in the name of rebirth. The original ‘Pruitt-Igoe’ site has been cleared twice, and both times, the act of removal was met with criticism, contemplation, and regret. This proposal maintains the site in a generally natural form, while introducing a series of ‘follies’ into the landscape that recall the memory of Pruitt-Igoe. Tower C-15 is rebuilt as an open-air construct—occupiable and scalable by rock-climbers and campers, the tower once again comes to life. Its top floor acts as a conventional bird-watching and observation tower. A second folly, the ‘Picnic Pavilion’ offers a chance to once again occupy one of the ‘homes’, but this time, as a habitat that convenes directly with natures. The ‘Picnic Pavilion’ replicates the plan and interior of a ground-level unit. Its spaces are furnished with living, dining, and resting areas. The personal social spaces of the apartment are reinterpreted as public space, while the natural landscape continues to merge into an ecologically-balanced primeval state. A third folly, the Memory Forest, installs a series of glass etched panels woven into the dense woodlands of the Pruitt-Igoe site. The narrative features positive images of Pruitt-Igoe’s history—its families, social spaces, special events, and private moments—as well as images of its brutal erasure throughout the 1970s. Memory Forest is situated along natural pathways that intermingle the site. Here, ecology and history are linked as a shared, unbiased, and reflective experience on an American utopia-dystopia.
Arquipelago team_Gregory Marinic, principal; Roni Kop, Amanda Kroll, Rigo Moreno
program_green space, wildlife sanctuary
Estonia’s environmental backdrop has inspired increasing awareness and stewardship of its diminishing natural landscapes. The tradition of nature conservation in Estonia traces its origins to the early twentieth century. The country’s first nature reserve was founded at Vilsandi in 1910, and the first national conservation laws date to 1935. Since that time, the West Estonian Biosphere Reserve, four national parks, five nature reserves, and 480 protected zones have been established to preserve threatened flora and fauna, comprising nearly ten percent of the national territory. Within them, 210 plants and 300 animal species remain rare or endangered--requiring efforts to enhance protection and to foster greater propagation. Such measures are welcomed, but how can threatened ecosystems be networked to re-link lost synthesis between urban and rural areas? How can Estonia’s inherent geographic diversity be re-manifested within contemporary cities and towns?
This smallest and northernmost Baltic country lies at a strategic location along one of Europe’s major migratory flyways. Estonian waterways and its coastline provide natural stepping-stones along the main route between the breeding and wintering areas for millions of Arctic waterbirds. The biodiversity of Estonia’s protected lands is impressive, but what about the potential for enhancing bird habitats within Tallinn itself? How might bird activity, paired with recreational space, be reintroduced into the center city? How might these new natural corridors offer enhanced quality of life opportunities for Tallinn’s residents? Conceived for the Tallinn Biennale 2012, this proposal for the Street 2012 competition reconsiders the notion of sanctuary within a dense urban environment. The proposal suggests a permanent, site-specific, bird habitat infrastructure for the heart of the capital city. Adapted to material and environmental specificities, ‘Estonian Flyway’ re-introduces lost natural landscapes, like those found in Estonia’s national parks, into Tallinn itself. ‘Estonian Flyway’ proposes a new hybrid environmental infrastructure, incorporating enhanced pedestrian space, bikeways, and modified vehicular zones connecting central Tallinn with its eastern waterfront. Like a natural birch forest thicket, the proposal has been designed to continually merge with the city by hosting additional native plant material over time. As the construct wears into its site, the habitat will eventually become fully overgrown with vines, tall grasses, mosses, and lichens. Pedestrian zone, bikeway infrastructure, bird habitat, viewing platform, or waterfowl zone--these roles suggest only a few of the urban scale potentialities for this networked infrastructure. As a source of both curiosity and delight, ‘Estonian Flyway’ proposes a time-relevant construct that activates, supports, and responds to its urban environment.
Arquipelago team_Gregory Marinic, principal; Iván Aguirre, Miriam Cázares
Like the city of London itself, the Olympic Games bring people together from around the world to share life and culture. This proposal for the London Olympic Games Information Pavilion reflects the cultural, geographic, and material diversity found within and beyond London. As the largest urban conglomeration in the European Union, the city’s cosmopolitan population of over 7.7 million residents reflects larger global diversity. This concept for the London Olympic Games Information Pavilion competition embeds information derived from a global survey of biological, geological, and geographic generators. This information was studied, diagrammed, and evaluated for its relevance as a cultural filter serving visitors from around the world.
Conceived as a mobile structure that would be initially deployed in Trafalgar Square, the pavilion has been designed to be positioned in the heart of London within one of its most celebrated public spaces. Adapted to the classical formal geometry of its historic environment, this proposal is characterized by a serious of panels and movable partitions constructed from Corten steel. Each partition responds to atmospheric, environmental, and human movement, and is engraved with information highlighting London and the Olympic Games, as well as important facts of participating nations. The walls trace a path through Trafalgar Square with interstitial spaces reserved for programmatic elements such as the café, shop, projection room, and washrooms.
Arquipelago team_Gregory Marinic, principal; Karen Mendoza, Alejandra Ríos, Andrea Barrero
Design should perform.
Engaging the best of design, comfort, style, and pragmatism--Arquipelago combines a place-relevant contemporary residential aesthetic with sophisticated methods, materials, and finishes. This convergence of influences produces living environments that are infused with function, warmth, and ease. An effortless assemblage of architecture, interior design, and art creates unique residences that reflect each client's vision, taste, and needs. Close collaboration with engineers, artisans, and craftspeople allows our knowledge to transcend the conventional boundaries of design, construction, and project delivery. This methodology generates timeless residences that embody innovation, beauty, and value.
location_Monterrey, Nuevo León MEXICO
context_urban, historic, Barrio Antiguo
program_mixed affordable/market-rate housing
For most cities in the world, public housing tends to result in non-descript blocks of generic apartment buildings. These spaces lack visual character at the urban scale, while fostering an uninspired and conventional living environment for residents. This proposal for mixed-use affordable and market-rate housing in Monterrey, Mexico is centered around the notion that contemporary architect can directly reflect timeless cultural values. Bamboo is the main protagonist in Casa Rosada--the project uses this invasive regional material as its skin. With sustainability as a pre-requisite, the bamboo skin-shutter façade of Casa Rosada responds to building forms and material conditions of Monterrey’s Barrio Antiguo in a contemporary though respectful manner. Local building materials and processes became a bottom-up generator for the overall sustainable conceptual approach for this project. Reflecting the intimate scale of the Barrio Antiguo, Casa Rosada is a simple rectangular 10-unit building. Apartment plans are offered in two configurations to maximize efficiency. The building is organized around the north-south axis and faces the harsh east-west sun for most of the day. In order to avoid heat gain, we wrapped the façades with a 1.5 meter terrace enclosed with bamboo shutters. The shutters themselves offer a constant play of shadow and light, as well as an ever-changing surface thanks to the whims of Casa Rosada’s residents. The façade reflects occupancy—animating the streetscape by day and manipulating evening light much like a lantern.
Arquipelago team_Gregory Marinic, principal; Maricela Macias
location_New York, NY USA
intervention_architecture, historic restoration, interior design, art, accessories
A quintessential pre-War apartment in New York City was fully reconceived and reconstructed as a distinctive, functional, and tranquil pied-à-terre residence. The pre-existing warren of six small rooms was transformed into an open and light-filled space. Dramatic white-washed quarter-sawn oak floors blend previously discrete rooms into a free-flowing gallery-like environment. Divided by a service volume, the newly opened expanse is made instantly more intimate. The living area combines ecologically-balanced natural materials, durable fabrics, and a neutral color palette to create a relaxed, yet elegant, enclave suitable for living and sophisticated entertaining. The kitchen and dining areas continue the minimalist aesthetic with industrial sheet vinyl flooring, bespoke high-gloss oyster white lacquer cabinetry, and quartzite counters that offer a timeless and practical backdrop for daily use. The bedroom includes a bespoke oyster white matte lacquer desk with concealed storage and closet system. The bathroom maintains a reference to the past with its refurbished historic white subway tile and a Depression Era cast iron tub. Exotic Emperador taupe marble and dark-stained sustainable bamboo flat-panel cabinetry updates the space, along with sand-blasted glass components, minimalist chrome fixtures, and concealed hardware. The bedroom uses traditional factory windows of blackened steel and ribbed glass to filter natural light. Underscoring its zen-like atmosphere, artwork and accessories provide sophisticated details that soften this contemporary, haven-like environment perched high above the city.
Arquipelago team_Gregory Marinic, principal
location_New York, NY USA
context_urban, historic structure
intervention_architecture, interior design, accessories
This concept for a micro-living-environment was conceived as a pied–à–terre New York residence for a San Francisco-based art collector. A tenement building in central Soho is the context for this project. Originally built in 1890 as a 550 square foot bachelor’s studio, the unit was converted in the mid-1970s into a serpentine and cavernous “two-bedroom” apartment. This project sought to amplify spatial perception while providing an understated, comfortable, and very low maintenance environment for its jet set owner. The client’s interest in Japanese micro-habitats, 1960s futurism, and antiques fueled the conceptual approach for the project. Reconceived in the spirit of a capsule living module, the bright and open layout maximizes space through streamlined forms, built-in furniture, minimalist materials, and high-technology. The overall neutral color and materials palette is modest and restrained--accented by saturated tones in the public areas and calm oyster white in the more private areas of the residence. Set against a wall-to-wall matte lacquered media storage unit, the living area features a mix of furniture ranging in style from mid-century Modern to Baroque. Built-in storage is designed to discretely house art, antiques, media, and audio-visual equipment.
Arquipelago team_Gregory Marinic, principal; David Nguyen
Flows are temporal.
For us, the territory of commercial design engages the full spectrum of the built environment. Identifying long-term and temporal strategies for commercial space, we search for opportunities to challenge, both in physical and disciplinary terms, the conventional parameters of design. We consider an existing site an architectural opportunity that offers rich potentialities. Superimposing new commercial programs into an existing building reveals seen and unseen conditions--creating opportunities for speculation, transformation, innovation, and performance.
location_Monterrey, Nuevo León MEXICO
program_café, wine bar, lounge, dining terrace
Flamingo, a restaurant proposed for Valle Oriente in Monterrey, Mexico was conceived as a brand extension opportunity for a local restauranteur. Arquipelago designed this high-concept restaurant based on contemporary hybrid restaurant-event space program. Six initial design iterations were produced for two different sites, each exploring the idea of an interactive entertainment environment that would engage ecology, celebrate light, and frames views through its performance. Flamingo’s concrete ribbon-structure variously reveals and conceals the surrounding existing bamboo forest. The lower level bar and lounge, upper level formal dining room, and outdoor terrace provide three distinct
programmable zones for the entertainment complex. Other program areas accommodated within the design include an interactive technology lounge area, a wine sampling area, and a retail shop. The main design element of Flamingo--the concrete ribbon-- is shaped to conform to structural and programmatic needs. A walled bamboo garden contains an existing invasive-species bamboo forest that has special significance to the client.
Arquipelago team_Gregory Marinic, principal; Mariana Castillo, Paola Reyna
BLEUNOIR / VINOTHEQUE
location_New York, NY USA
context_urban, historic, Soho
program_restaurant, bar, lounge, wine institute
intervention_interior architecture, historic preservation
The project focuses on an immersive interior architectural environment housed within a landmarked building in Soho. Time, memory, and materiality form a provocative narrative merging past and present. Here, a new French restaurant is intermingled with both a wine institute and retail space. Film and filmmaking were explored as conceptual generators with particular reference to issues of time, space, mood, and remembrance. Focusing on methods of joining form, materials, and space, research explored the overlapping realms of film noir and architecture in interior environments, at the building scale, and within the larger urban context of Lower Manhattan.
Like the cuisine it backdrops, the design of Bleunoir and Vinothèque speaks simultaneously to traditional and contemporary influences. 19th-century interior architectural details are preserved, restored, and revealed as subtle counterpoints to an inserted contemporary spatial and material language. The challenge of this space was to create a light-filled underground space that would gently invite patrons to venture further below street level. A three-story wine tower marries four levels of space with two discrete programmatic environments. Its steel framework is sheathed in translucent blue-violet glass panels, allowing rear projection of classic 1950s film noir movies that further animate both the restaurant and the cellar bar. Exposed brick, a restored stamped tin ceiling, and reconditioned existing oak flooring are variously revealed and concealed within the surrounding spatial envelope. Layered notions, such as furniture and objects, add scale and temporality while allowing for adaptability and change over time.
Arquipelago team_Gregory Marinic, principal; Stephanie Garcia, Estefania Mendivil
Time activates memory.
Arquipelago’s exhibition design and spatial installation work have been shown in galleries throughout North America. Maintaining a careful balance between art and architecture through hybridized digital and analog ways of making—these projects include exhibitions, site-specific installations, and intimate studio artworks. Our interior and exterior interventions blur boundaries between two- and three-dimensional space, while considering time, place, memory, and temporality in the development of ephemeral experiences.
location_Ann Arbor, MI USA
intervention_temporal pavilion, design-builds
Phragmites australis, also known as Common Reed, is a perennial, wetland grass that can grow to 15 feet in height. This invasive, non-native, variety of phragmites is becoming widespread—threatening the ecological health of wetlands and the Great Lakes coastal shorelines of Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. Invasive phragmites create tall, dense stands which degrade wetlands and coastal areas. Common Reed crowds out native plants and animals, blocks shoreline views, reduces recreational access, and creates fire hazards due to its dryness and density. Phragmites can be controlled with integrated invasive management techniques including organic herbicide, mechanical removal, and annual maintenance.
The Sukkah is a temporary structure and symbolic place of gathering that is deeply rooted in for the history and tradition of the Jewish people. Bringing together family and friends, this structure is erected to provide space for communities to reconnect with each other and their natural environment. This design-build winning proposal for Sukkah Arbor envisions the sukkah as a site-specific and site-relevant construct responding to a Great Lakes context. It assumes that the sukkah can act as an agent by bringing people together in the annual act of harvesting, and thus, mobilizing to control the threat of the invasive Common Reed. ‘Coastal Harvest’ hybridizes the ancient tradition of the sukkah with a 21st century universal ecological cause specific to the Great Lakes region. Builders of the sukkah participate in annually removing this non-native invasive species from the environment. This 21st century interpretation, ‘Coastal Harvest’, reconsiders formal and performance generators of the traditional sukkah as its basis. It proposes a structure whose shape, form, and use are embedded with historical information of the Jewish people and ecological information in the Ann Arbor, Michigan region. An intimate communal space offers an opportunity to express spiritual and regional culture for gathering, rituals, and contemplation. ‘Coastal Harvest’ emphasizes passive communication and didactic engagement. Its volumetric, seed-like shape is generated by individual rings of ecologically-sustainable bent-wood frame in the Great Lakes region. Structural, transparent, monolithic, and ephemeral qualities are offered by the design.
Project team_Gregory Marinic, principal; Kevin Pham, Arquipelago
Meg Jackson, principal, Megapixelstudios
This proposal for Sukkaville envisions the sukkah as a site-specific and site-relevant construct responding to a Canadian context near Toronto. It assumes that the sukkah can act as an ‘agent’ that brings diverse people together for a communal act, and thus, establishes a hybrid identity for the sukkah. Sukkanoe blends the ancient tradition of the sukkah with a building tradition specific to Canada. Builders of the sukkah participate in a journey that reflects on the experiences of the Jewish, First Nations, and Canadian people.
Hybridizing First Nations, Jewish, & Canadian traditions, this proposal, Sukkanoe (sukkah + canoe), provides a shelter-vessel designed for Mel Lastman Square in North York, Ontario, Canada. It offers a ‘hybrid’ sukkah design that draws from and combines Jewish, First Nations, and Canadian traditions, both past and present. Sukkanoe creatively transforms the iconic birch-bark canoe. The shape and materials used for this conceptrecall the innovation and self-reliance of First Nations peoples, the challenges of European voyageur explorations, and the transience of the Sukkot holiday and Jewish migration to Canada. Sukkanoe revisits ancient building techniques in relation to both traditions . The handcrafted birch-bark canoe offers a frugal and ‘sustainable’ tool for human-powered travel made from organic materials. This vessel helped First Nations inhabitants, as well as European voyageurs, navigate and populate the waterways and landscapes of the Canadian wilderness. During portage, canoes served as temporary dwellings for users, providing a lightwight shelter from the elements.
Sukkanoe appropriates construction principles of the traditional Canadian canoe, including its ‘skeleton’ (springer and ribs) and ‘skin’ (cladding), in order to create an open yet intimate sukkah. By introducing birch-bark cladding and maintaining exposed structural transparency, this proposal attempts to provide an open yet protected environment for the context of Mel Lastman Square. Sukkanoe rethinks the meaning of the ‘sukkah’ as a temporal vessel-space for North York. Sukkanoe responds as a temporary structure associated with the festival of Sukkot. The sukkah symbolizes protection and perseverance, and so, Sukkanoe seeks to evoke a similar mobility, yet temporal ‘permanence’. By transforming the prototypical canoe placed firmly on the ground, it recalls both the journey of Jewish immigrants to the New World, as well as the identity of subsequent generations who were born in Canada. Sukkanoe reflects this new, hybrid Canadian identity. Sukkanoe negotiates three different traditions: Jewish, First Nations, and Canadian. Thus, the conceptual and material qualities of its design are meant to remind adult and children visitors of the challenges that faith and identity pose to our shared journey of coexistence. As a temporal structure embedded with significant spiritual meaning, the sukkah can bridge cultures by offering a common ground to reflect upon space, place, tradition, and spirituality.
Researching the historical migrations of First Nations peoples and Jewish culture--a convergence of the ‘temporal’ emerged. This project examined the notion of ‘community’ through a lens of Jewish culture, First Nations social networks, and contemporary Canadian society. As an historical documentation device, the sukkah performs much like the temporary constructs of First Nations peoples. Thus, seasonal and ephemeral qualities of a pre-Columbian structural logic informed the development of this scheme. Seen from a universal and long-term lens, Sukkanoe returns to the ‘low-tech’ performance of Jewish sukkah-building law, interwoven with a First Nations, uniquely Canadian perspective.
Natural materials offered an ecological ‘logic’ to generate the formal emergence of this concept. Birch-bark provided sheathing opportunities and constraints. Its pliable and directional organization allows for a primarily uni-directional curvature. Harvested locally using ancient techniques, birch-bark cladding will aid in sheltering the interior from sun and rain, while enhancing the aromatic and ambient qualities of the Sukkanoe’s interior space. Timelessly relevant, ancient First Nations building techniques were informed by sukkah construction methods based on Jewish law. These methods converged to reveal several shared principles. Unexpected common methods in Jewish and First Nations cultures allowed an uniquely ‘Canadian’ sukkah to emerge from research. The sukkah is made anew!
Gregory Marinic, principal; Nick Herrera, Arquipelago
Michelangelo Sabatino & Serge Ambrose, principals; Ambrose & Sabatino
location_New York, NY USA
Enter through the doors of a darkened theater and the anticipation is palpable--shifts in acoustic quality, lighting level, spatial enclosure, and materiality create as space of controlled experience. When the performance begins, an invisible ‘fourth wall’ emerges between actors and audience—refocusing this alternative interior world as a place of interactive imagination.
The ‘Theatrical Space’ exhibition was a collaborative endeavor of the theater and architecture faculties of Fordham University that engaged architects, designers, and artists in a collective examination of performance, space, occupation, and the immaterial. It investigated how architects and theater designers approach space-making from slightly different perspectives. Both disciplines are engaged in designing spatial forms that interact with light. Both professions operate within a similar dialogue--allowing a script or a client to inform space, while sharing responsibility for designing a world apart.
The curators of ‘Theatrical Space’ asked Arquipelago to design and build a frontispiece installation for the exhibition. Arquipelago responded by investigating the ephemeral and material conditions found within theatrical environments, particularly the phenomenological-physical barrier that exists between actors and audience. Acting as a filter between two realms, the ‘fourth wall’ represents an invisible- physical boundary that creates an open, transitional side of the stage. Throughout time, this ephemeral zone has continuously fascinated and challenged actors, directors, and set designers. The ‘fourth wall’’ may be used to shape the experience and perception of the audience since it simultaneously creates observers and participants. Theatrical environments that physically break this boundary, such as the thrust state, may be manipulated to re-impose an invisible layer between the world of reality and the world of constructed action.
The design and fabrication approach of the Aperture Screen assumes a performance dialogue common to both theater and architecture. Considering the theater’s fourth wall as a point of departure, the screen employs various divergent conditions including: front/back, finished/unfinished, focused/field, interior/exterior, formal/informal, high-tech/low-tech, analog-digital. The act of designing and ultimately ‘making’ the screen was informed by layered strategies that engaged architecture, theater, ecology, and technology. Aperture Screen is made entirely from Brooklyn-origin cast-off and recycled materials that were repurposed through digital fabrication and hand-assembly. Individual apertures were made as digitally fabricated flat-forms. Employing techniques similar to theatrical costuming, individual modules were hand-sewn with industrial twine to create focused enclosures, then hand-sewn together to other modules to create an aggregated field of apertures. Low-tech and high-tech ways of making were employed, whereby analog and digital techniques were blended as a ‘slow-tech’ fabrication strategy. Using 3D visualization software, digital fabrication, and hand-assembly, Aperture Screen marries emergent architectural design and production technologies with traditional methods of theatrical costuming.
Theatrical Space was exhibited in the Center Gallery at the Lincoln Center campus of Fordham University. Curated by Fordham University professors Sandra McKee and Chad McArver, the exhibition included a panel discussion that discussed the role that physical objects, material investigations, and the act of making play in our virtual age.
Arquipelago team_Gregory Marinic, principal; Mary-Jo Schlachter, Popi Begum, José Cortés, Nadine Fredericks
program_digital fabrication applied research
Plants can root themselves into volcanic rocks and grow within microscopic crystalline surfaces without access to soil. Scientists seek to understand the unique, mutualistic relationship found between plants and rocks within extreme environments. SyntheticEPIPHYTES is the result of two research hypotheses. Can we use aggregation as a method of fabrication? Can we digitally fabricate a composite material which will grow within the aggregate system?
Conceived for TEX-FAB, the purpose of the applied research described in this project was to explore aggregation as a strategy for conceptual design and fabrication efficiency. Aggregate form-making results from the collection of grains, rather than the defined connections between them. SyntheticEPIPHYTES develops a system of granulates-- similar to aggregates used in concrete construction—to create structural assemblies and new material performances through collective agglomeration. In this case study, our granular methodology was based upon the cellular structure of basalt.
As a system and a method of making there is significant potential for this research to be applied at multiple scales and various applications. Yet the organic and adaptable nature of aggregation results in a system that is not computationally predictable. Further research through observation of potential assemblies will be needed to understand the behaviors of individual elements. In this case study, the new system becomes the structural substrate for plant growth and emergent ecology. The composite material is a seed-impregnated felt that is sewn into each aggregate, exposing the roots of the plants to water, sunlight, and air. The aggregated structure facilitates a faster growth cycle due to the arid nature of the form.
Jonathon Anderson, principal; surFACE studio
Gregory Marinic, principal; Pedro Martinez, Arquipelago
Meg Jackson; principal; megapixelstudios
Marinic, G., ‘Architectural Paleontology: Revealing and Activating the Role of History, Culture, and Precedent’, International Journal of Arts in Society, Common Ground Publishing: Champaign, IL
Marinic, G., ‘Constructed Memories: Collaging Culture, Building Landscape’, Assemble, d3 dialog: International Journal of Architecture & Design, Volume 1, d3 Publications: New York
Marinic, G., Jackson, M.. ‘Bodies in Space: The Human Dimension of Interior Environments’, International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Common Ground Publishing: Champaign, IL
Marinic, G., Qureshi, Z.. ‘Lost Flows/Lasting Flows: Influences on Production, Population, and Place in the Great Lakes Megaregion’, International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Common Ground Publishing: Champaign, IL
Marinic, G., Schlachter, MJ., editors, Assemble, d3 dialog: International Journal of Architecture & Design, Volume 1, d3 Publications: New York
Marinic, G. (May 2012). Quarterly Column: ‘Research Activities’. IDEC:Exchange, Interior Design Educators Council: Indianapolis
Marinic, G., ‘Ecological Urbanism’, book review; Design Issues, Winter 2012, Vol. 28, No. 1, Pages 105-106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Cambridge
Marinic, G. (January 2012). Quarterly Column: ‘Research Activities’. IDEC:Exchange, Interior Design Educators Council: Indianapolis
Marinic, G., ‘(re)Presenting Precedents: A Convergence of Art and Architecture’,
International Journal of Arts in Society, Common Ground Publishing: Champaign, IL
Marinic, G. (November 2011). Quarterly Column: ‘Research Activities’. IDEC News, Interior Design Educators Council: Indianapolis
Marinic, G., Qureshi, Z.. ‘SubURBANIA: Monterrey, Urban/Suburban Dichotomies in Northeastern Mexico’, ACSA: Where Do You Stand?. Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture in association with McGill University: Montreal
Marinic, G. (May 2011). Quarterly Column: ‘Research Activities’ . IDEC News, Interior Design Educators Council: Indianapolis
Marinic, G., Azaroff, I, Schlachter, MJ, Vaidya, S.. ‘Anthropomorphic Connectivity’, IFW: Interior Worlds. Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Progettazione dell’Architettura. Editors: Mariella Brenna & Lola Ottodini, with Viviana Saitto. Umberto Allemandi University Press: Torinon
Marinic, G., ‘Bubble Up: Alternative Approaches to Research in the Academic Architecture Studio’, International Journal of Architectural Research, Volume 4, Issue 2-3., MIT Press: Cambridge, MA
Marinic, G., Azaroff, I.. ‘Enabling Emergence: Realizing a Design-Build Environment’, Design Principles & Practices: An International Journal, Common Ground Publishing: Champaign, IL
Marinic, G., Schlachter, MJ.. ‘Why You Didn’t Win and Why That’s Alright: A Report from the Frontline’, ACSA: ReBUILDING, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture in association with Tulane University: Washington, DC
Marinic, G. (September 2010). Quarterly Column: ‘Research Activities’. IDEC News, Interior Design Educators Council: Indianapolis
Marinic, G. (January 2010). ‘Blurring Boundaries:Borrowing Diversity’. ACSA News, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture: Washington, DC
Marinic, G., Azaroff, I., & Schlachter, MJ.. ‘Emergent Environment’, ACSA: Architecture is a Thing of Art, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture in association with the Savannah College of Art and Design: Washington, DC
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture National Conference, Boston, MA
ACSA 100 projects exhibition, March 1-4, 2012
‘Diasporic Landscapes’ peer-reviewed/selected/exhibited
ACSA Archive 100
Centennial Exhibition Archive
‘Diasporic Landscapes’ peer-reviewed/selected/exhibited
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture National Conference, Montreal, Canada
Where do you Stand? projects exhibition, March 3-6, 2011
‘Activating History: A Comparative Compilation’ peer-reviewed/selected/exhibited
Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Progettazione dell’Architettura, Milan, Italy
IFW: Interior Worlds design exhibition, October 2010
‘Anthropomorphic Connectivity’, peer-reviewed/selected/exhibited
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture National Conference, New Orleans, LA
ReBUILIDNG projects exhibition, March 4-7, 2010
‘Culture Lens’ peer-reviewed/selected/exhibited
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Southeast Conference, Savannah, GA
Architecture is a Thing of Art projects exhibition, March 4-7, 2010
‘Emergent Environment’ peer-reviewed/selected/exhibited
Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts, Little Falls, NY
Body & Building: Concepts for Renewal, April 2007
Pratt Institute graduate-level design studio work
d3 Natural Systems: Origins, Gallery MC, New York, NY, May 2012
d3 Housing Tomorrow 2012, College of Architecture, Mississippi State University, March 2012
Close the Gap, Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, University of Houston, Houston, TX, March 2012
Close the Gap, Newman Library, Baruch College, New York, NY; January 2012
d3 Housing Tomorrow 2011, 1point618 Gallery, Cleveland, OH; April 2011
Light-Culture-Space, Universidad de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico, March 2011
Sketch, CCU Gallery, Universidad de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico; March 2011
PostFact: Visualizing Information, Universidad de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico; February 2011
d3 Housing Tomorrow 2010, Universidad de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico; March 2-4, 2010
d3 Housing Tomorrow 2010, Center Gallery, Fordham University, New York, NY; September 2010
Textile Transformation, Open Studios, Universidad de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico; October 2010
d3 Natural Systems 2009, Grace Gallery, CUNY, Brooklyn, NY October 17-26, 2009
d3 Natural Systems 2009, 1point618 Gallery, Cleveland; November 13-December 23, 2009
EMERGENT ENVIRONMENT design-build exhibit, d3 space, Brooklyn, NY; May 24-June 20, 2009
d3 Natural Systems 2009, Savannah College of Art & Design, Savannah; January 4-March 22, 2009
FUTURE.city.past.FORWARD, d3 space, Brooklyn, NY; April 11-May 3, 2009
east/west, d3 space, Brooklyn, NY; February 15-March 21, 2009
Explorations in Culture, Scale, and Materiality, 11365 Gallery, Little Falls, NY; June 2007
Body & Building: Concepts for Renewal, Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts, Little Falls, NY; April 2007
5719 Green Springs
Houston, TX 77066