When I heard from Valencia-based architecture student Maite Fornes Quilis, I was instantly intrigued. Her project? Blueprinting an artist’s studio in the MOMA PS1 courtyard. Let’s be honest, what artist wouldn’t love this? Above, you can see Maite’s beautiful result (click on the image for a larger version.)
After the jump, get to know more about Maite, the project and her visions for the future.
Hi Maite, can you tell us about this architectural project?
This architectural project is based on a cyclical fluency of space. The heart of the house is an internal courtyard, which will be used as a special place for spending time. The courtyard is the connecting piece of each space in the house. The intent is to promote the coexistence of the members within the household.
Another important part of the project is the different heights of the rooms. Some of them are located at ground level, while others are significantly higher; this way, covered courtyards are born beneath them. The roofs of the lower levels are used as external terraces. This variation improves the relation betweern the outside-inside. As the house is located on the PS1 MoMa Museum, it would always be surrounded by visitors, so the terracing allows for a level of privacy.
This fact is amplified by the material of the house. I have chosen steel containers; they are re-used so the construction cost is minimum. The exterior facade is equipped with vertical cuts according to the container relief – these increase the light, while simultaneously preserving privacy.
How did you end up choosing Borbay for your project?
I chose Borbay for the project because I really liked his art. Initially, I couldn’t find much information about him, so I contacted him to understand more about his work – which I found interesting and inspiring. Before getting in touch, I had just seen a few of his paintings, all about NY; it is my favourite city in the world, so I was wanted to choose an artist who felt the same way.
Can you tell us a little about your background?
I was born in Valencia, and have always lived here. I live with my mom at the city centre, she is an economist. My father is an architect, and he is one of my most important influences. He didn’t want me to go into architecture just because he was an architect; he has always insisted I had to study what I felt I wanted to study, and not to be influenced by my parents´careers. I really admire him. He has been able to succeed as an architect and enjoy his job; he feels real passion for it. He lives with his wife and my 3 little brothers close to the city centre.
I went to an English school, and entered the Politechnical University of Valencia. I am looking to go abroad next year and continue studying in another country. I think it would be an amazing experience, which would make me grow not only as a (hopefully) future architect, but also as a person.
What architects and/or artists do you admire?
I really like Mies van der Rohe, Norman Foster, Peter Zumthor and Kazuyo Sejima; the latter of which, I have been really interested in this year. I found the simplicity and quality of her works to be amazing. She works in the SANAA studio with the architect Nishiwaza, and in my opinion, they create incredible things together. I think that Japanese architects are becoming better every day.
If you could see yourself in the future ten years from now, where would you be, and what would you be doing?
I found difficult to imagine myself 3 months from now, so its difficult to say where I see myself ten years from now (Editor’s Note: True that.) I hope to be working as an architect in my own studio. I know this is almost impossible nowadays, so I hope I have a job in someone else´s studio to start. I wouldn´t mind at all to be working in another country. One of my dreams is to rebuild the old buildings of major cities; it would be incredible to take care of old Italian palaces, or the little floating houses of Amsterdam, which are falling down. I am quite interested in restoration.
Is there anything you would like to share about yourself that others may find surprising?
I don´t know, I am a normal girl. well, I may want to confess my other passion: music.
One of the things I like most about studying architecture, is that I am able to listen to large amounts of music while I am drawing. I am amazed by rock music; most of all, the grunge movement in Seattle in the 90´s, and the first rockbands of the 70´s; I wish I could have lived during those years!!!
- Thank you for choosing me for your project Maite, I wish you all the best!