Interview IOA Venice winner
We interviewed Eduardo Cilleruelo Terán, the recent winner of the International Island of Arts (IOA) Venice competition.
1.- What made you want to participate in our Island of Arts (IOA) Venice competition?
I had seen various Arquideas competitions and I decided to participate in IOA because of its context. Historical urban settings always pose architectural restrictions that, in my opinion, are interesting to explore. In the end, studying and interpreting the context of such sites requires the greatest effort, pushing the formal origin of the project to the background.
2.- Briefly explain your proposal that won First Prize. Would you like it to become a reality?
My proposal is based on an essential characteristic. Architecture in Venice is defined by scale, the erosion of material by the passage of time, the network of canals and labyrinthine streets…etc. It’s that baroque atmosphere in which it feels like time has stood still. So, from the start, the idea had to maintain that sensation. From the very beginning I viewed the project as a public space, a piazza, that would be completely integrated into the context. The design process was interesting, as I had to search for the best way to make the result a seamless part of the city. My final proposal placed the space level with the water. Because it would be accessed by gondola the architecture was rooted in that medium, thus ensuring a moderate flow of visitors that in the end would produce an appropriate scale. Since the design had to be simple and in harmony with its surroundings, I came up with the idea of a ramped amphitheatre that allowed a variety of activities to be carried out without physical restrictions. An essential piece in accordance with the setting.
Venice receives a large number of tourists every year due to its cultural and historical heritage. Therefore, the city is normally experienced from a specific perspective, always associated with a touristic route or tour.
This project gives us the opportunity to contemplate the scale of the Grand Canal up close and offers an atypical perspective of the surroundings. Therefore, I feel building it would be a positive contribution to Venice.
3.- What is your opinion of architectural education in Spain? How could it be improved in relation to the professional field?
In my opinion, the training is very thorough. The objective of our university education is to provide us with the knowledge we need to be competitive professionals, both technically and also in terms of projects. I think that the great challenge is to balance and update the model on which our training is based. University education should include more training in professional aspects, such as financial management or innovation. We need to bridge the gap between the academic and professional worlds.
4.- How are you going to approach your future as a professional?
I’ve always thought that qualified training would be a guarantee for the future. So, over the next few years I would like to broaden my knowledge by studying in other European or American universities, combining it with my professional work. For me, professional and academic activity should be combined in order to become a complete professional.
5.- Do you feel that unpaid practical training in a well-known studio is beneficial for students or even young architects?
In today’s world, professional experience is always an input for our training and for the labour market. It will always depend on the conditions of each opportunity. I feel that such internships are an investment that might not provide immediate economic benefits, but will surely lead to opportunities in the future.
6.- And finally, tell us about your experience with Arquideas…
There is nothing better than having platforms to develop architecture and if it can be done in real and attractive settings, for me it’s work that I enjoy immensely. Not only is it a space for developing projects, but also for reflection and research. I’m very satisfied with the experience. I hope to continue participating in the future.