Recorded: October 14, 2012
In this excerpt from his 2012 Current Work lecture, Alberto Kalach reflects on his design philosophy through key projects like the Jose Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City, a French school in Guadalajara, Jalisco, and three houses in Mexico and California. Here, Kalach demonstrates an approach characterized by strong connections between interior and exterior, architecture and landscape, across a variety of programs and scales. Discussing simplicity and his use of materials, Kalach emphasizes an attraction to wood: “we’ve started learning how to work with wood, I think [wood] is a fantastic way of building…wood is on the scale of a house.”
Cited as one of the most versatile and prolific architectural voices in Mexico City today, Alberto Kalach co-founded the firm Taller de Arquitectura X (TAX) in 1981. Kalach works collaboratively, completing projects that range from residential commissions to civic structures with firms and contemporaries such as Teodoro González de León, Juan Palomar, Tonatiuh Martínez, Gustavo Lipkau, and Jose Castillo. His award-winning Jose Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City remains the largest public library in Latin America.
The Architectural League’s Current Work series presents the work of significant international figures, who powerfully influence contemporary architectural practice and shape the future of the built environment.