Cruz y Ortiz arquitectos are the most awarded sevillian architects in the World. They have an Architectural studio founded by Antonio Cruz Villalón y Antonio Ortiz García, two friends that are together since 1971. The studio have offices in Seville and in Amsterdam. Cruz and Ortiz say that the keys of their close professional relationship are cultural affinity and generosity with each other’s ideas.
Antonio Cruz Villalón was born in Seville, Spain, 1948. He is an Architect graduated from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura in Madrid, 1971 and is a Member of the Andalusian Architects’ Association (Num. 953). Antonio Ortiz was born in Seville, Spain, 1947. Ortiz was also graduated from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura in Madrid, 1974 and is a Member of the Andalussian Architects’ Association (num. 1206). They have been guest lecturers at numerous universities around the world, among which we would highlight the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Columbia University Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), the Department of Architecture, Cornell University, the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, and the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich. Currently there are co-directors of the White Chair at the University of Seville.
Background & Realizations: the projects
The most iconic project
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is a massive romantic confection, an art museum in the polychrome eclectic style of the late 19th century, designed by Pierre Cuypers and home to some of the most important art works in Dutch history.
Despite its overblown size, in recent years it had begun to find itself overwhelmed by increasing numbers of visitors, prompting the decision to renovate and restore the building. This task – the largest restoration of its kind ever undertaken – is currently nearing completion, to a design by Seville architect Cruz y Ortiz.
Over the years, the Rijksmuseum had, like many large art galleries of a certain age, accumulated various adaptations and alterations to the original design. “During the 20th century the building had been very badly treated,” says Antonio Ortiz, partner at Cruz y Ortiz. “It had become completely labyrinthine and difficult to understand.”
The architects made it their strategy to strip the building back to its original design, removing inserted walls and floors and restoring the galleries to their original size and decorative schemes, while also freeing up the two massive courtyards and the passageway that runs between them. As well as restoring, they would install the new programme that a contemporary museum requires: cafes, shops, auditoriums, children’s areas and so on.
Interesting facts about Molins Interiors
Antonio Ortiz is an architect a little bit by chance. He was supposed to be a Civil Engineer, but there was a new architectural school in Seville and he thought, ‘why not try?’. He went to that school and he liked it.
Cruz and Ortiz have been together for so many years, from students to professionals, and theye are very close friends. They like the same films and they read the same writers. The way they work together is very difficult for them to perceive. It happens in a very natural way.
Since the early 90s, the firm has left its mark on the Dutch urban landscape. It was a kind of mutual falling in love. The theam always like to tell people that the first time they gave a lecture abroad was in Rotterdam. They were very young and to be called out of the country for the first time was very important. This was in the 80s and since then, they have been called by friends or by people who knew them to do things here.
“A house is not done all at the same time”
“Architecture always give you some gifts”
“We are very grateful for this acknowledgement and for the initiative included in the legacy of late Abe Bonnema (2001). The jury considers it as a big merit that Cruz y Ortiz has managed to survive as captains of this tempestuous boat during the last 12 years. Important criteria for the judgement are its meticulous relation between design and execution, the care for the details and the control of craftsmanship: all aspects that were dear to Abe Bonnema.”
“We as architects are happier than the rest”
“In certain occasions, the architect should remain as invisible as possible.”
“We always liked what we do and we are very tenacious. That is another quality that an architect should have.”
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The Creator’s Choice
La Peineta, Stadium
For Cruz and Ortiz, the stadium La Peineta is a very ambitious project, which greatly modifies the appearance of the building because “everyone knows it’s a bit weird stage where all the spectators are on the same side”. The two architects seek a more normal stadium with spectators on all sides, but they keep the comb but with many changes. The challenge is to ensure that the new building does not appear as a mix but have a unit once completed and that the picture of the comb is preserved and people will recognize the original building.
For the architects, the sports architecture is special because it’s very elated and festive. “The inauguration of a stadium is the most exciting thing that can happen to an architect. Empty year-long construction and fills half hour. It is not like opening a library. That leads to a certain”.
(2008) Andalusian Architect Award, for the Remodellation and enlargement of the SBB Train Station, Basel. Switzerland.
(2006) Special mention Daylight Award awarded by Velux Stiftung, Swiss, for “The Redesign and Extension of the Train Station SBB”, Basilea (Swiss).
(2004) José Manuel Lara Foundation Culture Awards. Plastic Arts Award for their work as a whole.
(2003) Heimatschutz Prize, granted by Basler Heimatschutz, Basilea, for the Remodellation and enlargement of the SBB Train Station, Basel. Switzerland
(1999) Eduardo Torroja Award for the Olympic Stadium in Seville, granted by the Ministerio de Fomento (Ministry for Development).
(1998) National Sports Award 1998. National Award for Sports’ Architecture, granted by the Consejo Superior de Deporte (Ministry for Culture and Education), Madrid, for the Madrid Community Sports Stadium and the Olympic Stadium in Seville.
(1997) Andalusian Gold Medal Award, granted by the Andalusian Regional Government and the Andalusian Parliament, for the whole of their work.
(1997) Spanish Entrepreneurs’ Foundation Award, granted by the C.E.O.E. Foundation (Confederación Española de Organizaciones Empresariales), Madrid, for the Madrid Community Sports Stadium.
(1995) Architecture Award of the Professional Association of Architects of Western Andalusia for 1994 for New Building for the Huelva Bus Terminal.
(1993) First National Award for Spanish Architecture for the Santa Justa Station in Seville, granted by the Governing Council of the Professional Colleges of Architects of Spain and the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Environment.
(1992) Finalists in Mies van der Rohe Pavilion Award for European Architecture for the Santa Justa Train Station in Seville
(1992) Brunel 92 International Award for Railway Design for the Santa Justa Train Station in Seville.
(1990) Finalists in Mies van der Rohe Pavilion Award for European Architecture for the Carabanchel Housing Project in Madrid.
(1989) Award for Best New Building from the Madrid City Council for the Carabanchel Housing Project.
(1982) City of Seville Award for new buildings for the housing block on Lumbreras Street, granted by the Seville City Council.
(1980) Perez Carasa Award for the Single-family Housing Unit in Punta Umbria, granted by the Professional Association of Architects of the Western Andalusia/Huelva Area