“Spanish architecture in recent years (…) has been an architecture that is aware of its environment and its possibilities, but also of the “builder” tradition initiated by teachers in the sixties and seventies, and later continued by many generations of architects who are now in their fifties and sixties, that today has been picked up by a number of younger architects. The Magen Arquitectos studio is definitely a prime example of this attitude and their projects, which handle an abundant and rich sequence of references related to this way ofunderstanding the work, are examples of this.”. Francisco Mangado.
“A sense of timing that, in the case of this team, lies in their capacity to analyze the design and the location of their projects; this is enriched by a special investigative zeal which refuses to sacrifice the spatial experience despite the budget constraints. (…)This sense of timing that leads Magen Arquitectos to the solution at just the right time. There are no minor issues for them, only opportunities.” Llatzer Moix
«The career of Magen Arquitectos is an example of an attitude distinguished by conceiving architecture as an effort to response objectively to the conditions of reality, not as imposing self-reffered elements as vanguard. (…) The seriousness that distinguishes its architectural expression can be seen as first evidence of careful and self-demanding pragmatism on construction processes, research and expectations of use in addressing each of their buildings and that leads them to articulate each solution as precise, clear and balanced.» Freddy Massad y Alicia Guerrero.
«The new Theatre-Auditorium in Illueca reactivates the town. Far from opposing its construction tradition, it continues to update it. And it becomes a lesson to learn about the distance of great architecture (…) Beyond the material finishes, it was necessary to break down the program: decompose the new building into four volumes to adapt to the fabric of the historic center. The Auditorium has -like the houses of the twon- gabled roofs, but each one has a different height, as happens when time is allowed to pass between the construction of a building and another. This fragmentation helps the architects to gradually alter the orientation: the stalls, the lobby or the stage box rotate and are staggered to enclose a program without destoying a layout.» Anatxu Zabalbeascoa.
«Arcosur is the latest residential expansion to the south of Zaragoza. And the school is the first public equipment built in that neighbourhood. There everything is inhospitable or, at the moment, incipient. But the arrival of the school supposes and injection of life. And that of a good building is like a school can be a beacon that could illuminate the careful and humanizaed growth of the neighbourhood (…) The architects have chosen a scale at the same time domestic, friendly, civic and attentive to try to transform a territory into a habitabnle place.» Anatxu Zabalbeascoa.
«The jury agreed by a majority choose the Ebro Environmental Centre Ebro in Zaragoza, which perfectly combines the function of defense and protection of the environment with environmentally sustainable building. Architecture manifests the use that holds, and together, becomes the public space inhabited by the city with the opportunity to use the roof and indoor and outdoor areas such as a meeting place and as a fragment of a new landscape.» Giancarlo Ius Gold Medal, International Jury.
«The jury appreciates the expertise in response to the issues raised by the project: landscape restoration and integration with the environment; construction as social, urban and environmental commitment; the building and its potential as a public space and energy provider; perception of the place as an experience of architecture and, eventually, sensorial expression of the matter. » XI Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism, an international jury.
«It seems to me very much a project which recalls in its elegant use of timber Zumthor`s iconic Swiss baths. It seems that this is an excellent example of phenomenology in architecture allowing the building and its spaces to be sensed by its users by all of their five senses«. Richard England.
«It is one of those buildings which Peter Zumthor used to compare with a rock falling into a lake. At first, there are circles on the water, but soon its surface becomes smooth again, producing an impression taht nothing has really happened, and the rock protruding from the water seems to have always been there. The building by Magén Arquitectos fills a gap in the history and space of Saragossa, adding new character to a city that is now turning – knowingly and respectfully- towards the river that flows through it.» Agnieszka Stepien
«It is a fact that children construct their own world, but so is you have to give them space to do. So the work (…) was to reinvent the place, to transform a nowhere land into a living space. (…) the elliptical courtyard and rounded plan obey the guidance of the school, seeking sunlight, but also make a gesture of closeness. The school wants to be the main square, space of relationship that the blocks of the neighbnourhood seem to hide. » Anatxu Zabalbeascoa.
«The school complex Rosales del Canal seeks to fulfill the message of Maria Montessori from an architecture that speaks to the absorbent minds of children. Thus, compared to buildings that simplify their volumes to strengthen its presence, this school offers the possibility of daily discovery in the same space. The message is more complex than recognizing a facade, but the lesson is hard to forget: identity is not decided in a day or in a single gesture, but something that is forming and building daily. So, corners highligjhts in the fragmented and at the same time compact set designed by Magen Arquitectos. (…) Colored–out to gain a foothold in the middle of an indefinite neighborhood– and clean inside-to highlight the role of students-, the school is full of viewpoints and levels to learn and discover slowly. Without indigestion. And without prejudice.» Anatxu Zabalbeascoa.
«In these chaotic and not-to-friendly surroundings, one hardly expects an encounter with architecture with capital A (…) The project also shows special care for details and finish. The dimensions of the elemetns forming the alabaster wal and their fitting system, the divisions of the stone cladding, the orientation of the wooden panels – all this is evidence of the great effort thatthe architects put in the construction process. (,,,) Situating the county government building on the outskirts of Hijar is a lesson of order. As oposed to its surroundings, everytging here is carefully premeditated, full of sense and logic.» Agnieszka Stepien.
«At the southern edge of the city , when the neighborhood Torrero merges with the Pine Trees of Venice, surrounded by a brick shell that silently resolves the meeting with the fabric of the city , is one of the clearest and outright examples of modern residential architecture that has occurred in our city in the last decade.
It is the result of the internal order of the project conceived by the structure. The modern form provides the backbone of the project and its figure, what we see, is nothing but the expression of that consistency. The lower ground floor slab seems to float allowing ventilation of the garage while subtly addresses the meeting of the horizontal plane of the ground with the building. In the wake of modernity, program and construction service visual interest.
This private space becomes expression of architectural rigor tempered by the various guidelines of the facade and the sliding aluminum panels introduce a controlled vibration in the perception. The interior space, sometimes abused, becomes the protagonist . One lesson that , like most worthwhile , is not in sight.» Carlos Labarta
«Awarded social housing by Jaime Magen at Biescas street (2006). He shows a great ability in the treatment of the plane of relationship with the ground by anchoring the building to a perimetral point of the city.» Miguel Ángel Alonso del Val
«The project of Magén Arquitectos appears as a large block in black and white, with black stripes marking the perimeter with a clear U shape. At first sight the design solution seems to privilege a classic typological scheme aimed to set the building on the edge of the site so as to create a vacuum within that becomes a private space. However, as pointed out by these architects, the project`s intention is to create connections between the urban, public space and the private (or perhaps, semipublic) space. In this context, the most interesting dimension of the project emerges. Beyond the formal aspects of the project, the architectural and urban composition of which is considered to and balanced, it is the vacuum reading that is most fascinating. This void is in fact a place of transition and connection between parts of the urban fabric and, at the same time, a private space within the building. To achieve this effect, the architects have suspended the volume that marks the entrance to the courtyard, in this way highlighting the visual perspective so as to create an immediately parceptible access that draws the outside space inside the block. Thus, in the courtyard two differents level of use overlap: the external flow of pepole moving into the city, and the use of that space as a common court for the units that constitute the block of collective dwellings. It is therefore a meeting place within the city, a small square whose contours are visible, and through which the urban scale is rendered smaller. It is at the same time a site of relationship, which allows the residential space to expand outside and facilitate a social life for the inhabitants. The continuity of the block on the remaing parts of the perimeter enhances a parception of secure location within the city that promotes its use as a public space, a dimension which is largely missing outside the perimeter..» Marco Atzori