The Story of the Construction

architects Harquitectes
interviewed by Fredy Massad

HARQUITECTES is undoubtedly one of the most important Spanish architecture offices. The team consists of four former university classmates: David Lorente, Xavier Ros, Roger Tudó and Josep Ricart. Together they have gone on to establish a joint practice whose main philosophy is based on accuracy and professional honesty. They aim at building efficient, upright and sensitive buildings adopting a very profound and careful approach to the materiality of architecture. Their rigorous attitude is the main substance of their freedom, the element that ensures that they will never sacrifice their commitment to intensity and profundity. 


Oris: HARQUITECTES is a team formed by four members working together with a very strong sense of collectiveness. Another peculiarity defining your partnership is your location, which could be described as transverse since your office is based in Sabadell, a small town in the province of Barcelona, instead of Barcelona, the city. How has this structure shaped your approach to the practice of architecture? 


David Lorente: To establish ourselves as a team of four was a rather unusual decision, as most offices were either founded or led by an individual or a smaller partnership. The truth is that it was actually a totally unplanned move which, unique as it was, has proved to be one of our most sensible decisions because architecture is the result of a joint effort. Collective creativity is always more fertile; its results are always more positive. 


Oris: You work under a single signature and you state that you work collectively; however, your work does not overlap. How would you describe the work strategy of your office?


Xavier Ros: There are three separate teams working under the same roof. Each of us is always in charge of one specific project but, given the fact that we all share the same working space, it could be said that everything belongs to everyone. Plus, having been a team for twenty years, with each one of us working individually on one specific project but being somehow linked or involved with all the projects in progress at the office at any given time, has led our production in the same direction. Therefore, from an outsider’s point of view, it might be difficult to discern who the individual behind each project is. Working teams are created in accordance with the projects in progress. We will probably work together or more closely if we are preparing a competition entry but afterwards, one of us will undertake the development of the executive plan and construction management.