KALACH + ALVAREZ
Contemporary World Architects, CWA
Rockport Publishers, Gloucester Massachusetts, 1998
Foreword by Teodoro González de León
Alberto Kalach is still a young architect. I met him nine years ago, in 1989, when we asked him to do two perspectives (he draws admirably) for a competition: The Sea Tribunal in Hamburg, Germany, where we won fourth place. I got the impression he did not like the project very much. Alberto is rebellious, provocative and profoundly creative-talking with him enriches me. With Daniel Álvarez he formed a group called Taller de Arquitectura X, rich in talent to the point that, in one competition they entered with three works and took the first three prizes.
A number of their works have delivered surprises: workshops; the building with the subway station in San Juan de Letrán; the apartment building at Tlatelolco; the apartment building in Plaza de Toros, a virtuoso creation in a lot only 3.5 meters wide; the criminally abandoned subprecinct building in Iztapalapa; and the startling Cuernavaca house, a lesson in space and construction that divides a plot lengthwise. They have a distinct and personal touch that enriches fin-de-siécle architecture, a style distinguished in México - as through the world - by a great diversity of voices, of personal styles that speak the revitalized abstract language of the modern movement.
But they have something more: a passion for the city. They are constantly generating urban ideas. They understand architecture as reference points in the network that articulates the urban landscape. A building is for them a brick in the great work of collective architecture that we all create over time: the city.