written by:
April 5, 2013
Last Thursday, the Architectural League hosted the final lecture in a series featuring the recipients of the 2013 Emerging Voices program. Selected for the promise they have shown in forging unique paths in architecture, the eight firms presented lectures on their personal philosophies last month. Last week’s lecture featured Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot of cao | perrot studio and Carlos Bedoya, Wonne Ickx, Victor Jaime, and Abel Perles of PRODUCTORA. Kate Orff, a Vice President of the Arch League, praised the site-specific sense of form in both firms’ works and their unique ability to engage in “direct dialogue with landscape in a fresh way.”
The white glass piles seen in this backyard garden by cao | perrot studio mimic salt farms in central Vietnam. Photo by Stephen Jerrome.
1 / 10
Cao | perrot studio’s Lullaby Garden was surrounded by a wall of fishing line. The “invisible fence” affected the view inside depending on the viewer and sun’s locations. Photo by Stephen Jerrome.
2 / 10
A hand-stitched nylon carpet stretched over the ground of the Lullaby Garden and changed colors over time as natural elements took their toll. Photo by Stephen Jerrome.
3 / 10
Cao | perrot studio’s Swarovski crystal cupola at the Saint-Barthelemy Collegiate Church in Beauvais, France. Photo by cao | perrot studio.
4 / 10
A public art installation in Grand Prairie, Texas, the Willow Tree by cao | perrot studio is comprised of 80,000 mother of pearl leaves hanging from 2,500 stainless steel branches. Photo by cao | perrot studio.
5 / 10
The A47 Mobile Library by PRODUCTORA was commissioned by a client who wanted to share his collection of art books with the public. Finding the project’s reason for existence (the books) to pose the “main obstacle” in planning, the firm created a striking solution and used them to create a frieze in the truck’s interior. Photo by Luis Gallardo.
6 / 10
PRODUCTORA’s submission for the Aalto Campus Competition was four cohesive rectangular buildings situated over an underground circular space used to connect the edifices. Image by PRODUCTORA.
7 / 10
A rendering by PRODUCTORA for the House of Arts & Culture in Beirut, Lebanon reveals a bold building that contrasts with nearby architecture. Image by PRODUCTORA.
8 / 10
Excavation will begin for CAF Headquarters in the next month or two. The building’s footprint was minimized to augment open space on the ground level. Image by PRODUCTORA.
9 / 10
PRODUCTORA created three modernist boxes to maximize the lake-view for this house. Working on a slope, the boxes were stacked and zig-zagged to create terraces and additional outdoor terrace space. Photo by Rafael Gamo.
10 / 10
ev 4 glassgarden spring
The white glass piles seen in this backyard garden by cao | perrot studio mimic salt farms in central Vietnam. Photo by Stephen Jerrome.

Andy Cao introduced cao | perrot studio, describing his firm as “landscape artists.” The duo like to create immersive environments with their work, a feat they accomplish via Skype as Cao resides in Los Angeles and Perrot in Paris. Basing their projects on mood and atmosphere, their work is in a constant state of evolution. An admiration for fashion and its use of innovative materials, cao | perrot studio often incorporates unconventional materials into their landscape design.

This material experimentation began early in Cao’s career, with his first project: a backyard garden. He used the creative process not just to create an outdoor environment but as a means of defining himself. A highly personal project, hazy memories of his youth in Vietnam served as a basis for the trial and error design process. The unorthodox use of glass for landscape design (45 tumbled tons of it to be exact!) resulted in a dynamic environment that changes with weather, seasons, sunrise, and sunset.

ev 4 lullabygarden04
A hand-stitched nylon carpet stretched over the ground of the Lullaby Garden and changed colors over time as natural elements took their toll. Photo by Stephen Jerrome.

Evolving projects seem to come with the firm’s territory. The White Dome cao | perrot studio constructed within the ruins of a church embraces change both in its design and as a representation of its origin. A pseudo jellyfish shape of Swarovski crystals hung above a plot of wheat that was planted at random times throughout the exhibition. The transformation and regeneration of the plant paid homage to the spiritual location. These projects have shown the firm’s unique capacity to tap into a location’s hidden significance and translate it into an experience.

Whereas cao | perrot studio identify as artists, PRODUCTORA could be seen as problem-solvers. Wonne Ickx spoke about the international-comprised team’s goal to find a “specific ambition…solution…to every project.” They achieve this through a clear sense of geometry and a devoted concern to material use.

ev 4 aalto university render 3
PRODUCTORA’s submission for the Aalto Campus Competition was four cohesive rectangular buildings situated over an underground circular space used to connect the edifices. Image by PRODUCTORA.

For a corporate office building in Caracas, Venezuela, the PRODUCTORA team has devised a plan that will yield the highest building in the city. When shown the plot of land for the project, they realized the space would be best served remaining as open as possible. Facing a public plaza, they wanted to create a building that would still permit passersby. To do this they compressed the footprint of the building and designed up. Employing a double façade (something Ickx calls an easy trick for architects) the bottom half of the building is window-filled to maintain the airiness of open grounds. The covered higher portion creates a white monolithic structure whose appearance grows more abstract at greater distances.

A copious amount of columns hide a classic streak within the contemporary plan the firm developed for the House of Arts & Culture in Beirut. Layered, the columns produce a curtain-like effect. This gives sunlight ample opportunity to cast shadows in the building’s interior, creating a lively atmosphere for an arts building.

Mexico City-based PRODUCTORA have taken on an interesting role outside that of architecture firm. The group noticed a need for an organization to help foster the growth of architecture in Latin America and created LIGA, an exhibition forum for architects in the region. They compare it to a south-of-the-border version of the Architectural League, hosting exhibitions, activities, lectures and events to help raise the dialogue on architecture in Central and South America.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

two of a kind padua italy matching family homes facade green roof doors color
For Dwell's annual issue dedicated to interiors , we visited homes from Haiti to italy. Here, we introduce you to the photographers and writers who made it happen.
April 30, 2016
houseofweek
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
April 30, 2016
W House living room
Our best reader reactions this week.
April 29, 2016
Vineyard house illuminated at night
Rammed-earth construction fuses this Portuguese house to the environment.
April 29, 2016
vintage Scandinavian furniture Kathryn Tyler
In southwest England, interior designer Kathryn Tyler built her home around her ever-expanding furniture collection.
April 29, 2016
steel facade home Seattle
On the sandy shores of Fauntleroy Cove in Seattle, renowned firm Olson Kundig Architects crafts a subtle home with striking steel accents.
April 29, 2016
seperate piece renovated guesthouse eames storage unit cork floor tiles living room
An architect and an interior designer put the tools to the test for this impressive renovation.
April 29, 2016
Ceramics by WrenLab
Manhattan doesn’t get to have all the fun during NYCxDesign. Brooklyn is set for the return of BKLYN DESIGNS at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint from May 6-8, 2016. Here are just a few exhibitors we are excited to see this year.
April 29, 2016
n0a6974 dxo
Architect Diego Revollo refreshes an apartment with a standout kitchen.
April 29, 2016
img 8652 1
The city of San Francisco has been eagerly awaiting the reopening of SFMOMA for years—and as the May 14th opening approaches closer everyday, the anticipation continues to build for art enthusiasts both near and far. This morning, we were given the opportunity to explore the newly expanded space before the crowds roll in. After a series of speeches, remarks, and tours, we left the grounds feeling thoroughly inspired and excited to share what we discovered.
April 28, 2016
gramercy 1 ar53319
A family doesn’t have to travel far for a private oasis away from the busy city.
April 28, 2016
Renovation of 1967 Hamburg apartment with Vipp kitchen.
In our April issue, we showcased an apartment in Hamburg, Germany, with a striking, matte-black kitchen from Vipp. The 77-year-old company became famous for its iconic pedal trash can before venturing into kitchens and other tools for the home. This isn't the first time that the Danish company's products have graced our pages, and here we've gathered additional examples from our archive that show how the brand's minimalist black kitchens are always a win in modern interiors.
April 28, 2016
Zafra residence living room.
A man and his wife make an emotional return to an apartment building he loved as a kid.
April 28, 2016
the garden inside concrete dining pavilion indoor outdoor custom cabinets thermador dishwasher refrigerator
A skylit conservatory doubles as a verdant dining parlor in Sonoma County, California.
April 28, 2016
Details of the Calico collection.
Calico Wallpaper founders Nick and Rachel Cope showed us through their home in our March Issue, now step inside their studio.
April 28, 2016
william krisel pow 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
April 27, 2016
Dwell on Design and designjunction at ArtBeam
It's all part of Dwell on Design + designjunction's three-day event, featuring a program of talks chock-full of leading figures in design, architecture, urbanism, and beyond—coming up May 13-15 at ArtBeam in New York.
April 27, 2016
seattles mariners floating house prefab facade exterior fiber cement panels
A prefabricated floating home drops anchor in the Pacific Northwest.
April 27, 2016
royan treatment living room stone fireplace vintage new furnishings
French designer Florence Deau effortlessly mixes the old with the new.
April 27, 2016
modern netherlands 13 noordeinde schoolhouse parquet herringbone floors stove
Take a lesson from this school-turned-home.
April 27, 2016
The sidewalks of Copacabana in Rio De Janero, Brazil, designed by Roberto Burle Marx
The Jewish Museum in New York City takes it outside with a celebration of the Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx.
April 26, 2016
Waterfront home in Belvedere, California
A 1960s home infested with powderpost beetles had to be sacrificed before this this Zen-inspired house could happen.
April 26, 2016
dialogue house
At the base of Echo Mountain in Phoenix, a geometric home by Wendell Burnette opens up to the surrounding desert landscape.
April 26, 2016
street smarts kitchen full view
A creative couple transforms an old Toronto storefront in Dundas West into a home and studio.
April 26, 2016
hald strand
This architect thinks of everything for his summer escape, pizza oven included.
April 26, 2016
gans turin residence living room
Thanks to a contemporary interior that she’s been updating for a decade, modern architect Abigail Turin has learned to love her traditional 1925 San Francisco home.
April 25, 2016
131
Johannesburg-based design studio Counterspace was founded in 2014 by young architecture graduates Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers, and Amina Kaskar. Their projects are collaborative, research-led investigations into possible futures and ideas of otherness in Johannesburg.
April 25, 2016
through living room
A second-story addition and a new indoor-outdoor focus revive a nondescript house in L.A.
April 25, 2016
Modern living room with Flexform sofa and Jens Fager candelabra
An Antwerp home blurs the boundaries between art and design.
April 25, 2016
hillside haven  1
This backyard is its own modern retreat in the Berkeley Hills.
April 25, 2016