sketching por la isla: yauco y san germán

Estos son algunos bocetos que realicé el pasado sábado mientras acompañaba a Jorge Rigau y su curso de Historia del Caribe.
Here are some sketches I did last Saturday on a trip with Jorge Rigau’s course on History of Caribbean Architecture.

Condición urbana (parque/plaza) en Yauco; diagrama espacial de la residencia Franceschi (tipo sala-pasillo-comedor) y alzado parcial de la Villa Ange del arquitecto Pedro Méndez.

20120201-000428.jpgFachada frontal de la Ermita de Porta Coeli y un diagrama de la condición urbana (parque/plaza) en San Germán.

Diagrama espacial de la Residencia Acosta y Forés (tipo A-B-A), perspectiva del mediopunto en la sala y un detalle de los estarcidos del área del comedor.

20120201-000552.jpgDiagrama espacial de la Residencia Ortíz Perichi y una perspectiva de la Residencia Vélez del arquitecto Henry Klumb.

convento de las carmelitas, thomas s. marvel

Designed in 1976 by Thomas S. Marvel, the Carmelite Sisters’ Convent in Trujillo Alto is often considered one of the best examples of early brutalism in Puerto Rico. It is troubling how closely it was modeled to resemble Le Corbusier’s convent of La Tourette. However, its proportions lack the mathematical correctness and spatial aspirations of the French masterpiece.

In truth, the similarities lie only within the use itself, the materials employed and its siting. The Convento de las Carmelitas rests on top of a small hill in a somewhat pastoral setting. Exposed concrete or “betón brut” was the main construction material employed.

There is no way to access the main cloister unless one becomes a Carmelite Sister (or a robber, as one of the sisters told us). The only spaces that welcome visitors are the refractory and the chapel which can be accessed through an entrance courtyard. Here’s a view of that space looking towards the main gate, the belfry and the chapel’s entrance. I have also included an interior photograph of the chapel to illustrate the lack of proportions and poor spatial qualities.

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plaza de armas, viejo san juan

last sunday i went with my students to plaza de armas in old san juan to have them develop a few spatial / analytical drawings.

sketching this space has always proved to be a good exercise that challenge students to see beyond the ordinary in other to understand the design intentions that shape the space.

although every time I do this exercise I make a drawing to illustrate the ideas, this one has always been my favorite. I made it when I took my first design studio students back in 2002.


museo nacional de antropología


The Museo Nacional de Antropología, Chapultepec Park, Mexico City.


Designed in 1963 by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, Jorge Campuzano and Rafael Mijares, it is an impressive example of modern architecture.


The main courtyard is partially covered by a roof (know as “el paraguas”) suspended by a single pillar around which splashes an artificial cascade. The halls are ringed by gardens, many of which contain outdoor sculptures.

officer’s club

Obra del arquitecto Jesús Eduardo Amaral el club de oficiales es uno de nuestros mejores ejemplos de arquitectura moderna en Puerto Rico. Base Ramey, Aguadilla.


James L Blilie Photos from 1955-58, Stationed at Eglin AFB, Florida
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napkin sketches

A few drawings I submitted last year for an AIA/Architectural Record napkin sketches contest.

view of the double volume atrium for polytechnic university’s school of architecture; under construction.


north façade and corner detail of spivak-velilla residence; built.

simón bolivar’s monument in la esperanza, vieques; unbuilt proposal.