La mujer en la arquitectura

To celebrate Women’s Day 2022, the female colleagues of the Enero Arquitectura studio got together to talk, reminisce and share opinions about the current state of the architecture sector and the role of women in this field.

The commemoration is always a good occasion to share ideas and experiences about women and architecture. Enero Arquitectura exemplifies the evolution of the makeup of an architectural studio since it reflects the evolution of the world of architecture on the road to gender equality in the sector.

The roles and careers of the women in the studio are diverse, from architects and building engineers to business development managers. The crossover of different generations of women in the studio enriches the overall view of women and architecture.

“In the studio we are women with different roles and backgrounds, who provide a broad perspective of what an architectural studio is and can be, where historically the male figure has predominated,” says Fabiana Ceide, head of Business Development and Communication.

Women in architecture and their managerial roles

More and more women are working as architects; however, women in management roles in the sector are still a minority compared to men. As Fabiana points out, this gap is still visible at the university level, “It is still difficult to find women in management positions in the academic sphere, and this directly affects the professional sphere”.

The architect Lluc Gomez leads a team of women from the studio in charge of projects like the Badalona hospital. Her female leadership thrives within ENERO.

However, Lluc comments that the environment where discrimination is felt most is on the construction site while carrying out the projects. In that area, there is still a long way to go, and it is where female leadership is more difficult to exercise,

“The majority of site and trade managers are men, and in the construction world, female management is difficult to fit in. However, we are starting to feel that we are making progress there with the integration of women in certain trades”.

The architect Ana Armero recalls that the differences between men and women are intensified by the choice of motherhood. This is a turning point in all professional careers, not just in the architecture field. A recurring question when asked about the differences in this field is often.

Do women have a different way of designing architecture than men? And more specifically in hospital projects, can women architects approach project challenges differently? The team of women at ENERO share a clear idea that there is no feminine or masculine way of designing; there are sensitivities, commitment and a responsibility to the profession.

Female figures that inspire the industry

In the trajectory of women in architecture, their work, both historical and contemporary, is becoming more and more visible. In recent years we have witnessed the recovery of some historical female figures and there are more and more exhibitions and publications of the work of women architects.

The team of women at Enero remembers some female figures that serve as inspiration and reference in their daily work. The holistic sensibility of Anna Heringer is a clear example of the promotion of ecological balance in projects done today, applicable in the fields of health and education.

Architects such as Lina Bo Bardi have shown that women have a key role to play in the field and can influence several generations with contributions that are just as valuable as those of their male counterparts.

In addition, the profile of the professional architect has changed profoundly in recent years. Architect Laura Castaño comments, “The way architecture is done by collectives is often more interesting than that of star system architects. They bring multiple viewpoints to the classic formulas of understanding architecture”.

Sofia Aceituno recalls the key contributions to contemporary architecture from such figures as Kazuyo Sejima from Japan as an inspiration. For Sira Rivero, the architect Carme Pigem of the RCR studio is an example of humility in the face of current architectural challenges. When it comes to choosing model projects, Sira recalls the sensuousness of Peter Zumthor’s thermal baths in Vals, Switzerland.

In looking back on some of the designs that the women of the studio would have liked to have been involved with, they mention buildings like the Torre Castelar by Rafael de la Hoz. For Lluc Gomez it is a revolutionary construction, “It’s like a hanging lamp. In addition, the glass on the façade is structural”.

Female voices in ENERO

The studio’s team of women also share a fondness for special projects within Enero Arquitectura. Maria Sierra, head of Administration, Quality and Environment especially remembers Cordoba Hospital, an international award-winning project with which the studio secured its own interpretation in hospital design.

If we had to highlight a common vision of the future of architecture, and of hospital construction specifically, the women in the studio agree on the importance of the humanisation of the healthcare sector. Enero is deeply rooted in this area and diverse female voices contribute with their vision and work to it every day