WHO WE ARE
Rene Gonzalez Architect creates buildings that actively engage in a ‘design conversation’ with their surroundings. Founded in 1997 in Miami, Florida, the award winning firm believes that a building is inexorably linked to the cultural and natural environment beyond its physical boundaries. The firm’s designs are influenced by external factors, both ethereal and earthly, including sky, water, vegetation and the bustle of human activity. Often in their work, there’s a deliberate ambiguity between the inside and the outside, bringing elements of each into the other. By intentionally blurring the lines between constructed and innate landscapes, Rene Gonzalez Architect (RGA) synthesizes elements, making it difficult to discern exactly where their work ends and the ambient surroundings begin.
Detail-oriented and contemporary, the multiple award-winning firm specializes in the design of museum and gallery spaces, exhibition design, hospitality, retail and residential projects. The approach is always holistic, often engaging interiors, product design, and landscape design with the architecture. The results have been consistently harmonious, visceral and dramatic. RGA strives to shift the perception of space and design, and evoke powerful emotions within the space we occupy.
Principal, Rene Gonzalez, AIA believes that architecture should be a sensory experience. His work is based on the idea that buildings and spaces impact us and should be designed to leave a lasting memorable impression on us. His architecture is tactile, engages and is in dialogue with the environment; his work is an exploration of how man touches nature and how nature touches man. He seeks to discover and define the essence of a place by interpreting patterns, ideas, and cultural conditions rather than stylizing architectural typologies or forms. The approach to accomplish this is holistic; integrating the architecture, interiors, and the landscape. The heightened experiential quality in his work is achieved through the manipulation of spaces, materials and our perception of them. Materials, often used in unexpected ways, and the composition of textures in the work take on a primary role in order to reveal the potential of architecture to be tactile, experiential and memorable.
Rene is the only Miami architect in 50 years to be honored twice for Miami projects. Rene is also the recipient of AIA Miami's 2012 H. Samuel Kruse Silver Medal for Design and in 2011, RGA received AIA Miami's Firm of the Year award. His work has been published in over 200 industry and consumer local, national and international publications, including The New York Times, New York, Wall Street Journal, The Robb Report, American Airlines Nexos, Architectural Record, Wallpaper, Metropolis, Metropolitan Home, Elle Décor, Interior Design, House and Garden, Architectural Digest, Oprah at Home, Surface, Frame, Dwell, Azure, Ocean Drive, and The Miami Herald. In 2010, he was one of four contemporary architects featured in the book Four Florida Moderns. He has also been published in numerous books such as Living with Wine, Office Interiors and Arquitectura Vegetal.
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Among other honors, he has received Metropolitan Home magazine’s Home of the Year Award for design excellence and has been honored by Conde Nast’s House & Garden as one of 50 designers internationally that represent the future of design. He has been selected by a jury of the Smithsonian to the Hispanic Design Archive at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. He has lectured and taught on architecture and design at UCLA, University of Virginia, University of Florida, University of Miami, Florida International University, Universidad San Francisco de Ecuador, and Universidad Central de Venezuela. Rene was appointed by the Mayor and Commissioners of Miami Beach and served as Chair the Miami Beach Design Review Board and has served as President of the Arango Design Foundation. He is an Honorary Trustee at MoCA Miami and serves on The Wolfsonian Florida International University Advisory Board.
Rene served as Project Designer with Richard Meier & Partners on the Getty Museum and Center in Los Angeles. He collaborated with Architect Frank Israel, during a time of extreme experimentation with materials and form in California. Other internationally recognized collaborations include the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami Beach with Mark Hampton, FAIA. He has designed and curated museum and gallery installations for various institutions including the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, the Miami Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami and has completed numerous commercial and residential projects. Rene holds a Master of Architecture degree from UCLA and a Bachelor of Design degree from the University of Florida and is a member of the American Institute of Architects.
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Associate, Monica Vazquez, has been instrumental to the design development and coordination of a number of significant projects for the firm. Since joining Rene Gonzalez Architect in 2000, she has contributed to such projects as the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Poliform USA, and a number of exclusive residential projects in Miami, New York and Key Biscayne.
Monica is LEED AP certified. She holds a Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Design in Architectural Studies degrees from Florida International University. She is also an Adjunct Professor at F.I.U.
Monica is originally from Barcelona, Spain and speaks English, Spanish, and Catalan.
HOW WE THINK
For Rene Gonzalez and his team, architecture is both a reflection and an extension of a specific location. RGA therefore approaches each project with an individualized design methodology that requires the firm to listen – not only to their clients, but also to the voices of the elements around a particular site creating in every project both a reflection and an extension of its environment.
RGA takes a holistic view of a project, and allows the purpose of the space and the intrinsic elements surrounding it to influence each other, the result is a place that feels soulful. The idea is to develop a deep and meaningful relationship between people and their built environment.
WHAT WE’VE DONE
This strategy of practice has won RGA a number of prestigious awards, including two National American Institute of Architecture Design Awards, one in 2011 for Alchemist and the other in 2006 for Karla. Gonzalez is the only Miami architect in 50 years to be honored twice for Miami projects.
Rene is also the recipient of AIA Miami's 2012 H. Samuel Kruse Silver Medal for Design and in 2011, RGA received AIA Miami's Firm of the Year award. Gonzalez has been honored with a total of twelve Miami AIA awards, one Florida AIA award, the University of Florida School of Architecture’s 2010 Alumni Design Excellence Award, Interior Design magazine's Best of the Year Award for retail design, Metropolitan Home magazine’s Home of the Year Award for design excellence and inclusion in House & Garden’s “50 International Designers that Represent the Future of Design.” Additionally, the Smithsonian Institute nominated Gonzalez for the Hispanic Design Archive at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York.
RGA’s work has been published in more than 200 national and international publications, including The New York Times, New York Magazine, Wall Street Journal, The Robb Report, Architectural Record, Wallpaper, Metropolis, Metropolitan Home, Elle Décor, Interior Design, House and Garden, Architectural Digest, Oprah at Home, Surface, Frame, Dwell, Azure, Ocean Drive, Plum, and The Miami Herald.