MAIO – Architectural office based in Barcelona

MAIO is an architectural office based in Barcelona and New York that works on spatial systems that permit theoretical positions materialize. The practice has developed a wide range of projects, from housing blocks or urban planning to furniture or exhibition design.

MAIO’s members combine professional activities with academic, research and editorial ones. They have been in charge of the magazine Quaderns d’Arquitectura i Urbanisme (2011-16), and currently teach at Columbia GSAPP, the Architectural Association and the School of Architecture of Barcelona ETSAB/ETSAV.

MAIO has lectured at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Barbican Center, GSAPP-Columbia University, RIBA, UC Berkeley, Yale School of Architecture and Piet Zwart Institute among other places. MAIO’s work has been published in magazines such as Domus, AIT, Volume, Blueprint, A10 and Detail, and exhibited at the MOMA of New York, the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Art Institute of Chicago and Storefront for Art and Architecture. Lately MAIO has participated at Venice Biennial 2016 in the Spanish Pavillion, awarded with the golden Lion, at Chicago Architecture Biennial (2015 & 2017 editions) and co-curated a Weekend Special at the Biennale di Venezia 2014 together with SPACE CAVIAR and DPR-Barcelona.

MAIO is run by Maria Charneco, Alfredo Lérida, Guillermo López and Anna Puigjaner, who recently has been nominated finalist of the Rolex Mentor & Protégé Initiative 2016 and awarded with the Wheelwright Prize, Harvard GSD.

  • Architecture Effects. Guggenheim Bilbao.
  • Building Stories. Histórias Construídas. Garagem Sul, CCB, Lisboa.
  • Invisible Landscapes, Act I: Home. Royal Academy of Arts, London.
  • 44 Low-resolution Houses, Princeton University School of Architecture.
  • Tempietto Exemplum, Yale School of Architecture.
  • Biennale d'Architecture d'Orléans #1
  • 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial
  • Westopia. Villa Vertua Masolo. Nova Milanese. Italy
  • When in Rome. The Practice Space. RIBA. London
  • A minor Architecture. Espacio Valverde. Madrid.
  • W.I.P. (Work In Progress) Exhibition for DEMO Festival. DADA Studios Gallery. Barcelona.
  • “Re-Constructivism Architecture” exhibition. Lerimonti Gallery, New York.
  • “Letters to the Major” exhibition. Lisbon Architecture Triennial, Lisbon. 
  • Oslo Architecture Triennale. Guided Tour by MAIO On Residence Exhibition. Oslo, Norway.
  • 1a Festivala de Arquitectura Especulativa. Girona, Spain.
  • “Occupied” exhibition. RMIT Design Hub. Melbourne.
  • “Sharing Models: Manhattanisms” exhibition. Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York.
  • “Unfinished”exhibition, Spanish Pavillion. La Biennale di Venezia. Awarded with Golden Lion for Best National Pavillion.
  • “The Way Things Go” exhibition. Monoambiente Gallery, Buenos Aires.
  • “The State of Art of Architecture” exhibition. Selected participant team. Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015. Chicago, EUA.
  • Measure” exhibition. Storefront for Art and Architecture. New York, EUA.
  • “Hábitat” exhibition. Garcia Galeria, Madrid, Spain.
  • “Networked politics at Monditalia”. curatorship Weekend Special for Biennale di Venezia 2014.“
  • “Aproximacions”. Young Catalan Architects 08-09. Barcelona, Lleida, Reus, Girona. Spain.
  • “Strategies for Public Occupation” exhibition. Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York.
  • Finalist. FAD Award, architecture. 22 Dwelling Housing block in Barcelona.
  • Selected work. EU Mies Van Der Rohe Awards 2016. 22 Dwelling Housing block in Barcelona.
  • Selected work for Barcelona City Awards 2017. 22 Dwelling Housing block in Barcelona.
  • First Prize. FAD Award for Ephemeral Architecture 2015. Species of Spaces, exhibition display at MACBA, Barcelona.
  • Honoured Mention. Proxima/Arquia Awards 2014-15 ARQUIA Foundation. Bar Nou Restaurant, Barcelona.
  • Selected work. Proxima/Arquia Awards 2014-15 ARQUIA Foundation. Pool, Menorca; Species of Spaces, exhibition display at MACBA, Barcelona; "De copias y Fantasmas" Fundació Suñol, Barcelona; Micro-U Vallcarca. Public square in Barcelona; Exhibition display system for Massana School of Design, Barcelona.
  • Wheelwright Prize. Harvard GSD.
  • Finalist, Rolex Mentor & Protégé Initiative.
  • First Prize. FAD Award, critical theorism / Quaderns.
  • Finalist. FAD Award, interiorism / Exhibition display system.
  • First Prize. Arquia/Proxima Awards Research 2014 ARQUIA Foundation / Quaderns.
  • First Prize. FAD Award opinion prize, interiorism / Conversion of a washing place into a studio, Barcelona.
  • Finalist. XII Beau Spanish Architecture / Conversion of a washing place into a studio, Barcelona.
  • First Prize. Housing project in Barcleona. Private competition.
  • First Prize ex-aequo competition "Les Portes de Collserola / Porta 3 Sarrià" . Barcelona City Council.
  • Finalist. Arquia/Proxima Awards 2012 ARQUIA Foundation / Floating.
  • First Prize competition "How much does your building weigh?". "Urban Activators Workshop" by Festival Internacional de Arquitectura eme3 / Floating Activators.
  • Finalist. Proxima/Arquia Awards 2008-09 ARQUIA Foundation. Intervention at Casa Sambola’s Courtyard.
  • Selected work. Proxima/Arquia Awards 2008-09 ARQUIA Foundation. Exhibition XII Girona Archi- tecture Awards in Pia Almoina Building.
  • First Prize LampLight Solutions. Award for Urban and Lanscascape Lighting. Exhibition XII Girona Architecture Awards in Pia Almoina Building.
  • Special Mention at the Congress of Spanish Architects. Category: Futurs. Award: New Working Fields CSCAE. Intervention at Cúndaro Street.
  • Finalist. FAD Award for Ephemeral Architecture 2007. Intervention at Cúndaro Street.
  • Finalist. LampLight Solutions. Award for Real Solutions. Intervention at Cúndaro Street.
  • First Prize. Girona College of Architects Awards 2007 for Ephemeral Architecture. Intervention at Cúndaro Street.
  • Finalist. FAD Award for Ephemeral Architecture 2006. Intervention at Casa Sambola’s Courtyard.
  • Finalist. Girona College of Architects Awards 2006 for Ephemeral Architecture. Intervention at Casa Sambola’s Courtyard.
  • East Coast/West Coast, Barcelona-Lisbon.  Fundaçao Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Generazione: A call from Rome. Casa dell’Architectura, Rome, Italy.
  • Forum V Arquia/Proxima. Malaga, Spain.
  • ETSAB. Barcelona School of Architecture, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Schweizerisches Architekturmuseum, Basilea, Switzerland.
  • Arch Lecture, UC Berkeley, EUA.
  • RMIT Design Hub, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, EUA.
  • Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
  • Atelier Clerici, Milano, Italy.
  • COAC Colegio de Arquitectos de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.
  • A Coruña School of Architecture, A Coruña, Spain.
  • Harvard GSD, Massachussets, EUA.
  • EASD, Valencia, Spain.
  • GSAPP, Columbia University, New York , EUA.
  • Yale School of Architecture, EUA.
  • Forum IV Arquia/Proxima Granada, Spain.
  • Washington University, St. Louis, EUA.
  • FAU Lisboa, Portugal.
  • Brussels School of Architecture UCL-LOCI (mid-term guest jury),  Brussels, Belgium.
  • GSAPP, Columbia University, New York , EUA.
  • Brussels School of Architecture UCL-LOCI, Brussels , Belgium.
  • Forum III Arquia/Proxima La Coruña, Spain.
  • Architecture PLUS Under 40. Madrid , Spain.
  • oung Catalan Architects Arquia/Proxima Selection 08-09. Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, Reus. Spain.
  • Forum II Arquia/Proxima Madrid 2010. Madrid School of Architecture ETSAM , Madrid, Spain.
  • Massana School, Center of Arts and Design. Barcelona, Spain.
  • BAU School of Design. Barcelona, Spain. 
  • ”A collage conversation from Cristiano Toraldo di Francia & Guillermo López. Archifutures Vol.1: The Museum. 2016. pp.126-145 (ISBN 978-84-944873-6-1)
  • ”Discusion”. The Form of the Form. Lisbon Architecture Triennal 2016 pp.182-197 (ISBN 978-3-03778-504-1)
  • ”Renovation and adaptation of a Home-Studio”. Unfinished / Spanish Pavillion Biennale Architettura 2016. pp.98-99. (ISBN 978-84-608-7088-3)
  • ”Restaurante Bar Nou”. ON Diseño n.365. 2016 cover, pp.102-105. (ISSN 0210-2080)
  • ”Bar Nou/Reforma Integral de Son Amengual/Especies de Espacios/Microurbanización Vallcarca/Piscina en Puntaprima/Muebles Skinny/Sistema expositiva+Aplicación”. Futuro Imperfecto. Arquia/Próxima 2016. (ISBN: 978-84-617-4548-5)
  • ”Exposición Especies de Espacios”. ON Diseño n.361/362. 2016 pp.102-105. (ISSN 0210-2080)
  • ”Bar Nou” International Magazine of Space Design/bob/. November 2016. pp.98-99. (ISSN 1739-2845)
  • ”MAIO”. ON Diseño n.360 2016. 2016 cover, pp.42-45 (ISSN 0210-2080)
  • ”On Rooms: No vacancy”. Perspecta, The Yale Architectural Journal n.49:Quote. 2016. pp.234-255 (ISSN 0079-0958)
  • “La dispersión militante de MAIO”, El Cultural, 8-14 May 2015, pp. 34-35. (M-4591-2012)
  • “Reciclatge Urbà”, Time Out Barcelona, n.271, pp.16-17. (ISSN 1888-3850)
  • “Hospitality”, Interior Design, June 2015, pp. 115-118.
  • “Pa amb Tomàquet Reloaded”, Tapas, n. 2, April 2015, pp.78-79. (ISSN 2387-0524)
  • Reforma de vivienda y estudio”. Arquia/Próxima Fuera 2014. Fundación Arquia, Barcelona, 2014, pp.246-247. (ISBN 978-84-940343-6-7)
  • ”Quaderns d’Arquitectura i Urbanismo”. Arquia/Próxima Fuera 2014. Fundación Arquia, Barcelona, 2014, pp.56-57. (ISBN 978-84-940343-6-7)
  • ”Sistema expositivo en el Museu Marítim de Barcelona”, ON Diseño, n.353-354, 2015, pp. 130-131. (ISSN 0210-2080)
  • “Reforma de lavadero en estudio”. XII BIENAL ESPAÑOLA DE ARQUITECTURA Y URBANISMO. Madrid, 2013, pp.130-139. (ISBN: 978-84-695-8307-4)
  • “Reforma y adecuación para una vivienda-estudio. Barcelona”, On Diseño, n. 335, July 2013. (ISSN: 0210-2080)
  • “MAIO office in Barcelona”, AIT. Architektur, Innenarchitektur, technischer Ausbau, April 2013, pp. 102-106. (ISSN: 0173-8046)
  • “Designer’s Office”, Interiors Magazine, February 2013, pp.172-175. (ISSN: 1227-1829)
  • “Floating”. Arquia/Próxima 2012 Nuevos Formatos. 2012, pp.1-16. (ISBN: 978-84-939409-8-0)
  • Mínguez, C. “Studio Visit 01 - MAIO”, Domus, n. 982, October 2012, pp.104-105. (ISSN: 0012-5377)
  • “Exhibition XII College of Architects Award 2008, Girona”. Lighting Concepts 2009. LAMP S.A., pp.48-51. (B 246102009)
  • “Intervención en la calle Cúndaro. Girona Temps de Flors”. ON Diseño, n.296, 2008, pp. 284-287. (B 38681-1978 ISSN 0210-2080)
  • “Ephemeral intervention at Sambola Court, Girona Temps de Flors”. Lighting Concepts 2008. LAMP S.A. (M261319 2008)
  • ARQUINFAD - FAD Award 2008. (B 40184-2008 ISBN 978-84-612-6481-0)
  • “Ephemeral intervention at Sambola Court, Girona Temps de Flors”, INDE, December 2007-January 2008, Editor College of Architects of Catalonia –COAC-, p. 56. (B 49372-2000 ISSN 1134-0223)
  • “Intervención en el patio casa Sambolà”, DETAIL, n.4, July-August 2007, p.443. (ISSN 1578-5769)
  • “Echa un vistazo”, ON Diseño, n.287, 2007, p.320-324. (B 38681-1978 ISSN 0210-2080)
  • ARQUINFAD - FAD Award 2007, pp. 470-473. (ISBN 1888-2951)
  • “Ephemeral intervention at Cúndaro Street, Girona Temps de Flors”. Girona College of Architects Award 2007. College of Architects of Catalonia –COAC, p. 52. (ISBN 978-84-96842-19-9)
  • “Ephemeral intervention at Sambola Court, Girona Temps de Flors”, INDE, December 2006-January 2007, Editor College of  Architects of Catalonia –COAC-, p.27. (B 49372-2000 ISSN 1134-0223)
  • “Ephemeral intervention at Sambola Court, Girona Temps de Flors”. Girona College of Architects Award 2006. College of Architects of Catalonia –COAC-,p.78. (ISBN 84-96185-91-5)
The Grand Interior
Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017

The Grand Interior – The house as a system (III)

In his introduction to The Architecture of the Well Tempered Environment, Reyner Banham highlights the extent to which architectural history had excluded almost entirely some crucial aspects (such as mechanical services) from historiographical discussion, at least to the date the book was written.

But beyond structures and mechanical services, a third layer could be added to this form of historiographical oblivion: its interiors. It’s not difficult to realize the extent to which the canonical books of architecture of the twentieth century have not dealt in depth with interiors and their objects, regardless of the importance given to them by architects and designers in the definition of their habitats. It’s a fact that preservation’s scope has often included just architecture as a built form, neglecting the world of objects that defines the inner space of the built environment. Thus, objects and interior spaces remain the most fragile part of architecture: excluded from it while gaining at the same time their own autonomy. New technologies have radically transformed the domestic sphere: blurring or subverting the traditional limits between public and private, between production and consumption, highlighting its renewed importance. This interconnection of infinite interiors makes it possible to think of the world as a “grand interior,” which Sloterdijk defines as an endless domestic landscape defined by objects and technology. Different attempts such as the Whole Earth Catalogue, Archizoom’s No-stop City, Quickborner’s Burolandschaft, or Ambasz’s 1972 Italy: The New Domestic Landscape exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, can be seen from the present as pioneer preludes to actual conditions, but also as an intent to stress the importance of objects and technologies as anchors amidst this endless continuity.

The Grand Interior aims to show the new condition of this endless domestic sphere represented by interconnected, canonical, and popular domestic spaces, by means of proposing an interior made of interiors where massiveness of architecture has been removed and rebalanced towards objects, furniture, appliances, and technology as a primary -and often neglected- and often neglected layer of architecture.

Client Chicago Architecture Biennial

Architects MAIO

Team Anna Puigjaner, 
Maria Charneco, Guillermo Lopez, Alfredo Lérida

Collaborators Gianluca Bernardi

Curator Sharon Johnston, Mark Lee

Photo David Schalliol, MAIO

Situation Chicago, USA

Year 2017