The Brothers Architect

The Brothers Architect

The Brothers Architect

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By Sarah Nasznic.

It’s not hard to realize that at Margulies Perruzzi Architects, we are one big family. But the Ribeiro brothers take that concept to a whole new level.

Aside from sharing a last name and similar faces (check out the resemblance!), they share something so special, that most siblings can’t relate – a love for architecture and all things design.

Getting past the fact that each believes that their mom loves them more than the other, I sat down with brothers, Alvaro J. Ribeiro, AIA and Rui Miguel Ribeiro, to find out what differentiates them as architectural designers, what they’ve learned from each other in regards to architecture, and what advice they’d give to one another as they both pursue their careers.

SO, HOW LONG HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN BROTHERS?

  • Alvaro: “25 years.”
  • Rui: “Feels like a lifetime.”

HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE EACH OTHER’S DESIGN STYLE?

  • Alvaro: “Very deep, thoughtful and deliberate.”
  • Rui: “I see a sort of honesty in his design ideas.  It’s an earnestness that you would see in work similar to Siza. I know it’s his favorite architect and that is reflected in his style.”

ARE THERE CERTAIN DESIGN AESTHETICS THAT YOU GUYS SHARE IN COMMON?

  • Alvaro: “Some common ground includes a rich complexity of geometry for building skin. The result is sometimes akin to a Mondrian, or a cubist Picasso painting.”
  • Rui: “I think we both share an appreciation for simplicity.”

ARE THERE SOME YOU DISAGREE ON?

  • Alvaro: “At times a building’s proportion and shape. I strongly prefer a modern use of the Golden ratio as an underlying organizational approach while he prefers the Parametricism taught in architecture curriculums today.”
  • Rui: “I may tend a bit more to the absurd in some cases, but I think it’s due to my inexperience. Having gone to different schools at different times sort of conditions us to be different and process the world around us differently.  He routinely mentions architects that I have never heard of and vice versa, but having the discussion is really what is important.”

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM EACH OTHER AS DESIGNERS?

  • Alvaro: “I’ve learned an interesting perspective about where architecture is headed in the near and distant future. The daily drive home yields interesting discussions, or more often debates. He definitely challenges my beliefs which is mostly eye opening but occasionally annoying. “
  • Rui: “He pretty much got me started.  The exposure I had to architecture started early on and it was really a result of his experience that I started to learn about it.”

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ONE ANOTHER AS DESIGNERS?

  • Alvaro: “To step back from the emphasis on the visual and theoretical fodder instilled by architectural education and focus more on the authenticity, the actuality, and the experiential aspects of architecture.”
  • Rui: “Be more like your brother… Just kidding.  I think we give each other plenty (probably too much) of advice through normal conversation and I think it’s important to keep up the discussion as a way to refine or redefine our ideas. It’s important for all of us.”