Hector Perez introduces Jorge Rigau, principal at Jorge Rigau Architects in Puerto Rico.
Rigau proposes to embrace the challenges of the modern world by looking at the relationship between tradition and modernity in architecture. Rigau describes his own experience as a student returning to Puerto Rico and re-encountering the particulars of its culture. He describes places like Puerto Rico and Cuba as a kind of tabula rasa on which different modernist architectures and different approaches coexist.
Jorge Rigau discusses the two positions present in the Hispanic Caribbean regarding contemporary architecture. The first advocates preservation and the need to validate design heritage. The second advocates accepting whatever is new in order to appear innovative. Rigau goes on to summarize ten years of research, and presents a series of projects that illustrate the contradictions.
Rigau presents the project for a cafeteria in the San Juan Botanical Garden, a cemetery in Mayagüez, and a new urban plaza for the city of Carolina. Rigau characterizes his office as creating contemporary architecture that follows and is inspired by traditional references through re-translation and not by copying.