Rael San Fratello

Click for more images | Mud Box (Terry Mowers Residence) | photo: Rael San Fratello

Emerging Voices 2014
Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, Rael San Fratello

The Oakland firm Rael San Fratello, founded in 2002 by Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, shies away from working within a set philosophy, trying rather “not to define, but rather to constantly redefine ourselves.” Their diverse collection of work, from full-scale projects such as the Museum of Nowhere, Antonito, Colorado; The Mud House, Marfa, Texas; and the art installation Prada Marfa to folly-like experimental structures such as Saltygloo, a semi-structured shell comprised of 336 3D-printed panels made of salt harvested from the San Francisco Bay supported on lightweight aluminum rods; and their winning entry in the Sukkah City competition, Sukkah of the Signs, aka the Homeless House, point to their goal of discovering “overlooked places” and “trying to do the most with the least.”

Both Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello earned their M.Arch. degrees from Columbia University. Rael is currently Associate Professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and San Fratello at San Jose State University. They have additionally taught at Clemson University and Southern California Institute of Architecture. They are past winners of the Metropolis Next Generation Competition, the Sukkah City International Design Competition, and received first place in the Van Alen Institute “Life at the Speed of Rail” competition. In 2013, the firm was the winner of both Design Lab: Next Nest competition sponsored by SITE Santa Fe and P3: People, Prosperity, and the Planet Competition sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello will discuss their work on March 13, 2014. Click here  for more information.

The Emerging Voices award spotlights individuals and firms based in the United States, Canada, or Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism. Click here for more on the other 2014 Emerging Voices, or see the complete list of past winners here


Saltygloo: 3D printed salt structure | photot: Rael San Fratello

Sukkah of the Signs | photo: Rael San Fratello

Sol Grotto Interior | photo: Matthew Millman

Straw Gallery for Hedge | photo: Matthew Millman

Museum of Nowhere Exterior | photo: Rael San Fratello

Border wall as Architecture | photo: Rael San Fratello

Prada Marfa at Dusk | photo: Noel Kerns