Studio Roberto Rovira lecture

April 30, 2015

Recorded: March 12, 2015

The Architectural League’s Emerging Voices program annually spotlights North American architects, landscape architects, and urban designers who have significant bodies of realized work and the potential to influence their field.

Robert Rovira of Studio Roberto Rivera is a 2015 winner of the award.

The “inherent power” of moments of collision between the built and natural world characterizes the work of landscape architecture firm Studio Roberto Rovira. Rovira founded his Miami-based studio in 2011, marrying his backgrounds in design, engineering, and fine arts in a practice driven by collaboration and experimentation.

In his Emerging Voices lecture, Rovira first introduces graphic and installation projects that demonstrate the observation, investigation, and artistry that define his firm’s work before focusing on four recent built projects. The Sky Lounge, completed in 2014, was a retrofit of a student space within a 1970s Brutalist campus building at Florida International University. Hanging nets draped with air plants fill the four-story height space, transforming a “sad” space into one that “curates public interactions” and offers a “place to recharge.” A master plan for Parque de las Flores in Colombia converts an abandoned coffee plantation into a botanical garden that plays on an “exaggeration of scale” and takes advantage of the natural ecology and relationship to the water. The Ecological Atlas Project, a database of ecosystems that visualizes the natural patterns of everything from wildflower seasons to bird migration patterns, applies data to design in order to revamp the tools of landscape architecture. The Wynwood Greenhouse Park represents the “emergent spirit” of Miami in a new public space with vertical green walls that adapt to the cycles of flora and fauna. Collectively these projects draw on history and ecology to create vibrant spaces that are inviting to the public while honoring their context.

Recorded: March 12, 2015

Studio Roberto Rovira received a 2014 AIA Miami Award for the Sky Lounge and a 2014 APA Florida Award of Excellence for Opa Locka Magnolia North Park. The Ecological Atlas Project was exhibited at Art Miami in 2012 and the Coral Gables Museum in 2013. Rovira is Chair of the Landscape Architecture department at Florida International University. He received his M.L.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and served for four years as a U.S. Naval Officer.