Estudio ALA

Estudio ALA | Tequila Centinela Chapel, Arandas, Jalisco, Mexico, 2014. Image credit: Cesar Bejar

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

Luis Enrique Flores and Armida Fernández of Estudio ALA won a 2024 award.

Luis Enrique Flores and Armida Fernández founded Estudio ALA in Guadalajara in 2012. Often designing for industrial and agricultural contexts, the firm, in its own words, seeks to “honor culture and tradition while still questioning the significance of programs, methodologies, and materialities.” Through built work and research projects that engage creatively with established economic and social structures, Estudio ALA explores a wide range of topics, including migrant spaces and pathways; emerging dwelling typologies; environmental sustainability; and reuse and reprogramming.

Projects include:

  • Tequila Centinela Chapel, a worship space for workers at a tequila factory that also functions as a site of social gathering, made primarily of adobe
  • Mezcal Production Palenque, an industrial mezcal distillery with an on-site reservoir and botanical garden, integrating materials such as cross laminated timber and ceramic bricks
  • Rethinking Housing for Seasonal Agriculture Workers, a speculative design for a new housing typology that offers migrant farmworkers control over their environment created using participatory research 

Estudio ALA won the Distinction for Young Outstanding Architect awarded by the Architects’ Association of the state of Jalisco, Mexico in 2023 and a 2021 Design Icon award from Architectural Digest for El Perdido Desert Hotel.

Luis Enrique Flores holds a master’s of landscape architecture from Harvard University GSD and a BArch from the Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro Universitario de Arte Arquitectura y Diseño. He currently teaches at Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro Universitario de Tonalá.

Armida Fernández has taught at the Wentworth Institute of Technology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudio Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) and a master’s degree in design studies, risk and resilience from Harvard University GSD.


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