Complex Simplicity: Architecture and Structure in the Work of Alfonso Ramirez

11 October 2010, 12:45 - 14:00


Part of the CRASSH Fellows Work-in-Progress seminar series.  All welcome, no registration necessary.  Sandwich lunch and refreshments provided.

Dr Michael Ramage (Architecture, Sidney Sussex)


Mexican architect Alfonso Ramirez Ponce designs and builds with the vernacular tradition of “leaning brick” vaults. These structures are constructed without supporting formwork and, when designed and built by skilled hands, are spaces of great beauty. I will use photographs, architectural drawings and structural diagrams to understand and explain the remarkable buildings of this innovative architect.

Ramirez creates architecture through structure and craft, producing buildings that share an engagement with the construction process and the artisan’s talent. His work is architecturally elegant and structurally beautiful, merging craft and design, a rare feat in contemporary architecture. Ramirez’s work has a strong sense of proportion defined, but not dominated, by structure. Little-known outside a circle of structural masonry specialists, Ramirez’s work has a wider relevance to architecture around the world.


To access the Readings for the Work in Progress seminar, please contact Michelle Maciejewska.