We had the good fortune of connecting with Angela Vizcarra and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Angela, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
Nowadays, I feel lucky to be one of those persons that really loves her job. When I first decided to become an architect I had a vague idea of what it was all about, all I knew is that I was definitely looking for a career with a balance between creativity and technical processes. What I love the most about being an architect is that your knowledge grows with every design you are involved in. Today you might be researching about public spaces post-covid, but tomorrow you might be looking for new materials for a housing project. I think that what most people are unaware of practicing architecture is the time you have to invest on working on a project not only physically (drawings, models, sketches) but also mentally. It is a job that could be exhausting at times but very well rewarded in the end. In addition, architecture requires a lot of team work not only at the design apartment where you have to compile all the information from engineers, landscape or lighting designer; but also at the construction stage where you have to deal with contractors and of course the client. And although it can be overwhelming sometimes, I think again and again and I can’t be anything else. Every project that we have is a new opportunity to rediscover things and apply new ideas. I think it’s just a wonderful way of life.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
After completing Architecture School in Mexico City, I had in mind to study a Masters Degree in a different country. When I got accepted at Columbia in NYC, I saw that as a great opportunity to learn from other people with different backgrounds than mine. At the end of the Masters Degree, I decided to look for a job in order to learn how were things done in real life. Five years passed by and after making a couple of projects from the early stages of drawings to its final construction, my partner and I decided it was time to come back home. We were very enthusiastic to start our own firm in our own town. I can’t deny it was very hard at the beginning, maybe we were away for too long or maybe we were just too young. It has been nine years since we started this adventure and today I can say it was all worth it. In this nine years I have grown up a lot in all senses, professionally and personally. Our designs have been perfected from many mistakes we have done along the path. They are more mature, since I think we have a clearer vision of what our brand offers. One of the best lessons I’ve learned is that time and patience makes you reflect on what is your real approach towards certain details, materials and ideas that really interest you and area worth exploring. On the other hand, apart from the Architectural office, teaching has also offered me another way of learning. The constant interaction with younger generations keeps you updated and willing to give a chance to new ideas.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I will definitely start where I grew up and today I live: the South part of Mexico City. So my first rendezvous should be to have breakfast at Tetetlán – Casa Prieto which is one of the houses that Luis Barragán built in the city. Afterwards we’ll do a visit to the house itself to learn more about the site. Then we could have a meal near San Angel’s Art Garden and visit Frida and Diego Study House. The next day could be a more historic place like Cuicuilco, one of the prehispanic ruins that still lay in the city. After that, we should go to Museo Anahuacalli designed by Diego Rivera and have a meal at Tlalpan historic center. Another day we could go to Coyoacán to get in touch with the our colonial heritage, visit a couple of libraries with cozy cafeterias and of course La Casa Azul of Frida Kahlo. I would dedicate at least two entire days to Mexico City Historic Center, where you can find palaces from Bellas Artes to Palacio Nacional, small baroque churches to the Cathedral, and ruins like Templo Mayor. All mixed up with excellent restaurants, hotels and stores. And last but not least another couple of days should be spent in Paseo de la Reforma where you can visit many museums like: Arqueología, MAM, Rufino Tamayo. Maybe, depending on the season, you’ll have the chance to see the gardens full of Cempasúchitl flowers on November – Day of the Dead, purple Jacarandas on Spring, Noche Buenas flowers on December. Never miss a meal or dinner at the cozy nearby neighborhoods of Roma, Condesa or Polanco.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My first shoutout goes for my partner in crime, in life, in work… in everything. I can´t be here where I am today without his support along the way. We always say that when you walk on the same path towards the same direction, you rediscover yourself and always try to be a better person in order to achieve your goals that are set throughout the road. Besides, I couldn’t be here without all the people who have taught me not to give up, to never stop learning. To all the people who have challenged me to be an improved version of myself and sometimes dare me to stop for a while, do a recap and start all over again.
Facebook: VIGa arquitectos
Photographs – Ángela Vizcarra Renderings – Fuentes & Cordillera – Christian Ortega