Master of Architecture, 2003
Director and Architect, FREE NYC
Armando was working as director of business development for Gehry Technologies when he heard about a project that the firm FREE was handling in Mexico City. The Museo Soumaya’s façade would have a double-curved surface that wraps around 360°, a feat of architectural engineering “unprecedented in Latin America,” Armando says. He called FREE and asked if they had figured out how to construct the façade’s skin. He helped them develop a strategy based on creating families of hexagons—42 different families comprising 16,000 individual hexagons—that interlock with each other, their size contracting or expanding based on their position on the surface. Following the incredible success of this project, FREE hired Armando away to direct their 14-employee New York office.
“Every single project, you’re thinking of something that’s never been done. You’re starting the project from zero. You’re trying to communicate about all these components, sometimes with people that you’ve never worked with before.
“Try to get as much experience as possible in every single part of our field. Be flexible—don’t stay in one place. Do everything that you can, from modelmaking to drafting to 3D work to parametrics to roles like marketing and business development, project management. It’s a very complex career. And you get to be good at all these things.” ~ Armando Ramos