"We strive for depth in lightness, we dream of space defined by endless connectivity."
FRANCISCO GONZALEZ PULIDO
Born in Mexico City in 1970. In 1991, he graduates from Monterrey Tec with a Bachelors in Architecture. In 1993, he completes his first residential project, a 5,000SF villa in the north east of Mexico. In 1995, he wins his first international competition for a technical training center for General Motors in Mexico City. 2 years later, he wins his first high rise building for a headquarters for PriceWaterhouse in Mexico City, which was not built. In 1998, he is accepted to the Harvard Graduate School of Design for a Masters Degree. His interest in science, technology, and business took him to MIT and the Harvard Business School. At the MIT Media Lab, he meets the artist Krzysztof Wodiczko, who becomes very influential in his design formation. In 2000, he joins JAHN. 8 years later, he becomes Helmut Jahn’s first partner and in 2012, President of the Company. In the last 10 years of his time at JAHN, he designs a wide range of buildings from pavilions and boutique spaces to stadiums and airports, from speculative spaces and explorations to science buildings and skyscrapers across five continents. In 2017, he founded FGP Atelier. He has been awarded the Green Building Award for the Americas for his Orchid Educational Pavilion in Oaxaca by Architects Newspaper. He recently completed the 20,000-seat Diabos Rojos baseball stadium in Mexico, City. He is currently completing a 320M tall tower in Guangzhou, PRC.
Gonzalez Pulido strives for beauty through knowledge, innovation and intelligent use of resources. His goal is to influence and change lives through art and design, in which the art of engineering and architecture unite to create a timeless experience. He has done so through a broad creative practice that ranges from his passion for playing music and painting to his avid engagement with cinema, fashion, and exhibits and, of course, his work as an architect. It is in the context of architecture that his creative energy has found its most concrete form and broadest public presence.
In each case, his creative process is driven by solving a specific problem through the form, texture, color, light, function, and general atmosphere that he creates. While this might be a melody in the recording studio, he creates space and buildings at The Atelier. These buildings begin with a creative and intuitive response guided by decades of experience. Very quickly, he shares this vision with a broad team of consultants to begin testing assumptions and refining the concept. In the process, he strives for lightness and transparency as he believes these concepts resonate deeply with our civilization, cities and lives.
He began this journey through the world of art, architecture, and design in Mexico. During his early years, he was consumed by the production of LARGE-FORMAT PAINTINGS and music. After completing a Bachelor of Architecture at Monterrey Tec, he began his career as an architect and builder working in close collaboration with skilled craftsmen. It was during this time that he designed and built CASA VERANDA and CASA PAREDES. Shortly after completing these projects, he was commissioned to build the General Motors Technical Training Center, won a competition to design the PRICE WATERHOUSE OFFICE BUILDING IN MEXICO CITY (unbuilt), and was commissioned to design the QUATTRO HOUSE (unbuilt).
After completing this first phase of his career and a Masters of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, he wanted to explore building at a new scale, in new contexts, and with the most advanced technical systems driving building performance and sustainability. It was this ambition that led him to join Murphy/Jahn in 2000. His time at Murphy/Jahn can be divided into three phases: working for Helmut (2000-2006), collaborating with Helmut to co-design projects (2006-2012), and leading the design of projects and expanding the firm into new markets (2012-2017). Along the way, he became Design Director in 2006, Helmut’s first business partner in 2008, and President/Partner in 2012 – at which time he rebranded the firm JAHN.
During the first phase, he worked on projects such as Bangkok International Airport, the façade and circulation renovation at O’Hare International Airport, and IIT STUDENT VILLAGE in Chicago. During the second phase, he led competitions such as for the BONN CONCERT HALL and co-designed buildings such as VEER TOWER, JAPAN POST, LEATOP TOWER, and SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTER. During the final phase, he led competitions such as for the GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM IN HELSINKI, the SHENZHEN CONVENTION CENTER, and ART2. At the same time, he was developing conceptual projects such as the KNOWLEDGE TRAINING CENTER for the Chicago Architecture Biennial. One of the most significant competitions of this period was our second-place entry for the NEW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN MEXICO CITY (NAICM).
During this period – and outside of JAHN – he realized CASA M5, a house in Oaxaca, Mexico. He built SPACECRAFT in Valencia in 2014 for Porcelanosa as a modular prefabricated micro-dwelling allowing for variable configurations and extreme efficiency. He designed and built the ORCHID EDUCATIONAL PAVILION as an educational tool in the Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca. The pavilion was constructed by local craftsmen from local materials and utilized a range of passive systems in order to be entirely self-sustaining. In addition, he assembled an interdisciplinary team to enter the competition for a 1,000 km bridge in Guangzhou - the HARMONY BRIDGE. These would become early projects of FGP Atelier.
In September of 2017,he opened FGP Atelier in Chicago. The firm is truly unique in how it combines design creativity and scientific rigor. Our goal is to inﬂuence the urban environment in a global sense through innovative and ‘tailored’ design solutions intersecting the ﬁelds of building technology and human behavior. Our current design interventions include Sports Facilities, Mix-use Complexes, Laboratories and Educational Buildings. FGP-Atelier has two ofﬁces, Chicago and Shanghai. Our background is international and culturally diverse - ranging from Bulgaria to China, Mexico to the United States. We believe in the building as the critical cell in sensible urban development, as the unit that generates new social forms, ways of thinking and new life in a community.
Gonzalez Pulido began the firm with several projects. These included the 85,000 M2 95 M Tall LAND ROVER REGIONAL OFFICES, SHANGHAI (completed 2018), the 100,000 M2 DIABLOS ROJOS BASEBALL STADIUM in Mexico City (completed 2019), the monumental 550,000 M2 $2 Billion Shanghai International Financial Center (completion 2020), the 240,000 M2 200M Tall office, retail and residential complex SHENZHEN GATE (completion 2020), and the 30,000 M2 Nanotechnology Lab and Corporate Accelerator at Monterey Tec, TECNANO (completion 2020). Shortly after opening, The Atelier won the competition to design the 150,000 M2 320 M Tall GUANGZHOU INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL CENTER (completion 2020) and the renovation of the historically significant RECTORIA at Monterey Tec (completion 2020). We are also resuming work on a 400 M TOWER IN NANJING. In addition, shortly after opening the firm, we placed second in a competition for a tower in Shenzhen – a project we called FACET.
We are currently focused on projects ranging in scale from a bespoke celebrity hair salon in Los Angeles that pioneers a new retail concept in partnership with Amazon to an arena for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians in Traverse City, USA, a CULINARY INSTITUTE AND MIXED USED DEVELOPMENT IN PUEBLA, MEXICO, the transformation of a 17th century home in Oaxaca, Mexico into an art gallery, a masterplan in Monterrey, Mexico, and mixed-use towers in Guadalajara, Mexico and Pittsburgh, USA. We are also resuming work on a mixed-used development in Shanghai we call WISH.
APPROACH TO DESIGN
Gonzalez Pulido’s approach to design builds on logic, intuition, multidisciplinary collaboration, scientific research and experience to design active spaces, infrastructure and urban networks that respond to atmosphere, ecology, comfort, economy, culture and technology.
His work is based on the continued belief that our buildings are more than objects or developments. They create spaces that influence people’s lives daily and initiate cities developments and as such they need to consider the context they are inserted in and create opportunities for the advance of sustainable communities.
We don’t pursue styles or signatures but we strive for “performance”. Our architecture relies on multidisciplinary inception and advanced engineering and its implications on context, form, materials and systems. We believe in a holistic approach in which rational, technical, constructional, and technological factors shape the building’s image through systems and components. Our architecture represents a continuing evolution from a technological approach toward a social activity.
Over the decades, Gonzalez Pulido has acquired a vast technological knowledge and extensive construction experience. We use state-of-the-art digital technology and constantly research new analytic and parametric modeling tools to better assist in the design process. Our expertise in sustainable design is the result of decades of research on built and unbuilt projects and of data collection from completed buildings. He has believed in sustainable design since before this became a market trend. He collaborates with consultants and manufacturers to develop new systems and materials that can help improve the performances of our buildings.
Our approach to building design is both rational and intuitive. This approach attempts to give each building its own philosophical and intellectual base. Through responsive architecture, we establish an opportunity to exploit the building’s unique elements to achieve a visual and communicative statement. In this design belief, the rational process deals with the realities of a problem, while the intuitive process deals with the theoretical and intellectual. The product is a building that provides a subconscious ability to sense the intrinsic structure of a problem and then respond to the elements of design which deal with space, form, light, color, and materials. This is the way architecture communicates.