STAR

STAR is a practice dealing with architecture in all its forms.

STAR strategies + architecture was founded by Beatriz Ramo inRotterdamin 2006. STAR is interested in all topics directly or indirectly related to architecture, and works on projects and research of any scale in the fields of architecture and urbanism. STAR takes responsibility for all the phases of the process. Several awards in International Competitions for housing projects, public buildings, and urban planning inFrance, theNetherlands,China,Iceland,Lebanon,Norway, andSpaingained STAR international recognition.

The work of STAR has been featured in publications worldwide such as Casabella, AAfiles, Le Moniteur, Domus, Abitare, Architectural Review, A+U… and exhibited at centers of renown such as the NAi inRotterdam, Storefront Gallery inNew York, le Pavillion de l’Arsenal in Paris or the Ludwig Forum inAachen. Beatriz Ramo is regularly invited to lecture at institutions such as theNationalArtGalleryinVilnius, the SCA inBuenos Aires, the Architecture Club inKiev, theMuseumofArchitectureinWroclawor theRietveldAcademyinAmsterdam.

STAR remains continuously active in research and writings, and is a regular collaborator on MONU magazine on urbanism, where Beatriz is managing-contributing editor. Since 2007 STAR is academically active in several schools and institutions in theNetherlandsas an extension to the office’s study projects through courses and research ateliers on architecture typology, urbanism, interior architecture, and criticism. Beatriz Ramo has run courses at the Sandberg Institute and theAcademyofArchitectureinAmsterdam, and at theAcademyofArchitectureinTilburg, where she is visiting critic of Stadslab -European urban design laboratory.

The office portfolio includes a wide array of projects: ranging from a low-budget evolutional house; a prototype for a multifunctional cinema adapted to the city centers; new habitat typologies for social housing; a 50 Ha urban plan in a floodable site; a hybrid complex consisting of a Ferris wheel and a Railway station; an eighty-meters-long panorama representing the European Union – in collaboration with, and commissioned by OMA/AMO; or the “Co-Residence”, a concept of housing based on the contemporary idea of “sharing”.

Some significant moments:

     “Forced” Independence.
During the first years STAR was proactively generating most of its work through self-initiated studies and taking part in open international competitions, which quickly became its biggest source of acquisitions, giving STAR the chance to obtain large-scale projects practically from its foundation. This led to the attractive situation of forced independence and freedom, making the office flexible and resilient.

     The first 1st-Prize + Non-stop Housing Research.
In 2007 STAR won against hundred other design proposals the competition –and future commission- for ‘Manzana 5’ – a 60.000 m2 building of housing, offices and retail in Zaragoza, Spain. The office obtained afterwards several prizes in residential competitions that recognized the continuous research of STAR in housing projects: from its flexibility and upgradability to its efficiency and identity.

     Strategy vs. Design. The culmination of STAR’s principle.
In 2009 STAR won the International Competition for the Mirador del Palmeral* (Palm Grove’s Viewpoint) with the simplest proposal, yet the most controversial project the office had ever undertaken. The two-phased competition received a lot of attention, not only because worldwide renowned firms were invited to participate (MVRDV, SANAA, Ábalos + Sentkiewicz, Torres& La Peña, Foster & Partners), but because STAR, as the office getting through the first-open phase, won the competition with a strategy, rather than with a design. STAR’s proposal was a culmination of a long time study on the iconic building phenomenon and represented a step forward in many ways. The development of this competition brief was the ultimate proof for STAR that architectural thinking is stronger than even architecture itself.

*Due to the protected character of the site – Elche’s Palmgroove-, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000, STAR has been involved since 2009 instudies on interventions in preserved areas. One result of that research was the critical essay: In the name of the Past, Countering the Preservation Crusades.

     Constructive Criticism.
In 2011 Beatriz Ramo wrote the critical essay O’Mighty Green, a satyr that criticizes the opportunistic confusion between Sustainability and Greenery in architecture. The piece aimed to enlighten the current disorder among professionals that keeps making it so difficult to achieve a real Sustainability. The piece was translated into thirteen languages and published in more than 30 countries.

     Le Grand Paris:
In 2012 STAR entered the Grand Paris area. Two main events marked the beginning of a new phase for the office: the selection of STAR* to be part of the AIGP– Atelier International du Grand Paris, together with 13 other architects such as Winy Maas, Dominique Perrault, or Christian de Portzamparc to produce studies and advise for the Government about the development of the metropolis of Grand Paris; and the victory of STAR in the competition for the urban plan for the ZAC Gare Ardoines in Vitry-Sur Seine in the south of Paris -of one of the biggest projects in Ille de France: 50 hectares around the future station of the Grand Paris Express Metro hosting almost one million square meters.Ever since STAR is actively involved in the Grand Paris territory working in different fields: from urban to residential projects.
Parallel to the large-scale projects STAR develops currently inRotterdam the design of the (probably) smallest apartment in the world.

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Team
STAR employs an international team of architects and planners and collaborates with national and international external consultants and specialists.
STAR collaborates regularly with Bernd Upmeyer / BOARD – Bureau of Architecture, Research, and Design, in projects, studies, and in MONU magazine on urbanism.

Team – chronologically in reverse order:
Maria Castillo, Efraín Pérez Del Barrio, Javier Cuartero, Florian Carrot, Ivan Guerrero, Iris Ramas, Marc Coma, Geoffrey Clamour, Antoine Ceunebroucke, Rodrigue Lombard, Veronica van der Horst, Andrea Stanghini, Fleur Samé, Mikel Mujika, Julie Pommier, Ieva Cicenaite, Lydie Seurre, Oscar Gential, Ahinitze Errasti Etxeberria, Beatriz González Lazo, Alexia Martha Symvoulidou, Francesca Rizzetto, Genoveva Carrión, Philip van der Meij , Anna Dzierżon – Struska, Elia Salcedo Quiles, Daniel Diez Ausias, Xiana Mendez Moldes, Guadalupe Hernández Lorenzo, Jean-Vianney Deleersnyder , Jordi Milà , Albert Perez Cols , Luca Vandini , Simone de Iacobis , Iñigo Paniego de la Cuesta , Joana Garcia de Oliveira, Astrid Rovisco Suzano , Inês Tavares Correia , Ruben Iglesias Fernández, Irene Solé, Marta Fernández Guardado , Simon Davis, Johannes Pointl, Andreas Kofler, João Prates Ruivo, Yoko Sano, Theo Deutinger
Collaborators:
Bernd Upmeyer/BOARD (NL), FAA-Floris Alkemade Architect (NL), EDEIS (FR)/SNC Lavalin (FR), Elioth -Groupe Egis (FR), Lyn Capital (FR), BERIM (FR), AGI2D (FR), AECDP – Agence Elizabeth et Christian de Portzamparc (FR), B+B – Stedebouw en Landschapsarchitectuur (NL), IRIS Conseil (FR), Repérage Urbain (FR), ARUP Madrid (ES), ARUP Amsterdam (NL), Maarten Doude van Troostwijk (NL), Vincent de Rijk (NL), Rodrigo Nuñez Carrasco (ES), Juan Tur (ES), Sander Lap (NL), Grupo JG Ingenieros (ES), BOMA (ES), Alfonso Soria (ES), Estudio M2 Oficina Técnica (ES), Valladares Ingeniería (ES), Ana Rodríguez Álvarez (ES).

Clients
STAR’s clients include private companies, municipalities, magazines, museums, cultural organizations, architecture offices and private individuals.

Selection:
Public:

SADEV94 – Dep. Val-de-Marne (France)
RIVP – Régie Immobilière de la Ville de Paris – Paris (France)
EPA ORSA – Etablissement public d’aménagement Orly Rungis – Seine Amont (France)
La Fabrique de Quartiers – Lille Metropole SPLA (France)
AIGP – Atelier International du Grand Paris – GIP (France)
Europan Nederland (The Netherlands)
Europan Norway (Norway)
OGA – Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Gemeente Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
DRO- Dienst Ruimtelijke Ordening Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
OBR Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Rotterdam (The Netherlands)
Gemeentewerken Rotterdam (The Netherlands)
Zaragoza Alta Velocidad S.A. (Spain)
Municipality of Elche (Spain)
Municipality of Zaragoza (Spain)
Government of Aragón (Spain)

Private:
SOGEPROM HABITAT (France)
OMA/AMO Rotterdam (The Netherlands)
ESO – European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (Germany)
Barcelona Design Museum. (Spain)
Mei Architecten (The Netherlands)
Pasajes de Arquitectura y Crítica (Spain)
Vrij Nederland (The Netherlands)