Fernando Menis Workshop

The 2022 Architecture Spring Residency students undertook an excursion to the Canary Island of Tenerife, to see the architecture of Santiago Calatrava and Herzog de Meuron, but chiefly to directly engage with the architect Fernando Menis and visit his several of his work on the island with him in person.  Apart from accompanying the group to his important architectural works on Tenerife, the Riva students were also invited to participate in his HATCHING workshop where form studies are undertaken in blocks of air entrained fiberglass, patented by Menis. During the workshop, students engaged blocks of this material to develop forms governed by an initiating idea.

Each student received an hour-long introduction to the material and suitable tools, followed by one hour of sculpting the blocks. Despite the relatively short time frame, the Riva students produced an amazing array of 22 objects. All objects were documented in photographs and they join a workshop series to be published and exhibited by Menis’s workshop sometime in the future. In the evening, Fernando Menis conducted a short review for each result, followed by a reception in his private house.

As an architect, Fernando Menis has been pursuing this technique in both clay and fiberglass to promote a high degree of plasticity in his architecture. His work has been exhibited world-wide, including Europe, Asia and also at the 2014 Venice Biennale. He has lectured at Harvard, Columbia, ESA Paris, TU Berlin, the Academy in Vienna, ETH, and many other places in Europe, Australia, and Asia. He is the Winner of the National Prize for Architecture and Design and of the WAF 2010 Future Projects-Cultural and received the Regional Award for Architecture in Canary Islands multiple times. Menis also received the 2021 AIA Interfaith Design International Award for Religious Art and Architecture for his Holy Redeemer Church. The awards ceremony will take place on June 23, in Chicago, during the 2022 AIA’s annual convention.