Adrián Beltrán: HM of the Himalayan Thermal Bath

+ Adrián Beltrán 🇪🇨

Honourable Mention of the Himalayan Thermal Bath


1) Could you briefly introduce yourself?

Director of the Architecture program and professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at UTE University (Quito, Ecuador). Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in Design at the University of Palermo (Buenos Aires, Argentina). He holds a master’s degree in architecture with a focus on Society and Culture from Melbourne University (Melbourne, Australia). He also has studied illustration and virtual reality design at the Architectural Association (London, England). Since 2012, he has been practicing as an architect and illustrator.

His areas of work and research are centered around architectural graphics, spatial atmosphere, architecture competitions as discursive scenarios, and, more recently, the integration of AI into the architectural design process. In recent years, his illustrations and architectural projects have been globally recognized, winning awards in competitions organized by platforms and institutions such as Library Illustrazioni, the Pan-American Architecture Biennial of Quito, Arch-Hive and Non-Architecture.

2) What inspired you for the Himalayan Thermal Baths?

“The Liminal Landscape” project is inspired by a combination of the natural beauty and spiritual significance of the Himalayan region, the experiences of its visitors, and a deep respect for the environment and local culture. Also, we studied Vals Thermal Baths’ atmosphere to gather some aspects from it to generate spaces that could evoke different sensations in the visitors.

3) Can you describe any particular challenges you faced during the design process and how
you overcame them?

We utilized a variety of graphic tools, including AI, Illustrator, and Photoshop, to create our proposal. The most challenging aspect was developing a series of prompts that would generate the foundational images for our presentation, ensuring that together, they conveyed a cohesive and clear architectural narrative. We addressed the issue of precision by adjusting the images and assembling the final visuals from various iterations.

4) How do you think your educational background or professional experiences influenced your winning design?

Thinking of architecture as a subject that responds to a context and focuses on the human being, and not simply as an object of visual appreciation, allows me to understand space from a more sensory and human perspective. These concepts are the amalgamation, not only of academic experiences but also personal ones, which are nourished by seeing the world beyond its built and tangible configuration.

5) What advice would you give to students or young professionals looking to excel in architecture competitions?

Think outside the box, explore different forms of representation, understand the brief, and bring your spatial perspective to the proposal. Analyze the competitive context, platform, and jury, and then destroy all precepts through imagination and technique. Get inspired by others, but do not copy, remember that the basis of any original proposal is to understand what exists and the progress made before us.

6) What are your future aspirations in the field of architecture?

Being involved in academia, my future vision in the field of architecture focuses on the theoretical research of space and its atmosphere, graphic representation, and the discursive scenarios in which they unfold, without neglecting the materialization of spatial theories into executable projects. Similarly, my affinity for graphic representation, specifically illustration, leads me to continue blurring the disciplinary edge between art and architecture.


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