• The missing architect
    Wonne Ickx and Frida Mouchlian
    Artur Arrieta and Lorena Darquea
    LIGA-Space for Architecture

Max Borges, Club Náutico, Havana, built 1953. Photo: Joe Abreu

The 1950s in Cuba were very significant for architecture. Max Borges Recio (1918–2009) was one of the great architects of this generation, designer of iconic projects such as Tropicana Cabaret (1952) or the Nautical Club (1953). His projects became part of the Cuban Modern Regionalist Movement, an architecture that blended the international principles of the modern style with local elements of the Cuban tradition. Borges's work is one of the few in Cuba that is still standing, and most of it remains in use for its intended purpose. This project is intended to create a contemporary record of his work in order to reopen the debate about its significance seventy years later, but also to make a contemporary reading of his architecture and to promote other disciplines related to architecture, such as photography.

Frida Mouchlian is an architect trained at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (ETSAM), continued her studies at the same university, with a master’s degree in  the fundamentals of architecture. She finished her specialization in arts studies in Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico, with a project related to modern Caribbean architecture. Also, she has been an active collaborator of LIGA, becoming the general manager in 2021.

Wonne Ickx studied civil engineering and architecture at the University of Ghent, Belgium and urban studies at the Centre for Metropolitan Studies (CEMET) in Guadalajara, Mexico. In 2006, he founded PRODUCTORA in Mexico City, together with Abel Perles, Carlos Bedoya, and Victor Jaime. PRODUCTORA has received many awards for its work, including the prestigious Oscar Niemeyer Prize for Latin American Architecture. Ickx has taught architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of California, Los Angeles, Rice University, and several universities in Mexico, and is currently visiting lecturer at Princeton University. He is cofounder of LIGA-Space for Architecture, an independent platform that promotes Latin American architecture in Mexico City since 2011. He publishes his writing frequently and is part of the editorial board of Arquine, the leading architecture magazine in Latin America, since 2010.

Lorena Darquea is an Ecuadorian architect and photographer who graduated from ITESM, who began exploring the field of architectural photography while attending a visual arts workshop held at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland, in 2009. In 2018 she participated in a low residency program at the International Center of Photography in New York. In her work she seeks to transmit through the lens the diverse sensations provoked by architecture with an honest and unpretentious language. Inspired by contexts, texture contrasts, and the incidence of light, especially daylight; the photographer pursues the spatial qualities in their most unaltered form. Convinced that careful observation and extensive knowledge of a project are of vital importance to achieve images which reveal the true essence of architecture; Darquea achieves a continuous discovery of the many facets of architecture manifesting the true identity of each project. She participated at the Venice Biennale 2016 as part of the Time Space Existence exhibition. She was selected for exposing her work PLANOS in the 2019 BAL (Bienal de Arquitectura de Latinoamérica). Her photographs have also been displayed within various architects’ projects at the BIAU (Bienal Iberoamericana de Arquitectura y Urbanismo) and BAQ (Bienal Panamericana de Arquitectura de Quito). Her work has been published in ArchDaily and Elle which talked about the inclusion of women and the challenge for the gender in the architectural field, as well as a publication from Architectural Digest, that also intends to portray the impact of her photography in a Latin-American context. Other magazine, web, and book collaborations include: T Magazine – New York Times, RIBA Journal, Arquitectura Viva, Arquine, Archdaily, Divisare, Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, Rizzoli, among others.

Arturo Arrieta is a Mexican architect and photographer graduated from UNAM. He studied photography and antique printing techniques at the Faculty of Arts and Design at UNAM. In 2020 he studied architectural photography at Strudel Media New York. He has participated in several exhibitions in Mexico City in the Museo de Arte Moderno, Mecalleria Gallery, LIGA–Space for Architecture, and in London at Creative London Oxo Tower Wharf. He was a finalist in the architectural photography contest of Grupo Abilia, selected as Honor Art and Artist by Visual Supply Company VSCO, and winner of the architectural photography contest organized by Radio Arquitectura. In 2019, he participated in the book UN/Sustained which was part of the United States pavilion at the Oslo Trienniale of Architecture. He has published his work in several media and magazines including Architectural Digest, Elle Decor Italy, Elle Decor UK, Arquine, Divisare, Plain Magazine, Mooool Japan, The Architect’s Newspaper, Domus, Plot Magazine, AN Interior Magazine, and Glocal. He has worked with several architectural firms including: Escobedo Soliz, Gaeta-Springall Arquitectos, Centro de Colaboración Arquitectónica, Ignacio Urquiza Arquitectos, PRODUCTORA, TO Arquitectura, AGO Projects, and Tezontle.

LIGASpace for Architecture is a nonprofit independent platform founded in Mexico City in 2011 that promotes Latin American contemporary architecture through exhibitions, lectures and workshops. It was created as a curatorial platform in order to stimulate the experimentation in relation to contemporary architecture and its possibilities as a discursive practice, expanding and establishing connections with other disciplines. With the LIGA ARCHIVOS project LIGA expands its program with a look towards the past. Working in Latin America LIGA realized that there are a number of extremely valuable historical archives that are difficult to access or relatively unknow to a larger audience. In many cases they are family archives, or archives of small foundations with limited resources to disseminate the work in question. Through this initiative LIGA  activates and provides public access to the valuable historic material in their possession, by means of a digital platform.