In August of 2023, Rafia visited Switzerland for eight days. Her travels took her from sampling chocolates in Zurich to exploring the UNESCO city of Bern to hiking in the Swiss Alps. Here, she fell in love with not only the beautiful landscapes of the Bernese Oberland region, but also the elaborately decorated Swiss Chalet.
Meet one of our Principals, Kevin Barden! With the larger vision and ethos in mind, Kevin constantly pursues the evolution of each project’s identity throughout its development. Kevin and his wife enjoy traveling near and far as well as playing with their young son and daughter around the house and at the park.
In the summer of 2023, Esmer had the opportunity to study abroad in Japan. During her time abroad, she found herself captivated by the evolution of Japenese craftsmanship in architecture. Within this essay, she explores the significance of Japanese craftsmanship and its role as a poignant reminder that the essence of true artistry endues despite the ever-changing tides of time.
In 1995, the Swiss architect Gion Caminada and structural engineer Jürg Conzett wrote a short essay for the magazine Archithese about the (then) new and continued building practices using wood in a small remote village called Vrin.
Over the past few years, Esmer has made multiple trips to Mexico City. She had the opportunity to visit The Pyramids of Teotihuacan, La Casa Azul de Frida Kahlo and the first Latin-American Architecture Exhibition of Zaha Hadid’s work. The following is a reflective essay of her travels.
Meet one of our Principals, Joe Rivers! Joe approaches architecture from the bottom up, and is an expert negotiator between details, constructibility and the larger vision of each project. He enjoys cooking and canoeing in his spare time.
In the summer of 2022, Kevin’s dad passed away. In this essay, Kevin reflects about the qualities of growing up in a geodesic dome as well as the beginnings of a deeper understanding of a “forever home”.
In the Fall of 2022, Rafia visited Spain for ten days. Her travels took her to Barcelona, Granada, Toledo, and Madrid. There were many moments that left a lasting impression on her (visiting La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, taking a Paella cooking class, walking through maze-like alleys in Toledo and going on food tours in Madrid), but none left quite as strong of an impression as La Alhambra.
Esmer Leija is a vital part of Rivers Barden Architects and covers all aspects of design. She loves traveling, cooking and is always on the hunt for new experiences.
Bruder Klaus Field Chapel stands in the landscape of the Eifel region of Germany. Images are not allowed inside the chapel, however, through small holes from the outside a glimpse can be caught of the atmosphere within. The chapel was designed by Peter Zumthor and completed in 2007.
In 1985, Swiss architects Michael Alder, Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, and Peter Zumthor sat down with Archithese to discuss building with wood; the continued traditions of its use as well as the possibility of developing new traditions. All four architects articulate a specific interest of the material and offer a critical eye to the others’ work. While Alder is concerned with the aesthetics of wood, Zumthor is attentive to the material from a cabinetmaker’s…
Every winter Rivers Barden Architects takes time to draw, sketch, and/or model a Christmas Card image to send to family, friends, clients, and colleagues. Seen here is a collection of these in one place.
“The Site Dwelling, located on the cliff of the bay, in the village of Salir do Porto, aims to create a secluded destination, a place of retreat to engage with the landscape while providing shelter from the natural elements. This is a place to stay and inhabit for a few days, offering visitors a unique experience in a very special setting; visitors must leave the space as they found it, empty.” Rivers Barden Architects was…
The emergence of digital and virtual technologies in the past decade has flourished exponentially giving academic environments and professional practices a newfound basis for collaboration between process and product. This essay proposes that we cannot lose sight of the underlying sources which drive a good process (whether digital, virtual, or manual) and lead to the opportunity for a great product. In his paper for the 101st Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, New Constellations New…
In the Fall of 2009, Kevin visited the Czech Republic for two weeks. Traveling by train, bus, and foot, various sites ranging in time, material, and typology around Bohemia and Moravia were observed, explored, and studied. This sketch essay captures a handful of the moments and experiences from the trip.
In an essay entitled The Hedgehog and the Fox, Isaiah Berlin quotes the Greek poet Archilochus, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing” (Berlin 7). The essay was written as a commentary on Leo Tolstoy’s view of history, however, the text can offer an understanding for how one might practice architecture as well. For us, this understanding reveals itself in perceiving the environment as a fox and believing in it as a hedgehog.