Ricardo Legorreta is a world-renown Mexican architect and recipient of the prestigious Gold Medal Award from the American Institute of Architects in 2000. The Gold Medal is the highest honor the AIA confers on an individual and it recognizes an architect whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Legorreta’s designs are distinguished by his imprint use of brilliant reds, purples and yellows on thickly textured stucco and plaster and his ability to create light-filled spaces. With a modern sensibility, Legorreta holds a great appreciation for traditional Mexican architectural elements and culture in his designs. His internationally acclaimed architectural designs are considered individual works of art that conjure a deep admiration for his ability to manipulate space and light.
Legorreta’s ability to assemble wall planes, light, scale, geometry, emotion and color in a definite manner has come to be referred to as Legorreta Style. With powerful walls, Legorreta uses their planes to reflect the light of mountainous terrain in high altitudes. By understanding the changing quality of light, he allows his designs to let light give life and character to architectural spaces. Through his use of scale, Legorreta can develop spaciousness from moderate space. Geometric shapes are ever present in his designs in the form of cubes, cylinders, or triangular prisms. Brilliant colors are often the most notable element in Legorreta’s architecture. For him, color is a part of the world around us, a symbol of our emotions and a way to enhance one’s experience with architecture. Legorreta never falters in his philosophy that the most important element in architecture is the people who live within it.
Zocalo provided Legorreta with a new frontier: to create an inspired community at an accessible price point. The majority of Legorreta’s work has focused on public buildings and luxury homes throughout the world; a more moderately priced condominium project such as Zocalo was a new area for him. In conceiving this community, Legorreta envisioned a community bonded by simplicity of style, vibrancy through color, light and inspired architectural design. The result is a reflection of his vision. Modern elements combine with traditional Pueblo Indian architecture to create a dramatic living space. Brilliant colors are used on the exteriors while the interiors are filled with warm light, geometric shapes, and soaring spaces. Zocalo is an inspired community marked by great architecture that has a symbiotic relationship with the terrain and culture that surrounds it.