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From Bologna to New York: The story of Gloria and Carlo

Cover 1Cover: SITE RETREAT COMPETITION I Gloria Saa Garcia & Carlo D'Alberti I Honorable Mention

What was YACademy’s contribution to designing your future? Was the course useful to improve your competencies effectively?

Carlo: Absolutely, YACacademy was a crucial experience for me. The way the Architecture for Heritage course was structured gave me the opportunity to create invaluable networking opportunities with renowned architects and attend their lectures. Having the opportunity to meet and learn from masters such as Souto de Moura or Carrilho da Graça, was a unique experience. It's fascinating how life can take unexpected turns. I mean, if it weren't for the YACademy course, Gloria and I might have never crossed paths. But there we were together, shaping both our personal and professional lives.

Gloria: The course was a fantastic experience for me. As Carlo mentioned, having the opportunity to attend lectures and learn from renowned architects was truly inspiring. Also, working with colleagues from around the world and with diverse backgrounds created a vibrant atmosphere full of different approaches to architecture. One aspect of the course that I particularly enjoyed is that it wasn't just focused on theory. We had the chance to dive into projects and workshops, like in our final project, in which Carlo and I teamed up with two other colleagues to develop a temporary pavilion at the stunning Villa Imperiale in Pesaro.

Final ProjYAC FINAL PROJECT I Temporary Pavilion at Villa Imperiale I Carlo D'Alberti, Gloria Saa Garcia, Alessia Solari & Alba Caja

We know that you had several experiences after the course, including collaborations with Markus Scherer Architects and ACTA Studio, and research in the European project IN-HABIT. What kind of influence do you think these experiences had on your career?

Gloria: Working as a researcher on the IN-HABIT European project at the University of Córdoba, I had the opportunity to investigate the role of courtyards as cultural and heritage sites in enhancing health and wellbeing. Through this project, I explored the academic aspect of the profession and I got to collaborate with professionals from completely diverse disciplines — something totally new for me — creating a dialogue between science and architecture. After this experience, I worked as a Junior Architect at ACTA Studio, an architectural office based in Seville, where I had the opportunity to work on projects of varying scales and participate in architecture competitions, which gave me a deeper understanding of architectural practice. I learnt a lot from both experiences.

2 Acta Studio I Fishery Terminal, Almeria I Photo by Fernando AldaACTA STUDIO I FISHERY TERMINAL, Almeria I Photo by Fernando Alda

2 Dubai Sea House Competition I Gloria Saa Garcia & Carlo D'alberti I Finalist Mention 1DUBAI SEA HOUSE COMPETITION I Gloria Saa Garcia & Carlo D'Alberti I Finalist Mention

Carlo: The collaboration with Markus Scherer Architect and his entire team was fascinating; the attention to detail and sensibility he brings to his approach left a lasting impression on me. This period was truly formative for me as an architect and as a person. Thanks to that opportunity I had the chance to know the South-tyrolean architectural scene and the city of Merano, which was a truly fascinating discovery. Over the past few years, Gloria and I have been also collaborating on various architectural competition projects, which have garnered some recognition. For instance, we received a finalist mention for the Dubai Sea House competition organized by YAC, and we also earned an honorable mention in the Site Retreat competition organized by Arkxsite. And, of course, Gloria winning the ARQUIA scholarship allowed her to pursue opportunities in the United States, and I chose to join her in pursuing these opportunities.

2 Markus Scherer Architect I Studio View From Elisabeth Park, Meran 1MARKUS SCHERER ARCHITECT I Studio View from Elisabeth Park, Meran

Gloria, you now work at MQ Architecture in NYC after winning the prestigious ARQUIA scholarship for promising architects in Spain and Portugal. How do you think this experience is contributing to your professional profile?

Gloria: Obtaining the ARQUIA scholarship was a significant milestone for me, and working under Miguel Quismondo's mentorship at MQ Architecture has exceeded my expectations. MQ Architecture's close relationship to the art world has been particularly inspiring, exposing me to various projects — from Kagami scenography to residential projects and even collaborating on the Robert Olnick pavilion, designed by MQ Architecture and Campo Baeza, whom I had the great opportunity to meet. Also, I'm thrilled to have been involved from start to finish in a project for the first time, a house extension and renovation project in Brooklyn: from early design stages – my favorite part, as it is the most creative one – to the technical ones. Living in New York is an incredible experience – the energy, the art, and the diverse perspectives really broaden my horizons. It has provided a unique environment fueling both personal and professional growth.

3 Mq Architecture & Campo Baeza I Robert Olnick Pavilion, New York I Photo by Javier CallejasMQ ARCHITECTURE & CAMPO BAEZA I ROBERT OLNICK PAVILION, New York I Photo by Javier Callejas

3 Mq Architecture I Site Visit Robert Olnick Pavilion, New York I Photo by Mq 1MQ ARCHITECTURE I Site visit ROBERT OLNICK PAVILION, New York I Photo by MQ

Carlo, you are now project manager at WAU Watchorn Architecture & Urbanism in NYC, an architecture and urban design firm focusing on cultural, residential, commercial, and institutional projects. Could you tell us more about this role?

Carlo: During my time at WAU, I've had the privilege of collaborating with talented architects from around the world, stepping into a leadership role along the way. Moreover, WAU's strong emphasis on architectural competitions aligns seamlessly with my professional aspirations, giving me a chance to showcase my skills in the field and gain valuable insights. In my role as a project manager, I oversee diverse residential projects, coordinate project teams, and communicate with clients and consultants, drawing on my expertise in construction documentation and project management.

4 Wau Watchorn Architecture & Urbanism I Icnclst Hq, New York I Photo by Ivane KatamashviliWAU Watchorn Architecture & Urbanism I ICNCLST HQ, New York I Photo by Ivane Katamashvili

Do you have any plans for the near future?

Carlo: As we look to the next few years, we’re considering various possibilities. Whether we choose to stay in the USA or explore new challenges in Europe, we are always excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. As we think about the future, we're really excited about the idea of starting our own architectural firm in Italy or Spain. 

Gloria: We don't know our near future plans yet, but we're open to new opportunities and excited about what's next in our careers. That's the beauty of architecture — it's full of endless possibilities.

Gloria Saa Garcia I Photo by Alessandro TerranovaGloria Saa Garcia

Carlo D'alberti I Photo by Alessandro TerranovaCarlo D'Alberti

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