Whoever said "It's just business, not personal," never worked in the field of architecture. For more than 35 years, Manuel Cadrecha, Design Director for the Atlanta office of global architecture and design firm Perkins + Will, has taken a highly personal and accessible approach to design. Manuel's style comes from a deep sense of empathy and an embrace of interdisciplinary design. His work embodies a statement his father made when Manuel was young: "Architecture is the last humanist profession."
A current chronicle of Cadrecha's work has been recently published by ORO Editions: an internationally recognized, award-winning fine art and architecture publishing firm. In his career monograph, Manuel shares personal commentary about the design process and inspirations that were used. The book is also full of simple, clear photos and hand sketches that illustrate careful, detailed and accessible designs. These designs are clarified only with a frugality of words: mirroring the wordless feeling of awe Cadrecha experienced – also in his youth, fresh to America from Spain - sitting in Central Park with trees and buildings mingling in his view. He lets the design do the talking.
"In architecture, I feel a deep connection to my past and my future, to tradition and innovation, and to beauty and invention," said Cadrecha. "I love being an architect because, in architecture, I can have the remarkable effect of improving people's lives and bridging cultures together."
Projects in the book represent the last 15 years of Cadrecha's design work across a wide range of project types, clients and geographies. From city-scale international developments to neighborhood schools, they works are grounded in his abiding interest in materials and form, color and light, the old in the new, and the search for the inspiring in the every day. Projects highlighted in the book include several in Atlanta: 1315 Peachtree Street, Charles R. Drew Charter School, Junior and Senior Academy and those located in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Building 106 & 110, EVIVA Peachtree, Georgia Tech Chris Klaus Advanced Computing Center and Springdale Park Elementary School.
"Manuel Cadrecha's work is marked by who he is as a person—someone with a global education and experience, combined with tremendous agility, curiosity, and humility," said Phil Harrison, President and CEO of Perkins+Will. "Armed with broad experience and deeply humane capacity, Cadrecha is able to reach more complex levels of design synthesis in a natural and unforced manner."