Daniel Almada: Passion for architecture

[En Español]

With the belief that architecture goes beyond that of solely designing livable spaces, Daniel Almada plans projects in which clients and individuals can sense everything the architect desires to express, the creation of art.

Drawn to the harmonic mix between antiquity and modernity, Daniel Almada Ibarra, originally of Cd. Obregón who has resided in Puerto Peñasco for nine years, has been honored on various occasions at State, National, and Panamerican Biennial gatherings where his work has been recognized as both innovative and environmentally friendly.

arq-daniel-almadaWith a notable passion for his profession, the architect discusses some of his projects in Puerto Peñasco, which have been entered into recent Biennial gatherings where they received honorable mentions, such as the case of the Cellular Regeneration Clinic (RTC) and the remodeling of Elixir Bar.

“I try to ensure my projects are done as I’ve envisioned them, knowing what the client wants while going beyond that; I always seek to follow up with the construction work,” he comments while displaying some examples of his work.

In addition to being a professional architect, Daniel Almada is also passionate about visual arts, photography, and design. This is reflected in his creations. In his projects, which even include the creation of logos, the harmony of colors and the search for space speak for themselves.

In working toward his professional career, Daniel graduated from the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC) with a special focus on the environment from the Polytechnic University of Madrid. This has allowed him to open pathways into innovative design, wherein he leaves a stamp of his personal style.

One of Daniel’s recent honors was from the 2012 Panamerican Biennial held in Ecuador, in recognition of his work on the San Peregrino shelter in his hometown of Cd. Obregón. Almada had worked for months on this project, which is a hospice type center for those of lesser means who are dealing with forms of cancer. Daniel explains that precisely in thinking about those who will use the center, “I create adequate spaces to reflect tranquility and harmony, so people do not feel they are in a center; rather, the space conveys something more.”

“I became very interested in the project from the beginning. It was a project done to help people and I wanted to contribute, which is why I did not charge for my work.”

Another project focused on health, which also earned Almada first place recognition at the Sonoran Architectural Biennial in the health category, as well as a honorable mention in the 2012 Durango Biennial, was his design of the Cellular Regeneration Clinic (RTC) which is part of the Bella Sirena complex here in Puerto Peñasco.

“The concept of this clinic is that patients not feel like they are at a hospital. I worked on this from the point of design and lighting, the creation of environments, and use of space to ensure the ambiance could be felt from the music to the fountain, furniture design, and revolving video, so they not feel like they are in a hospital.”

Almada’s list of recent and new projects also includes the entire remodeling of Elixir Bar, inspiration for which came fully from the essence of Puerto Peñasco’s sea, beginning with the colors to the style he imagined based on a beach photograph from where he drew the chromatic range.

The design of Elixir Bar, which competed against various projects at the recent Sonoran Biennial in the remodeling category, encompasses an architectural concept from the sixties, from its lighting that seeks to provide different moods, to that of the disco environment, the bar, and the feeling of being on a yacht.

“The design was created to reflect different moods, remembering the architecture of the sixties along with the feeling of a yacht; this can be seen from its logo to the stairs to the lighting, which is fundamental,” he details.

Although Almada has positioned his work on an important level, and obtained recognition from specialists in the field of architecture, he continues his search for new projects wherein he can develop his ideas. He is also monitoring work on the new beach access project in the area of “las bajadas” in Playa Hermosa. The project, which he designed, consists of nine stair-cased spaces with plazas, which he envisions will serve as venues, and lighting. The project is backed by the municipal administration with federal funds.

The work of an architect, which he believes is valued, for Daniel commences from the point of convincing a client about innovative designs. This is particularly true in small cities where people are more accustomed to the traditional, where he seeks to go beyond the conventional.

As a professional, Almada admires the work and legacy left in Mexico by Ricardo Legorreta, and that of Valencian Santiago Calatrava, “For being quite artistic and yet functional, and because his work is art.”

“I had the opportunity to meet Legorreta here in Peñasco, he said he saw grand potential here in Peñasco. I remember that,” details Almada.

With respect to architectural aspects in Puerto Peñasco that draw him, Daniel believes the Casa de Piedra (Hotel La Roca) located at the curve just before heading to the malecón is one of his preferred sites, as it is a space that reflects well envisioned environmental architecture.

“I like la casa de piedra, its inner hallways, the natural light; it feels like a distinct space.”

Among his goals is to one day build a church, given all of the symbolism it entails and all that may be done and created from it.

Currently, Daniel Almada Ibarra serves as Vice President of the local Architectural Association, Colegio de Arquitectos Rocaportenses, A.C.

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