Trained at CEU Valencia, Amelia Perea now works at what is currently one of the most prestigious studios: Wiel Arets Architects, in the Dutch capital.
Valencian architect Amelia Perea Almenar graduated with a degree in Architecture from UCH-CEU IN 2014. As a student, she completed a few international internships at the Cruz and Oritz studio in Amsterdam through the European Internship program BEPAD as part of the Architecture degree at CEU-UCH. Now, she is still working in the Dutch capital for one of the most prestigious studios: Wiel Arets Architects.
Distance has not led to Amelia becoming disconnected from Valencian Architecture, not at all. About a year ago, along with architects Álex Etxebarría and Eduardo Landia, she won the competition to renovate the headquarters of the Colegio Territorial de Arquitectos de Valencia, in its 50th anniversary. 2,700 collegiate Valencian architects voted for her proposal out of the 60 that were presented and it will be inaugurated in March. This all happened just a few days before she returned to Valencia, this time to her academic “home”: the Graduate School of Technical Teaching at CEU, where she trained. During the International Week of Architecture at CEU-UCH, along with classmate José García Alamar, who works at the Foster+Partners studio in London, she talked to current students about her Architectural training in Amsterdam, in Valencia…around the world.
What do you think is essential to being a good architect?
In my opinion, you have to be just as committed to your own work as you are to the clients as in the end they are the ones who will inherit the project. Every little part of the project is important you can’t leave anything down to chance, you have to be meticulous. Be critical with yourself but in a constructive way, of course, be a curious person, look for the meaning and the natural of different things and learn how to use them.
“IT’S IMPORTANT THAT YOU QUESTION EVERYTHING, ASK THE QUESTION WHY TO UNDERSTAND THE REASONS BEHING THINGS, DON’T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED.”
What advice would you give our current students?
Travel, travel and travel more. Visit the works of architecture that we study in books, you need to get a feeling for space, which is something that cannot be explained in a book, but I also do not want to take away from the importance of them. It is also essential to question everything, ask the question why to understand the reasons behind things, don’t take anything for granted. Talk, consider different opinions, discuss with friends, classmates and professors. We can learn and teach a lot from other people, contrasting ideas as well as refining your opinions.
What do you value most from your University days at CEU Valencia?
What stands out most from the whole degree was in the summer of first year when we went on a trip to Finland to discover the works of Alvar Aalto with the help of the professors Nacho Fos and Nacho Juan. I was some of my course mates, at the time we didn’t know each other but since that day we have been great friends. It was a surprise trip, which allowed me to understand what we had been studying. My motivation towards architecture changed drastically; I think that from this point on I really started to study Architecture. Going on this trip was the best decision that I made whilst I was studying.
“IN THE LONG TERM, I WOULD LIKE TO LEAD MY OWN TEAM. I WOULD ALSO LOVE TO BE ABLE TO TEACH ASWELL AS GO INTO FURTHER DEPTH IN MORE ASPECTS OF ARCHITECTURE. YOU NEVER HAVE TO STOP TRAINING.”
After everything that you have achieved in these first couple of years as a professional, what are the challenges and projects that you want to tackle now?
In the long term, I would like to work for myself and lead my own team. One day I would also like to be able to teach others but to do that I would like to go into further detail in more aspects of Architecture from a more theoretical point of view. You never have to stop training.