Jerry Jacobs Design | Arquitectura Corporativa CONACYT Universum. | Jerry Jacobs Design
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Arquitectura Corporativa CONACYT Universum.

 

Arquitectura Corporativa CONACYT y Universum.

Brutalism is back.

Arquitectura Corporativa CONACYT y Universum. A finales de los 70′ junto con tres colegas Arquitectos fundamos una empresa de Arquitectura Corporativa en la Ciudad de México, CDMX.

Mis colegas todos hoy fallecidos, eran los connotados Arquitectos Enrique Carral Icaza †, Arnold Wasson Tucker† y Enrique Carral Escalante†. La empresa que fundamos se llamó COPLADE (Centro Colaborativo de Planeación y Diseño de Espacios).

Siendo yo el más joven por muchos años yo fui quien llevaba todo y el que mas tenia que aprender. Enrique había hecho junto con Augusto H. Ãlvarez† varios de los mejores edificios de Mexico. Arnold era el Director Técnico de Knoll international de México. Javier tambien Arquitecto, era hermano de José Carral†, VP del Bank of America en México, consequentemente estábamos muy bien conectados tambíen.

Sin embargo y como suele suceder en México, no todo estaba bien. El Presidente era José López Portillo, y  se vino abajo el peso, precisamente como este dijo que pelearía como perro para que esto no sucediera. Hicimos varios proyectos de Arquitectura Corporativa. Incluyendo además centros Corporativos como HYLSA para el Grupo Monterrey y otros grandes proyectos interesantes. Como resultado de la situación todos quedaron en papel

CONACYT.

Al iniciar el periodo Presidencial, nombraron a un amigo de la familia, el Doctor Edmundo Flores†,como Director de CONACYT.  Quien era muy amigo de mi entonces cuñado Augusto Monterroso† esposo de mi hermana Bárbara Jacobs.  Ciertamente en una cena que le dieron mis hermanas al Doctor Flores, yo me atreví hacerle dos preguntas.

1, Qué pasaría con la fuga de cerebros.  Aquellos genios mexicanos con buenas calificaciones que se van becados y no regresan.  Me contestó muy amable sobretodo, que era lo mejor para México. Esto ya que eventualmente estos becados migrantes eligirian el Congreso Norteamericano. Esto hace unos 40 años y aunque ya los de origen latino son la minoría más grande en USA aun no se llega al control que mencionába sabiamente el Dr. Flores. Pero efectivamente empiezan a aparecer muchos nombres de origen latino en la Política Norteamericana

2, Es más, le pregunté que cómo era posible que su institución estuviera regada en varios edificios rentados.  Que lo mejor que podían hacer era un Edifico Sede.  Ciertamente para asentar, consolidar y garantizar su Imagen y mejorar su sinergia. Sabiamente me contesto, que tenía yo razón sería bueno. Sin embargo que en lo que se tarda en autorizar algo así y se ejecuta, se acaba el sexenio.  Y que por lo tanto casi no era ni viable ni prioritario dentro de la Política. Yo aprendi mucho, sobretodo de que haciendo bien una pregunta, en lugar de quedarse callado, se aprende, aunque no se gane más.

ACTO SEGUIDO.

Pasaron 1 o 2 años y mi socio entonces el Arq. Enrique Carral pasó a ser Director de Proyectos de la UNAM.  Consequentemente nuestra empresa se disolvió y platicando con él me comentó que la UNAM tenía planes para hacer Arquitectura Corporativa. Notablemente un Edificio de renta libre en su zona de Museos y que habían pensado en el CONACYT.

Él sabía que yo tenía amistad con el Ministro y me pidió que hablara con el. El Dr. Flores me comento que sí le interesaba y que luego entonce era bueno que yo diseñara dicho edificio.

Yo estaba muy verde, pero también muy ambicioso, así que con mi pequeño despacho, procedí a diseñar para la UNAM un edificio de renta libre de 30,000 m2. Sinceramente me quedáva grande el saco, no por el Plan Maestro que era mi fuerte sino para los detalles. El Arq. Enrique Carral, mi maestro fue quien me ayudara con los detalles, y donde aprendí los mismos de el.

Terminamos el Edificio, y sí lo tomo en renta el CONACYT. Un año después me nombraron Arquitecto para la guardería del mismo conjunto, un pequeño edificio anexo y en contraste de escala. La Doctora Estela Borrego, quien fuera la directora siempre fue muy cortés y amable conmigo. Como resultado proyectamos el mismo Enrique y yo,  y consecuentemente se construyó.

A red and white logo of the american institute for certified public accountants.

Aca Joe y mi exilio.

Ya alrededor de 1979, iniciaba yo el Diseño y Construcción de las tiendas Aca Joe. Finalmente mudándome a lanzar la cadena e infraestructura en San Francisco, California en 1983. Por ello fue que ya no supe más. Hace unos 7-8 años en 2010, visitando México con mi hermana Patricia Jacobs† esta me hizo favor de darme un recorrido por los Museos de la UNAM. Ella queria que yo viera, después de 30+ años que el edificio que había yo proyectado era ahora el museo Universum. Remodelado, pero no demolido, la gran mole de concreto Brutalista era ahora un Museo de Ciencia y pintado de colores.

A red and white logo of the american institute for certified public accountants.

A red and white logo of the american institute for certified public accountants.

Drawings are how you make it happen, I have never stopped even for the smallest of projects plans are the guide, what we want to tell the builders. How you make it happens with hopefully less mistakes.A red and white logo of the american institute for certified public accountants.

Arnold Wasson-Tucker.

Genealogy. 1909-1995 (would only be 68 when we met) and dead at 84. Married Sussanne in 1939 (1911-2008, 97…) second wife could be Hazel Edith Glasier (1919). AWT joined the Canadian army 1943

I met Arnold Wasson-Tucker† in 1977. I was working with my mentor and friend Arq. Enrique Carral Icaza†, and he said let’s open a New Studio, I have an old friend an Architect meeting with us today to talk about it, the three of us ended up being partners, adding a 4th Arq. Javier Carral Escalante† Enrique’s nephew to the team later. We opened our studio in the Zona Rosa, then the fashionable area in Mexico City. I was the Junior partner in that I was 30 years younger than their average. They had the knowledge; I was the urchin. We would meet on and off and have a small staff to work on our projects.

Arnold first was a good friend, and associate, and a Mentor to me as well. He always had a smile, a reserved smile. I didn’t know much about him though. As we had limited time together and business and Design were there we didn’t talk much about much else. I did know he went from Mexico City where we lived to Cuernavaca, an hour drive for weekends, better weather perfect for second homes then, he didn’t mention much of his past and since ECI and him did know each other much better. I knew he had a son I believe Christopher and a wife but didn’t know the latter’s name and he didn’t speak much about them. I’m happy to hear that he did pay alimony for many years….

Arnold was Technical and Design Director for Knoll in Mexico and was also a partner in our Firm

HLYSA. We had designed a preliminary for the Corporate Building of HYLSA the largest steel conglomerate in Mexico, part of the ALFA group, and where Arnold was the contact and had done some interiors in the existing headquarters.

Arnold, Enrique, and I traveled to Monterrey to make the presentation. While we were waiting Arnold showed us the Interiors of the private office of Bernardo Garza Sada (assumed to be the richest in Mexico then I had never seen an Interior so beautifully done. I remember the walls were padded in a soft taupe suede. I also remember high-end keypads. For me it was an illumination into Interior Design, which I ow Arnold for, as I do my mother, and other inspirational spaces.

During this period Arnold would invite me to join him on meetings with American or European Design firms in or wanting to do business in Mexico.

He referred me to a General Contractor who help me build La Casa Lila” in Chimalistac and several Aca Joe projects. Some of my earliest work.

CONACYT.

Around 1978-79. I designed the corporate headquarters for CONACYT*, together with ECI as partner. Arnold would have come in with the Interiors, but their design and specification contract were handed to someone else, so we missed the opportunity to work here together.

Dib’s Restaurant. Garza Garcia, Monterrey, MX. 1980

I was the designer and a minority partner in this Restaurant in the Industrious City, close to the US border. This Restaurant was for what could be the elegant version of a Carlos’n Charlies, for my first cousin Ramis Barquet, who owned the Carlos’n Charlies in Monterrey already.

I had to select a freestanding chair and order it. Arnold and I selected the Schultz Chair from Knoll. We agreed to pad the arms with fabric as I thought they were a little cold. Arnold showed me more options like the Pigreco Chair, I remember.

Then we selected a fabric. I liked red, but Carlos’n Charlies was green. Arnold mixed the threads and came out with the fabric, green and red. Then he did another 10 chair for my own dining room, in another fabric just Red and beige.

In 1983 I started commuting from CDMX to SF, where I would move to permanently in 1985. My daughter Joy was born in CDMX early 85 and she and her mother joined me in SF late 1985 after the big earthquake.

Among the books Arnold hand me down and which I treasure most:

  • Italy: A New Domestic Landscape. Emilio Ambasz MOMA NY, Original card. The Museum of Modern Art, NY. 1972
  • David Hicks on bathrooms. ©DH First Edition. Royal Family related. 1970
  • 50 years Bauhaus. Exhibition Catalogue, 1970
  • Selected Knoll cut sheets. He had kept through the years. These included the recent Gae Aulenti Collection for Knoll sofas (which I bought in 1986)
  • Her always read The Economist Magazine, which I occasionally do too. I hadn’t before.

In late 1984 or early 1985, I was already commuting from San Francisco  to CDMX (Ciudad de Mexico) regularly, and hardly had time in CDMX, I was probably closing the office when Arnold handed his books, I felt it was farewell. Him leaving behind his dreams as if I could maybe carry them further… I hope I didn’t let him down too badly. We never saw each other again.

On a visit to Mexico my friend Maria Luisa Santa Cruz now also client and the daughter of ECI best client, told me Arnold had passed. He must have done the Interiors of Centro Urbano Manacar. They were all Knoll and she was a fan too. I had to let ECI know about Arnold’s passing and I also called his wife to extend my condolences.

I sit on my Aulenti sofas daily and think of Arnold now and then.

  • Wife sometime Susanne Wsson-Tucker 1911-2008. Could be the mother of Christopher
  • Enrique Carral Icaza. Gabriela Carral.
  • Ramis Barquet, my first cousin. Owner of Dib’s Restaurant.
  • Maria Luisa Santa Cruz. Owner of Plaza MANACAR.
  • Ana Keller. Her father was the owner of Knoll Mexico and who Arnold worked for.
  • Ana Elena Mallet. Mexican Art Editor and Influencer. Asked about AWT, on January 14/2021CONACYT
  • Mario Gomez, office staff that would help him regularly.

Art Facts 1944 NY City show with Buckmister Fuller & Peter Blake!! As a result he was famous for association to two Masters of the 20thCentury!

https://www.moma.org/documents/moma_press-release_325445.pdf

Jerry feliz 2021 que sea feliz y con salud. Thank you for answering my facebook message. I am a Design Curator living and working in Mexico City

I had been working on researching and writing the history of Mexican Design and in my research the name of Arnold Wasson Tucker has pop up too many times…He seems to have been a very important character not only as an architect designer but also he was the one opening, designing and directing Knoll Mexico. Also his wife Susan seems a key character

Nobody I had interviewed or the archives I have consulted here can recount anything about them. I was wondering if you could help me. Maybe we could do a zoom call

Muchas muchas gracias, Ana Elena Mallet

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