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Lassa + Orozco – A Fashionable Q&A with Architect Guillermo R Orozco

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In NewsWhistle’s weekly question-and-answer series, Clara Morgan speaks with some of her favorite influencers and finds out more about their lives and careers. This week, Clara speaks with award-winning architect Guillermo R. Orozco.

Guillermo is an architect, senior project developer and associate in multi-award winning architectural workshop Lassa+Orozco, a specialized firm in high class residential design. He has been awarded, among other recognitions, the America’s Best Single Residence Award by the Association of International Property Professionals in London in 2013 and the 2015-2017 Gold Medal in Residential and Sustainability at the World Wide Biennial of Interior Design and Landscape.

He founded his architectural practice based on years of studies in architecture, Italian language and culture, furniture design, and sculpture. Guillermo has also taught classes on Interior Design, Arts History, and Architectural Project Workshop at the School of Architecture and Graphic Design at UVM University (Universidad del Valle de México) in Guadalajara. Guillermo has gained international attention for his residential project designs, bringing his unique style to high end architecture.

Although a frequent traveler, Guillermo resides in his hometown of Guadalajara, a city in western Mexico known for its historical landmarks and colonial plazas. Learn more about Guillermo’s favorite restaurants, travel destinations, and style picks in this week’s Q&A.

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1. When and how did you first realize that you wanted to work in the industry and business you are in?

I guess it was at a very young age, I can’t even remember when I decided to be an architect. I think I was born with that threaded into my DNA and just lived knowing that at some point I would need a degree to acknowledge it, but I was certainly born an architect.

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2. Any celebrity clients or memorable stories related to your business that you want to share?

I respect my clients’ privacy whether they are celebrities or not so I will not disclose any names, but one of the stories that has stayed with me is the first celebrity client I worked for and how I met him. It happened during a huge rain storm, while I was driving in my car. Suddenly the traffic stopped and water started to flood all the cars around me, including my own. I had to escape from the water pouring into my car and got out the window. On my way to find a safe high place to stay until I could figure out what to do, and with water up to my waist, I saw a woman struggling to get out of her car and helped her out. She thanked me and we ended up speaking for about two hours about every topic imaginable until we each had a chance to get back to our cars. Her car unfortunately didn’t work, so I offered to give her a ride home. She asked if I could take her to her son’s house, so I did. I got a phone call the next day, and it was her son, a huge Mexican celebrity, thanking me for helping his mother out–and a few weeks later I received an important job offer from him.

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3. What is a typical day like for you? And what do you like to do on a day off?

A typical day for me starts with an early morning routine, I like to meditate and plan my day before having breakfast and my morning coffee on my patio. After getting ready I go off to my workshop, which is very close to my house, and start with the morning meetings followed by lunch with coworkers or clients. The afternoon is fully dedicated to creative work and at night I like to take a walk or go swimming before a good dinner and a glass of scotch or wine, followed by a short reading time and a mental sum up of my day.

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4. What is the next big thing in your industry? What are people doing differently today, compared to 10-15 years ago?

The architectural industry has been going through lots of changes. I believe that local architecture has a major depth when it is treated as an original (as in origin) architecture; it makes a bigger statement and helps people around it to develop an identity, unlike a generic building that ironically no one relates to and therefore “belongs” nowhere.

Architecture has been changing and returning to its artistic nature in the past years, relating itself with the surroundings where the building is placed and achieving a less invasive approach to its environment therefore creating a consciousness around it. I believe we are slowly returning architecture to its basics, humanizing it and really serving people’s needs both physical and emotional and understanding that man and nature should coexist in a balance.

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5. What are your three favorite restaurants in New York?

I like Porter House at Columbus Circle – I’m a meat lover and I really appreciate the Central Park view from there. Nomad is a close second and it works just as well for either dinner or lunch, and the third pick would be Cafe China, if I feel like having something spicy.

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6. What are your three favorite bars in New York?

Definitely the Boom Boom Room at the Standard – I love the jazz, cocktails, and the whole atmosphere, it’s just a great place to enjoy a great New York sunset followed by the spectacular skyline lights. I like Papatzul for the tamarind margaritas, and McKittrick Hotel rooftop because I’m a fan of the theatrical concept and always have a great time there.,

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7. What are your three favorite locations to visit in New York?

I have to name four and feel a little guilty leaving out lots of great places in this city but: Central Park is spectacular all year long, Dumbo in Brooklyn, the High Line, and pretty much any museum. I like to visit MoMA whenever I have a chance and have a coffee in the sculpture garden.

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8. Which three events on your annual calendar will you will absolutely not miss?

Well my nephew and niece’s birthday take up two musts in my calendar and the third one definitely would be Christmas dinner with my family.

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9. What was your best New York moment? Your worst?

My best New York moment actually didn’t happen in New York. After I first walked around Manhattan and discovered the city, it took me several weeks to really understand what had happened or changed in me after being there for the first time–there was a before and after in me after that first visit. I can’t actually name a worst moment, New York has been kind to me.

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10. Tell us something that people do not know about you.

It’s ridiculous–I’m completely terrified of frogs and toads… not lions, snakes, or leopards, just frogs and toads.

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11. How would you describe your personal style?

I have an eclectic casual-retro style, if that even exists. I love having nostalgic clothes and art pieces that mix up with contemporary accessories, I pretty much live my life that way and make my style a part of my everyday life, in my office, house, and wardrobe.

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12. Who is your style icon? Where do you find your style inspiration?

I have a strong admiration of the classics. Lots of my style inspiration comes from Steve McQueen and Julio Iglesias.

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13. Who is your favorite fashion designer, artist or architect–and why?

My all-time favorite architect has to be Bernini, he is probably the last universal man–a great architect, writer, and probably the greatest sculptor ever. A real artist who understood light, space, and their relationship. He brought about a real revolution and brought movement to the baroque Italy. His work was truly state-of-the-art in his time.

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14. Name your favorite… and tell us why:

a. Outfit

Chinos, tailored shirt, blazer, and loafers. I feel comfortable in it and it’s great for a quick casual meeting, lunch or a boat ride. A kind of multi-use outfit that always fits in.


b. Perfume/Fragrance

Fragrances are important and have a direct connection to our memory, a good fragrance can make a statement and it tells a lot about an individual. My personal favorite is Carolina Herrera 212 NYC; it’s a fresh and dynamic fragrance that brings great memories to me and just gets me in an excellent mood.

c. Movie

It’s a tie between The Godfather and Life is Beautiful; they are both very different stories that approach the importance of family and a strong spirit in life while in dangerous, brutal situations. Different contexts with strong lessons and clear messages.

d. TV show

I’m not a big TV fan, so I try to have fun while I watch a TV show. I can watch How I Met Your Mother over and over again and just laugh out loud–I can perfectly relate to many of the ridiculously situations and it just cracks me up.

e. Book.

I’m a really childish man and huge Roald Dahl fan. I’d have to say that The BFG is one of my all-time favorites. When it comes to more serious literature I like God’s Architect (the Story of Gian Lorenzo Bernini) by Carlos Brassel. Those two are my favorite books.

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15. What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What is it you love about it and what is your favorite dish?

My favorite restaurant is called Ofelia Bistro. It’s an international restaurant in Guadalajara, my hometown. They have an outstanding pork rind lasagna, great service, fine wines, and an excellent atmosphere in which to enjoy great company and conversation.

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16. Name your favorite vacation spot and hotel? What makes these places so special?

Rosewood Mayakoba in the Mayan Riviera. It’s an amazing place, that just takes over all your senses; the views, the food, great service, great music… all surrounded by a private, luxurious ,and relaxed atmosphere–the perfect hideout.

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17. Which three items can you not live without?

My sketchbook is always with me; I place small moments of my life and thoughts in it that eventually mature to become artworks, the second thing is a good fountain pen, and lastly, my smartphone.

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18. What song, meditation, or mantra can you listen to on repeat? And why?

I have a great universal poem in my smartphone called the Prayer of Saint Francis. I can hear it every day and consider it to be one of the most humanly positive thoughts.

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19. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would you like to meet? And why?

Pavarotti. He had a great story of success through talent and hard work. He was the best in what he did in his time. A charismatic character that knew how to enjoy life and shared it. I feel I could have spent hours in fun conversation and red wine with that guy. A true giant.

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20. Is there anything else you would like to share, discuss or promote?

I’d like to evoke consciousness around architecture and craftsmanship, responsible human-based design and a view to the future based in our immediate surroundings, opportunities and culture that will lead us to a better world through better design and better living.

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Images Of Guillermo R. Orozco Courtesy Of Naz Rodriguez