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Spotlighting Mexican Architect Tatiana Bilbao

Written by: Kevin James Jeffery

Located in Monterrey, Mexico, Los Terrenos house is on a highland forested zone. The first level is on the ground floor with bedrooms underground.

Tatiana Bilbao Designs Through Collaboration to Create Exquisite Spaces

“What is it to be a woman in a man’s world?”

As a young architecture student, that was one of the first questions Tatiana Bilbao was asked during a lecture. At the time, she had never considered that the world wasn’t equal for men and women. That became an important lesson that would stick with her throughout her career.

Another important lesson Bilbao learned in school was that it takes collaboration between many minds to create a space that reflects the needs of those living and working in a building. Not only from the people designing the spaces but from those that will use them as well. When Bilboa opened her studio in 2004, those main principles would carry it to where it is today.

Tatiana Bilbao

From architects to model makers and academics, Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO now has nearly 60 team members collaborating on projects throughout the world. While the majority of her plans are designed for towns and cities within her home country of Mexico, her team is also currently working on projects in the USA, Germany, and Spain.  

Her studio operates where she was born, Mexico City, where her grandfather, Tomás Bilbao Hospitalet, moved from Spain during the war in 1942. Before he became a refugee in Mexico, he was a well-known architect and political figure in Bilbao, Spain. Bilbao says she never met her grandfather, but she grew up on his and her family’s political beliefs. 

From her early days in the industry, Bilbao always had a strong interest in social and affordable housing. However, she realized there was only one way architects could make a difference. “No one’s coming to knock on our studio door to ask us if we want to do housing,” she told Frame Magazine last year. “So why don’t we become active in the politics of housing?”

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