A conversation with the founding partners of Aidia Studio Rolando Rodríguez-Leal and Natalia Wrzask

Natalia Wrzask

What was your motivation to create AIDIA STUDIO? How did you meet each other, and what is your professional history?

 “We met in 2005 at the Norman Foster studio in London. Back then, we were working on the design of Mexico City’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Later on, Natalia developed Madrid’s Supreme Court of Justice and the Beijing’s Airport project, while I started working with Zaha Hadid as project leader in the Dubai Opera and the Galaxy Soho in Beijing. Before founding AIDIA STUDIO, we were invited to be construction managers at Abu Dhabi’s Louvre Museum as part of Jean Nouvel’s Ateliers.”

Of all your projects, is there any that has a special meaning for you?

El Oculus Eco Lodge, en el desierto de Rub Al Khali, Abu Dhabi. Se planteó que los habitáculos  “The Oculus Eco Lodge, in the desert of Rub Al Khali in Abu Dhabi. We came up with living spaces covered by a skin-like layer, which would protect the interior from the extreme heat during daytime, and unfold at night to observe the wildlife and the starry skies. This project is significant because we were able to implement a biomimetic approach (mirroring nature) and guide the shape and purpose of the project through sustainable principles and strategies.”

“The Tulum Station of the Maya Train was the take-off of our studio. Like in Oculus, our governing principle was incorporating passive cooling and ventilation techniques, saving in the use of land, as well as the incorporation of Mayan culture-related materials and architectural elements.”

How do you understand the concept of new luxury from the perspective of design and sustainability?

“This concept points towards “rustic luxury”. The pandemic generated a desire to reconnect with the great natural reserves without the impact of massive tourism. Mexico’s touristic offer is shifting from high-volume tourism to exclusivity. There is a sophisticated market willing to pay more for an experience more related to landscapes and the environment.”

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