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Mónica Rivera

Mónica Rivera is chair of graduate architecture programs and JoAnne Stolaroff Cotsen Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. She is co-founder and co-director of Emiliano López Mónica Rivera, based in Barcelona, Spain. Their practice is internationally known for material research and carefully crafted works that understand architecture as a cultural endeavor that is deeply engaged with people and the environment.

Rivera and Lopez’s work, which encompasses multiple scales from public housing to houses, schools to hotels, furniture, assisted residences, and urban consultancies, and has received numerous international awards. Two Cork Houses—using cross-laminated timber structure and cork cladding—and Hotel Aire de Bardenas received first awards in the Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism (2018 and 2008, respectively). The former also received the Best Architects 19 prize (Germany) and the Egurtek Wood Award (Spain), and the latter received an Ibero-American Biennial of Architecture & Urbanism first award and an AR Emerging Architecture Award, among many others. The project Social Housing for Young People in Barcelona received the prestigious FAD Award, given annually to one building in Spain and Portugal, as well as a nomination for the biannual EU Mies van der Rohe Prize for Contemporary Architecture.

Their work has been published in El Croquis (Spain), A+U (Japan), Casabella (Italy), Domus (Italy), Detail (Germany), and The Architectural Review (London), among others, and has been exhibited in venues such as the Cité de l’Architecture & du Patrimoine in Paris (2009), the Venice Architecture Biennale (2012), and the XIV Spanish Architecture and Urbanism Biennial. A book featuring their work and essays, Domestic Thresholds, was published by Quart Verlag (Switzerland) in Spanish, English, and German.

Among their ongoing projects is a zero-energy, intergenerational public housing building in Mallorca, Spain—a commission won through a competition in 2021—and a passive energy house using cross-laminated timber, near Gernika, Spain. Rivera is currently collaborating with Eric P. Mumford, the Rebecca and John Voyles Professor of Architecture, on the research Edges of Privacy: Open Access Walkways in Collective Housing, with the support of a Global Incubator Seed Grant awarded by WashU’s McDonnell International Scholars Academy in 2021 and through a seminar taught in spring 2021 and 2022. She currently serves as a board member for the Association of Women Faculty at WashU.

Rivera holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design, and a Master of Architecture degree with Distinction from the Harvard University.

Work by Emiliano López Mónica Rivera Arquitectos

Photo of a contemporary, single-story hotel with gray, smooth walls interspersed with bumped out, square-shaped windows, the closest to the righthand of the frame revealing warm light and a bed. The hotel is built atop a bed of rocks.

Hotel Aire de Bardenas

Tudela, Spain
Rivera house and yoga studio 01

House and Yoga Centre, 2011-2015

Barcelona, Spain
Photo: José Hevia
A white house with bamboo awning that throws lined shadows onto the scene. The double doors are opened and we can see through the house and out the other opened double doors on the other side

House in El Port de la Selva, 2012

Girona, Spain
Cobblestone stairs leading up to the white apartments accented with large windows.

Infernino Tourist Apartments, 2018

Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña Spain
Facade view of a house with lattice-styled walls that we can see through. In one of the larger 'windows' we can see a large decorative pot inside the building.

Lattice House, 2015

Palafrugell, Girona 2015


White book with scattered holographic dots over it. Black text on the top left reads Approach 2018-2019

Approach, 2018-2019

Editor; featuring work from the Sam Fox School’s Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design
A brown book with pink lettering '419' repeated 4 times across the cover. On the side it is labelled International Housing Studio 2017-2019

International Housing Studio, 2017-2019

Editor; featuring work from the 419 International Housing Studio, offered by the Sam Fox School’s Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design.
White book with a rectangular image of an exterior view of a house where we can see a bed with pillows through a window. The book is labelled Umbrales Domésticos Domestic Thresholds Emiliano López Mónica Rivera arquitectos

Umbrales Domésticos | Domestic Thresholds, 2016

Emiliano López Mónica Rivera Arquitectos
Publisher: Quart Verlag
Teal book with the text 'Altres Glòries Other Glòries' Proposal for the Renaturalization of Barcelonain red

Altres Glòries | Other Glòries, 2016

Proposal for the Renaturalization of Barcelona