RMJM Architecture in LATAM
Whilst RMJM Studios in Latin America have only been formally established in recent years, RMJM’s involvement in the region dates back to 1963, when Sir Robert Matthew, one of RMJM’s founding partners, chaired an International Union of Architects Conference in Cuba. Matthew rubbed shoulders with Fidel Castro despite fierce US censure, (the Cuban Missile Crisis ended only at the end of October, 1962) and discussed both politics and architecture. In his final speech of the Conference, Castro said: “I promised Sir Robert Matthew that I would keep well away from politics.”
In the ‘70s & ‘80s RMJM were commissioned to design a series of government projects in the Caribbean, which included RMJM’s first Parliament building (the second was in Scotland some years later) in the West Indies. However the primary focus of RMJM’s projects in the Caribbean at that time was healthcare, with the firm engaged in hospital projects in Trinidad, Belize and St Vincent & Anguilla in the West Indies.
RMJM’s New York Studio would return to the Caribbean in the early part of the 21st Century focusing once again on healthcare with commissions to design a Molecular Science Complex and a Comprehensive Cancer Centre for the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan.
Whilst RMJM’s forays into Latin America in the 20th Century were predominantly project driven, economies in the region began to rapidly develop in the 21st Century. In response, RMJM clients around the world began to look more closely at the market, particularly those in the hospitality sector. A collaborative masterplan proposal from RMJM Studios in the Middle East, the UK and the US for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro saw RMJM begin to establish a network of relationships in Latin America.
Internationally recognized projects resulted from RMJM’s subsequent expansion into Latin America, including the AM 325 Dwellings in Buenos Aires, the Towerbank Building in Panama City and the Laboratory for Balseiro Institute in Buenos Aires.