Austin Foundation for Architecture - Miró Rivera Architects: Building a New Arcadia

Miró Rivera Architects: Building a New Arcadia

Book Launch and Discussion with Juan Miró and Miguel Rivera

October 22, 2020, 4 p.m. CST, Zoom


This event is free and open to the public; your donations are key to helping us continue to produce programs like this!


To celebrate their 20th anniversary, Austin-based Miró Rivera Architects is releasing their first monograph, Miró Rivera Architects: Building a New Arcadia. Designed by the architects and published by University of Texas Press, the book explores Austin as a modern-day “arcadia”—an evocative place of beauty and harmony with nature—and provides a window into why people want to live in Austin and how they live.

For two decades, Miró Rivera Architects has produced an innovative, refined, and imaginative body of work that blurs the line between art and architecture. The studio was part of a new wave of architects that moved away from Texas vernacular and introduced a modern, refined, and site-specific sensibility that has continued to evolve and expand. From a delicate footbridge to an iconic observation tower, the firm’s work has shaped the trajectory of architecture in Texas and has brought international attention to Austin.

Building a New Arcadia is more than just a collection of fantastic projects; it is a love letter to Austin that explores the architects’ contributions to the mosaic of the city. Beyond live music, Austin is now recognized as a creative hub where architects, filmmakers, and artists push boundaries. Together they have engendered a unique sense of place—an Austin “state of mind”—that defies stereotypes about Texas. Looking beyond Austin, the book situates the firm’s diverse portfolio in a global context related to concepts of nature, sustainability, history, and urban design.

This discussion will introduce the book and explore themes that have become particularly relevant in this year of seismic change, including: the importance of architecture in connecting people to the landscape; Austin as a model for both low- and high-density cities; how people from different backgrounds live together in Austin; and how our public and private spaces shape Austin’s unique ethos. Included in the event will be a preview of the book itself, which includes dozens of new drawings and images commissioned from photographers including Iwan Baan and Sebastian Schutyser.

Above: image and cover from Miró Rivera Architects: Building a New Arcadia (University of Texas Press).

Juan Miró, FAIA, was born in Barcelona and obtained his professional degree at the Escuela de Arquitectura of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. In 1989 he earned a Fulbright Scholarship to complete a post-professional Master’s degree at Yale University. Juan is a Professor at the School of Architecture of the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches design, construction and Mexican architecture. In his teaching, practice and research, Juan explores the role of the architectural profession in civic life, the relationship between the manmade and Nature, and the relevance of history for designers.




Miguel Rivera, FAIA,
was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Architecture. In 1989 he earned his Master of Architecture from Columbia University. Miguel is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a recipient of the AIA National Young Architect Award. He has lectured in the United States and abroad, and his work has appeared in numerous exhibitions throughout Europe and Latin America.


Miró Rivera Architects
has been recognized with over 100 design awards, including the Texas Architecture Firm Award and ArchDaily’s list of the World’s Best Architects. Their clients in Austin range from nonprofits like The Trail Foundation and LifeWorks to local leaders in real estate, the arts, business, politics, and entertainment.