For Carlos Jiménez, architecture is a poetic craft. Dedicated in body and soul to art and friendship, his buildings are lyrical places of intersection between light and nature, spaces of encounter lit by flashes of color. Infected from a very early age with the virus of poetry, his parallel devotion to Federico García Lorca and Williams Carlos Williams illustrates the mixture of his cultural roots, at once Hispanic and Anglo-Saxon. The architecture that sprouts from this double heritage grafts European scions in a leafy American tree to raise ascetic and light precincts, residence on Earth of clients turned into friends, often submitted like himself to the demanding cult of contemporary art. Fragile and tenacious, his houses and buildings are held by the skill of a trade practiced as an aesthetic experience that does not exclude pragmatism, and as a poetic statement that does not avoid prose.
This lyrical endeavor is summed up in the exact trace of his sketches, where the color line expresses intentions with amazing refinement, hiding behind its apparent intuitive ease a process of reflection that is fueled by Jiménez’s extraordinary knowledge of the architecture of our time. A passionate book collector and tireless traveller, very few know as well as he does the works and the figures that have forged contemporary architecture, and his many years on the jury of the Pritzker Prize evidence his sound judgement. But this baggage of meticulous information and exhaustive documentation, which has sharpened his critical talent, do not gravitate heavily around his creative activity – as often happens when knowledge halts imagination –, and his light trace flows with the innocence of one who discovers the world every day, naming things with an invented language.
Provided with that rare feature of a language of his own, Carlos Jiménez is an intimate artist who however blooms fully in the difficult field of shared sociability, be it in the dialogue with contractors and clients, be it in the mentorship of his university students, with whom he displays an intellectual and affective devotion that seems to have no end. Generous with his time and his talent, the Costa Rican or Texan architect – and also Spaniard by adoption – has transformed his professional career into a deeply felt artistic and academic project, to produce a series of calm works that invite to join the dots in order to draw his profile: a genuine architectural portrait that can be added to those of the professor and critic to compose the unexpected image of an author who has managed to combine two worlds to live his life as one poetic journey. [+]