Jesús Vassallo is a Spanish architect and writer. Based in Houston and Madrid, his work interrogates the problem of realism in architecture through the production of design projects and scholarship. His independent design practice bridges architecture and urbanism through an understanding of both as material culture. Areas of focus of the office include affordable housing, new construction materials, background form, and participatory urbanism.
Vassallo studied architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (MArch II) and Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (PhD). He is the author of Epics in the Everyday: Photography, Architecture, and the Problem of Realism (Park Books, 2020) and Seamless: Digital Collage and Dirty Realism in Contemporary Architecture (Park Books, 2016). His articles have been published internationally in magazines such as EL Croquis, AA Files, 2G, Log, Harvard Design Magazine, Future Anterior, Domus, or Arquitectura Viva. Since 2011 he is also an editor of Circo magazine. In 2004 Vassallo became a licensed architect in Spain, where he worked in the office of Mansilla + Tuñón Arquitectos as a project architect from 2006 to 2012. There he contributed to projects such as the Twin Houses or the International Convention Center for the City of Madrid, and international competitions such as the expansion of the Kusnthaus Zürich, the New National Museum of Afghanistan, the Museo del Novecento in Venice or the renovation of the Carreau de Halles in Paris. Currently, Vassallo is an Associate Professor at the Rice School of Architecture. Prior to Rice, Vassallo has taught at IE University, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid ETSAM, Harvard University and the Boston Architectural College.
Past and present collaborators include Brendan Carr, Gail Chen, Andrea Gimeno, Yingying Guan, Amelia Hazinski, Kohen Hudson, Evio Isaac, Elizabeth Jones, Leyuan Li, Lluís J. Liñán, Josep Vicent Lluch, Daniel Kuehn, Yulong Li, Chenyang Lyu, Kalen McNamara, Onézieme Mouton, Kelsey Olafson, Daria Piekos, Albert Pope, Ian Searcy, Srijaya Simhadri, Peter Stone, Xuanyu Wei, and Rose Wilkowski.