Realizing Grand Visions with Architect Maureen Scally

December 6, 2019

 

 

Maureen Scally is the conduit that connects two worlds; those being imagination and reality. Yes, she is an architect but even though her work is experienced by many on a daily basis, the true nature of her work is often ethereal to the public. She has worked numerous times on projects of a massive scale, confirming that her ability to see the micro and macro is finely balanced. While still completing her university studies, she was brought aboard the team that created the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics Youth Village in Buenos Aries. This massive project began one year after the city won the bid to host. Complete construction took over two years to finalize. Literally a city within a city, the Olympic Village is a representation of the forward thinking which can benefit a location and its people for generations to come. Since her inclusion on this enormous undertaking, Maureen has continued to be enlisted for work on a grand scale; the type of work which exhibits a modern ethos of function and harmony alongside environmental consciousness such as Oceana Puerto Madero. There’s most certainly a technical day-to-day in Maureen’s career but there’s a congruent approach of creativity found in nearly every project she is part of. A review of this shows an architect leading her generation with skills confirmed by the past yet forward minded.

 

 The Youth Olympic Village was a mammoth endeavor. A host to the games 6,000 visitors which included athletes, coaches, trainers, and delegates from 206 countries and regions, the structures present significant architectural diversity. Thirty-one buildings were constructed by eight different construction companies. This undertaking required coordinated infrastructure (gas lines, water lines, electricity, internal streets, lighting, etc.) and architecture elements (Foundations, walls, slabs, windows, doors, guardrails, among others). Overseeing the general organization and coordination of the village for Maria Florencia Pinero [director in charge], Maureen attended and organized meetings with different governmental directors from the city of Buenos Aires to ensure the smooth progress of the village. The city was equally concerned with the future use of the village as its success during the Olympic Games. Scally communicates, “After the Youth Olympic Games came to an end, the village served as a residential complex. Units were available through soft loans to teachers, doctors, police officers and other middle-class professionals. Though Villa Soldati had been overlooked for years, it is considered a ‘strategic area’ due to its location. It has great potential on a metropolitan and regional scale thanks to its access roads from different highways, a 100-hectare City Park and residential neighborhood have been rehabilitated to spur development of the city's southern zone.” This illustrates the long lasting benefits for the city’s future and the importance of having the most gifted professionals like Maureen in charge of its development. The city’s use of the village post-Olympics benefits an important part of the population who might not have the income to afford such functional and beautifully designed units, thus raising the equality and social harmony of Buenos Aires.

 

 Oceana Puerto Madero is the first project of Eduardo F. Costantini (Consultatio) in creative association with Alan Faena, two of Argentina’s real estate leaders. These two buildings located in Puerto Madero on the water mirror of Dock 2 required an investment of 120 million dollars and will add a massive 280,000 sq. ft. of living space and more than 430,000 sq. ft. in total to the area. Though construction had already begun, it has been delayed due to the global pandemic. These two parallel eight story buildings promise to be a dazzling centerpiece to the city. Oceana will have first-class amenities such as green areas of 7,100 m2, water mirror, art interventions, recreation area, a recova towards central plaza, rooftop pool, outdoor jacuzzi, indoor heated pool, lounge area, wellness area, gym, changing rooms , smart lifts, courtesy parking, as well as a round the clock concierge and security services. As the architect in charge of generating the technical documentation of Oceana, Maureen is key to the realization of these high end apartments buildings as conceived of by the designers. A building with so much to offer its residents requires a dizzying array of specialized professionals to craft each of these high end apartments. Maureen is charged with coordinating these in a manner that delivers completion on time and at the highest level. She explains, “The role of an architect in charge of the documentation basically is understanding what needs to be done, for what day it has to be ready and how you are going to distribute the load on the people you have. For example, sections and elevations plans will take three weeks, foundation plans will take two weeks, reflected ceiling plans will be done in one week, and the list keeps going. The key of the organization is to know which plan needs to be done first, so that it could engage with the next task. The production of every plan is important but the order in which you produce them is a number one matter.”

 

 

 Proving the many applications of her skill set and wisdom, Ms. Scally was enlisted by BMA architecture studio to take care of the color, materials, and textures of the facades for Buenos Aires OM Recoleta. This twelve floor, L shaped building’s amenities include an inner garden, a heated swimming-pool, a solarium, grills on the terrace, and a multipurpose room. Maureen’s 3D models offered different possibilities for the building color board. The aspiration of the creators of OM Recoleta was to manifest a space as beautiful and harmonious inside as outside. After deeply studying every aspect of the building, Maureen’s color board was enthusiastically embraced by BMA and their NorthBaires collaborators. The results of this is a structure of great character and identity. Ms. Scally describes, “I created a palette which contained light grey glass and fibre cement panels to cover the walls in order to generate texture and enhance the personality of the building. I also felt it was important to leave certain elements in concrete. I played with the depth of the windows by drawing very thin and deep metal window frames; generating deeper shadows in different areas of the facade. The colors and materials chosen responded to a part of the city where you can see many French style buildings, covered in travertine and coronated with mansards and round windows, as well as huge entry doors and old iron elevators. The palette intended to dialogue with its neighborhood but I also focused on giving it a contemporary and fresh look.”

 

 

  Maureen Scally has utilized her talents for numerous projects which all contain the promise of an enduring future. From her resume, one can perceive that she has admiration and respect for the industry and her peers but in conversation with you can tell her uniqueness is blatant. “Honesty”, “inviting”, and “connection” are all terms she uses to relate her ideas about what draws people to the buildings she works on. She confirms that her own inclinations are to think of her work from an artistic perspective rather than simply utilitarian. Equally as endearing is her proclamation of why she continues to work with companies throughout the world, most recently in California’s prime real estate center of Laguna Beach. Maureen professes, “I truly love being part of a team because I am convinced that if you feel that you can contribute to a group of people looking in the same direction, that’s the only thing you need to move forward whether it’s a tiny project or a huge one. Both are important and transcendent.”

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