Atelier Caracas is a design and architectural practice founded in 2015, looking within and outside of its home, Venezuela. Theirs is an effervescent practice, attacking design from any possible creative channel, giving life to projects that are as disparate as their interests, including but not limited to industrial design, public areas, private residencies, retail spaces, pop-ups, all over the world. By their own definition “designers of everything”, they have formulated an approach of radical experimentation, drawing from the most varied cultural manifestations: history, theory, philosophy, but also fashion, films, memorabilia, games all collide in their practice. Everything that permeates the many layers of pop-culture serves as an opportunity to extract the architectural DNA in it, recognizing the same patterns in small and large scales, acknowledging and appreciating everyday object’s good design. Deeply touched by their local context and understanding architecture as a tool, and not an end, Atelier Caracas believes that architecture should be horizontal, to be used, appreciated and comprehended by many. Their intention is to disrupt common understandings and preconceptions, proposing a new idea of experiencing spaces and a new era for architecture, where a constellation of diverse, if not opposite, present beings can coexist harmonically. Atelier Caracas operates as a think tank, a bubble in which they can design exactly the way they want to.

When encountering Atelier Caracas’ founders, Venezuela-born and raised architects Julio Kowalenko and Rodrigo Armas, you are witnessing a case of Tintin and Captain Haddock. Their success and symbiotic relationship has resulted from the complementary differences between them: Julio is an artistic spirit and thinks of architecture as a liberal and not structured being; Rodrigo is the epitome of rationality, sharpness and diligence. Their affinities of perspectives on the local contemporary panorama, appreciation for culture’s multifaceted being, desire for risks and radical approach and, most of all, ambition for a different future of architecture, is what brought them together. Looking at Venezuelan 1950’s vibrant cultural mecca with great respect and admiration, Atelier Caracas works to bring yet again the same energy, moving and shaking the country’s cultural pace, attracting similar young and open minds, putting their country back on the international map of design and architecture. Bored with a general and never-changing conformity and with the idea that architects should be complicit in making their clients feel comfortable, Atelier Caracas has from the start made the conscious decision of rendering architecture uncomfortable, at least conceptually. It is only by questioning and disrupting something, that it is possible to redefine it, and not for its own sake, but for the desire to renew a movement. Atelier Caracas saw their local context as an opportunity, a blank canvas to question and rethink how spaces should be made there, finding a way around what was available, contributing with an enticing narrative. With an always disruptive and uncommon approach, they recall the founding of the studio to be a sort of guerrilla architectural practice, perhaps one not fully prepared but, nonetheless, one that started receiving recognition immediately.

While they appreciate and partake in architecture’s academic structure, they believe that it should be an open and horizontal dialogue. Architecture is rightfully permeated by a sense of higher gravitas, but, at its premise, is conceived to be functional. Atelier Caracas likes to think how they, and subsequently their work, can connect with people, talk to people, and be experienced by people in a completely novel fashion. One of Atelier Caracas’ credo is to “make incoherent things collide”. In their constant process of creations, they often dedicate themselves to personal projects, collages, as they call it, that include ordinary objects, at times mixing Star Wars toys with Sottsass. According to them, these are just objects that emulate naiveness; naive in principle, but when forced to merge together, it is possible to create a new, unforeseen and working conjunction. The same can happen through architecture. Atelier Caracas focuses on defining the relationship between everyday objects and spaces, always analysing how something can be so simple and yet so complex, playful and yet serious; in their practice, such dichotomies are welcome to coexist. They look at objects, even the most mundane ones, admiring them as exquisite examples of good design, studying how to extract the architectural beings in them. Atelier Caracas starts designing from everything that composes our everyday, their creations being a never-ending homage to what they like.

The name Atelier Caracas melts French and Venezuelan indigenous terms. Atelier, like an organism where multiple people operate within disparate practices; Caracas, like the capital of Venezuela. A simple and clear message that merges worlds, conveying a sense of possibilities and happening, a general excitement for things becoming within a globalised context.

Atelier Caracas is a design and architectural practice, looking within and outside of its home, Venezuela. It is based in Caracas and was founded in 2015 by architects Julio Kowalenko and Rodrigo Armas, who became friends while studying at the prestigious Universidad Central de Venezuela. Their studio involves a team of art directors, designers, architects and graphics, together giving life to projects that are as disparate as their interests, including but not limited to industrial design, public areas, private residencies, retail spaces, pop-ups, all over the world.

Atelier Caracas is an effervescent practice, operating as a think tank for formal, aesthetic and cultural investigation. It draws strong influences from its local context, pop culture and the everyday, finding in all that surrounds an opportunity to extract their architectural being, recognizing the same patterns in small and large scales to create alluring spaces and objects at once humorous, thought-provoking and symbolically charged.

Over the years, Atelier Caracas has developed a bold portfolio of creative projects that wander through the realms of fine arts, architecture and design. Their work has drawn interest from distinctive collectors, brands and international art galleries in North & Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. Their distribution channels include exceptional representation by the likes of Galerie Philia (New York, Geneve, Singapore), Collectional Gallery (Dubai) and Lima Modern Gallery (Peru); they have collaborated with international players such as Ferrari, Sony Music Latin / 5020 Studios, Bartlett School of Architecture and Asociación Venezolana de Conciertos and have exhibited at renowned events such as “Untitled Art” at Art Basel Miami Beach 2021 and Pinta Miami 2022.