OCA Architects
Towards a higher efficiency
Barcelona, ES; Prague, CZ

OCA architects, led by Bernardo García Morales and Hernan Lleida Ruiz is a Barcelona and Prague-based group of young architects, urbanists, designers and artists, currently involved in a large number of competitions throughout Europe. Through a careful analysis of contemporary ways of life, economic flows, urban growth and technological developments we read architecture as a powerful tool that brings together various aspects of daily life. 


A typical competition win

Our kick off was a common story shared by many emerging studios. After finishing university, we combined our day jobs with our work, presenting designs for competitions. This time allowed us to quickly gain experience at an accelerated pace learning the gist of the profession while experimenting and trying out our ideas for OCA. Luckily we were able to transform our dreams into our livelihood when we won the competition for the Prague Congress Center extension in 2017.


A lesson learnt the hard way

We hope this helps someone else avoid committing the same mistakes: Some time ago we did a 2 round-anonymous competition in Finland. Once the finalists were announced and we saw we were not among them we decided to publish our proposal. Unfortunately we didn’t realise there were very good prizes even for the non-finalists! The following week, we were called by the organisation informing us that we had broken anonymity and therefore lost the right to an honorable mention and prize money.


Working and sharing 

We try hard to fight against the nonsense of mistreating young architects. We are absolutely sick of it. We have implemented a friendly and respectful relation with our collaborators, organising a 9 to 18 daily schedule which we follow quite strictly. As we are split between Prague and Barcelona, our office is digitally-oriented and we are used to adapting to external or personal situations. We might also have to put in some extra hours now and then when there are submissions delivery or when we get carried away with a new design. Once a month we hold an OCA meeting with friends and collaborators to talk about and share what we’ve learnt. A normal day for OCA is all about design work and sharing, we really believe in working over talking.


Balancing finances

We have a strong belief in sustainable evolution. A good balance between the ends and the means, sizing opportunities and work power. We are probably a pretty good example of jack-of-all-trades architects. We work on all sorts of scales and typologies, from a 50 sq.m. renovation to a 160.000 sq.m mixed-use development. This is quite exciting and we are very comfortable working at various scales. Most of our time is spent preparing competition bids and documentation for projects. Maybe the biggest revelation has been learning how difficult it is to make the economic side of an office work, balancing time spent with earned money.


Towards a higher efficiency

As we move further into the fourth year of our practice, construction supervision is going to start demanding more attention. The transition of a mostly office work day routine to a mostly on-site will be challenging. Luckily we have managed to unite a strong group of collaborators who will surely keep up with the demands of splitting office and site work. Aside from that, we are working into implementing more efficient sustainable building technologies into our buildings. Although our projects demand very low energy while in operation, construction technologies are mostly traditional and we want to change this to more effective solutions.

OCA Bernardo Hernan Bernardo Garcia Morales

OCA Prague Bernardo Garcia Morales

OCA Architects Barcelona Bernardo Garcia Morales

OCA architects Barcelona Prague Congress Centre NEW KCP NEW PCC Hernan Lleida Ruiz Bernardo Garcia Morales 10 Bernardo Garcia Morales

Aerial base 4 Bernardo Garcia Morales

Photography Courtesy of OCA Architects

a project powered by Itinerant Office

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