Enrique Norton was born on February 27th, 1954 in Mexico City, Mexico. His father came to Mexico as part of the German Jewish diaspora of the 1940s. As a young child, Enrique enjoyed taking apart toys and putting them back together, only to figure out the intricacies of how they worked. This was the making of ingenious child. As a young youth, Enrique’s parents aspired for him to become a doctor or lawyer, but his passion was elsewhere. In 1978 Enrique Norton graduated from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Mexico with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. He continued to pursue his education further. Two years later, in 1980 Enrique graduated from the widely acclaimed American architectural college, Cornell University in Ithaco, New York with his Master’s degree of Architecture. Enrique Norton began his professional career as an architect with his first practice in Mexico City, Mexico. It was one year later in 1981, after he obtained his master’s in architecture, that Enrique had become a partner in an architectural firm called Albin y Norton Arquitectos.
From his first experience in the architectural business, Enrique was inspired and driven to start his own architectural firm. In 1986 Enrique founded the TEN Arquitectos. As of today, there are a total of over sixty-six architectural buildings that the TEN Arquitectos have been contracted for. The firm took way, and they began in 1988, with two successful projects. From there, the firm escalated and became famous for their captivating ideas of architectural buildings.
The list of architectural buildings that the TEN Arquitectos have constructed ranges from libraries, education and research facilities, museums and gallery buildings, performing spaces, exhibition design, retail, houses, apartment buildings, hotels, offices, exhibition spaces, mixed use, leisure and sport complexes, infrastructure, and urban design.
Due to the extraordinary abilities and quality of Enrique’s architectural design, he has won many commendable awards from universal to national, throughout his years as an architect. He was the first “Mies Van Der Rohe” award recipient in 1998 for Latin America. In 1999 he won the Honorary Fellowship from the American Institute of Architects. In 2000 he was awarded the National Creator System Grant. In 2003, he won the Gold Medal from the Society of American Registered Architects.
In 2004, he was awarded the Certificate of Merit from the Municipal Art Society of New York. And a most impressive award was the Leonardo Da Vinci World Award of Arts by the World Cultural Council, that Enrique won in 2005. One of his most renowned architectural projects to date, the Guggenheim Museum in Guadalajara, Mexico was awarded a Project Citation in 2006.
Harlem Park in New York City, New York, constructed in 2003 was the first class A office building to be constructed in the district in almost 40 years. The building was meant to corporate a new subdistrict within Harlem with its state of the art infrastructure and 540,000 contiguous square feet of office space. The dramatic glass tower and its height and luminescent architecture make it an iconic addition to the northern Manhattan skyline. The architectural design of the building is comprised of stacks of interlocking luminescent cubes that form the tower. The building also has a defining terra cotta curtain detail as a further compliment to the Harlem street scape.
The office floors are surrounded by abundant natural light, forming the perfect architectural building for the trendsetting workplace design.
Notable architectural buildings of the TEN Arquitectos are the Visual and Performing Arts Library in New York, 2002, the Budapest Hotel in Budapest, Hungary, 2002, The Harlem Park in New York, 2003, and of course,
the Guggenheim Museum in Guadalajara, Mexico, 2004. Enrique Norton, unlike other acclaimed architects does not claim to restrict himself to one specific style of form. He is known not to have a signature style, although most of his works are very contemporary and modern. The house architecturally designed by Enrique in Mexico City, Mexico named Casa Condesa was a reliance upon concrete, structurally and in a haptic sense. The use of oak and white painted surfaces give the interior an impression of warmth and the sensual touch, while remaining contemporary in design. For this specific piece created, Enrique’s artistic intentions were to remain subdued on the cultural surroundings of the house. The neighborhood and culture were all factors of the design.
As the Casa Condesa, Enrique is known for his love of modernism with a sensitivity for local conditions. He uses rigid geometrical shapes, with the combination of limited local palette, and layered experiences to create designs that are eminently modern. His architectural designs are sought after by powerful political figures,
and powerful companies because of the symbolic, bold and unmistakable powerful representation that his clients look for.
As the Guggenheim Museum in Mexico, his inspiration and intentions were to take this desolate area where no one comes to, and transform it into a cultural and universal icon, like a light house, that is identifiable from anywhere.
When he is not designing buildings for the business industry he takes pride and satisfaction in designing memorials, houses, and community buildings. His inspiration for these personal pieces is that he is compelled to give back to his community. He is immersed in the community’s concerns and issues and thrives to take part to lend a helping hand. Most of his designs have a geocentric shape to them. They are somewhat futuristic,
but remain realistic. The more known contemporary pieces of his equally have a share of a cubical design. The architectural designs of Enrique more commonly than not, have a mathematical rhythm to them, such as the Budapest Hotel and the Harlem Park. House C designed in Mexico in 2001 is very contemporary piece for its time. The house has a simplistic white paint as both its interior and exterior. The exterior is a number of various lengths that are all from the contrasting sizes of the combined cubical and rectangular geometric shapes. The interior is very modern, with its wood floors and square and rectangular geometrically inspired shaped rooms. The rooms are very basic as the design adheres to the same form, but it is never the less appealing and captivating because of how each room may over look the other. The library in the house is made of wooden bookshelves, but the room of the library is on a base floor built into the side of the house and is adjacent to a living room area. Both this living room area and library niche are over looked by a first floor and second floor. The entire house is designed in this way, with rooms built into each other and over looking another.
While Enrique Norton is not spending his time designing magnificent architectural buildings, he is lecturing and joining architectural committees. He has lectured all over the world and participated in several international juries and award committees, such as the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition in New York City.
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