about us site update
About us

Awarded by New Italian Blood as the best Young Italian Architects of 2011, External Reference Architects is a multidisciplinary design firm that aims to break the boundaries among architecture, visual art, and digital fabrication for generating new spatial experiences.

 

Interested in generating intensity nodes the office is currently involved in research and design in the fields of interior design, architecture, and landscape design.

 

Based in Barcelona the office establishes work collaborations with international professionals coming from different fields as graphic design, art and production.

 

Directed by Nacho Toribio, Carmelo Zappulla External Reference Architects offers a broad range of design strategies with the aim of pushing the boundaries towards new outcomes.

 

Looking for the unexpected the office team works on external factors as client needs, budget limits, sustainability as driving forces for the design.

 

Realized and under construction projects have been developed in Spain, Korea, Italy, UK, Germany, France and Russia.

 

External Reference Architects won several prizes participating in international competition including first prize with the Spanish Pavilion’s exhibition space, the ONU-Art Consensus exhibition, the project Le corti di Buenos Aires, Milano for the renovation of 22000 sqm buildings and developed the winning proposal for the Toulouse Aerospace Campus in collaboration with Foreign Office Architects.

 

External Reference Architects’ projects have been exhibited in the Venice’s 12th International Architecture Exhibition Biennale and Eme3.

 

Interested in the materialization of the projects the office team is constantly researching through lecturing and teaching at IED, Instituto Europeo di Design, Barcelona, ELISAVA and UIC, Universidad Internacional de Cataluña in Barcelona; NABA, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milano and in collaboration with Welsh School of Architecture Cardiff University.
Most of the relevant projects are published in several magazines including Il Sole 24 ore, Pasajes de Arquitectura, Metalocus, Via Construcción, Future, Disey Magazine, Magazine-La Vanguardia, Blueprint, Materia.

 

approach
Approach

More of a professionals net than an office External Reference Architects is constantly questioning conventional configurations and solutions in order to engage, and innovate.

 

In doing this External Reference Architects speculates using cutting edges design processes, computational methods, digital technologies.
New tools, both theoretical and pragmatic, are needed to analyse and understand contemporary architectural phenomena. For this to happen, the relationship between mathematical models and architecture needs to be cemented and pattern seen as an invaluable component of architecture. A methodology based on our belief that Complexity Theory could be the basis for interpreting architecture and pattern as structure, in order to transform the abstract into reality.

 

services
Services

Housing
Offices
Refurbishments
Restaurants
Retails
Art Installation
Brand Development
Pavilions
Booths
Displays
Furnitures
Museums
Museography/Museology
Exhibition design
Exhibition Content / Digital Interfaces
Digital Museum Experiences: games,
maps, virtual and physical simulations.
Motion design
Augmented Reality for Exhibitions
Immersive / Interactive installations
Environmental Graphics for Buildings
Broadcast / Motion graphics / Animation

about us publications frame3
Publications

Books

Ciorra, P. and Padoa Schioppa, C. (2013). ‘‘Erasmus Effect’’. 1st ed. Recanati (MC), Italy: Quodlibet, p.186, ISBN: 978-88-7462-602-1.

Toribio, N. and Zappulla, C. (2013). External Reference Architects. In: Lee H., ed., Architect’s Notebook, 1st ed. Seoul: Damdi Publishing, pp.242-259, ISBN 9788968010224.

Barbarelli, D., Prestinenza Puglisi, L. and Trovato, F. (2012). ‘‘30 [less than] 40’’. 1st ed. Siracusa: LetteraVentidue, pp.84-89, ISBN: 978-88-6242-049-5.

Jiménez Catalán, J., Ortega Gómez, D. and Ubach, T. (2010). ‘‘Dibujo a mano alzada para diseñadores de interiores’’. 1st ed. Barcelona: Parramón, pp. 177, ISBN: 9788434235267.

Magazines

– Heungchae, J. (2014). ”Exhibition Booth, Yota Devices Pavilion 2014”. |bob| International Magazine of Space Design , (123), pp.16-17, ISSN 1739-2845. 

-‘’Joan De Austria, Barcelona, Spain’’. (2014). IW magazine, (99), pp.092-095, ISSN 1561-3909.

Patel, R. (2014). ‘‘Double Up. Domestic life and work blend seamlessly in a flexible space for a fashion designer by External Reference Architects’’. FRAME, (95), p.54, ISSN: 1388-4239.

Puig, S. (2014). ‘‘Under 40 Arquitectura Barcelona: Jóvenes Arquitectos con proyectos’’. Via Construcciòn, (120), pp.34-35.

Suau, C., Zappulla, C. (2014). ‘‘Air Art, Structural and Ludic Spatial Experimentation for Future Arid Environments’’. In Fikfak, A. ”Smart Urbanism” Teaching Sustainability. Paper presented at ”Smart Urbanism”_Pametni Urbanizem. Ljubljana: University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Architecture, pp.181-193, ISBN: 978-961-6823-52-4.

2×4, (2014). ‘‘My work is my life’’.  ARPER BRIEF N°4 VOL. I LIFE/WORK, pp.16-25.

– ‘‘Waterlamp’’ (2013). In Mercado de Ideas Diseño, Section Habitat. pp.28.

MC Ediciones SA, (2013). ‘‘External Reference Architects – Diseñar es dar respuesta a una pregunta in Sala de visitas’’. Proyecto Contract – Casa Viva, (98), pp.27-36.

Gallagher, B. (2013). ‘‘Live/Work Poblenou’’. b-guided> BARCELONA, (#56), pp.38-41, ISBN: 977-15-7686-400-6.

Marcos Arango, P. (2013). ‘‘Paisaje Liquido’’ in Zoom. Diseño Interior, Interiorismo Arquitectura y Diseño, (252), pp.28-29,ISSN: 1130-9458.

Puig, A. (2013). ‘‘Pabellòn Yota: experiencia espacial’’. Interiorismo Plus, Top Proyectos de Interiorismo (30), pp.8-10.

Zappulla, C. (2013). ‘‘Connections Between Architectural Design and Mathematical Patterns’’. Made Journal, (7),  at Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, p.74-85, ISSN 1742-416X.

Puig, S. (2012). ‘‘Entrevista con Carmelo Zappulla y Nacho Toribio’’. Via Construcciòn, (107-108), pp.32-33.

– ‘‘Il New Italian Blood arriva a Siracusa’’. (2011).  Libertà, Quotidiano di Siracusa e Provincia, 23 Settembre 2011, p.6.

Salerno, M. (2011). ‘‘Gli under 36 di Newitalianblood.it’’. Il Sole 24 Ore[Milano], 26 March 2011, p.3.

Tepedino M., Toribio N., Zappulla C. (2011). ‘‘Spazi da vivere tra società ed ecologia. Giovani Architetti’’. Il Giornale [Milan], May 2011.

Zappulla, C. (2011). ‘‘Sarebbe preferibile un concorso’’. In Voci, M.C. (2011), ‘‘Il Politecnico di Torino nel <<dragone>> di Isola’’. Il Sole 24 Ore[Milan], 16 April 2011, p.4-5.

Velez Trueba, G. (2011). ‘‘36 The Calls. A landmark building on a car-park site in United Kingdom’’.  Future arquitecturas, (28/29), p.16, ISSN: 1390-6054

Peng, X. (2011). ‘‘Suite Real Hotel Juan Carlos I in Special Feature’’. Interior Architecture of China, pp.162-167, ISSN: 1672-2167.

Azzeh, L. (2010). ‘‘Design Road brings together aspirers, achievers’’. The Jordan Times [Amman], 22 July 2010, p.3.

Molinari, L. (2010). ‘‘Italians do it better’’. Materia, (66), pp.48-53, ISSN 1121-0516.

Molinari, L. (2010). ‘‘Young Italian Architects’’. Blueprint, (290), UK, pp.42-47, ISSN · 0268-4926

Yingwei, J. (2010). ‘‘The feast of Superbox’’in Fitting Trend. Interior Public Space, p.169, ISBN: 978-7-900774-70-5

Velez Trueba, G. (2008). Reflections from External Reference Architects. Future arquitecturas, (11), pp.10-13 , ISSN: 1885-8228

Barba, J.J. (2007). ‘‘A010. Camping House – X-ref: Esther Rovira, Nacho Toribio, Massimo Tepedino, Jordi Ciuraneta’’. Metalocus, (020), pp.128-131, ISSN: 1139-6415

Da Silva, G. (2007). ‘‘Actualidad y futuro de arquitectura española – Entrevista Esther Rovira Raurell, Massimo Tepedino, Nacho Toribio y Carmelo Zappulla’’. Via Construcciòn, (45), pp.84-85.

De León, J. (2007). ‘‘Camping House, Barcelona, X-REF’’ en Noticia. Pasajes de arquitectura y critica, (87), pp.12,  ISSN 1575-1937.

De León, J. (2007). ‘‘MUUH HOUSE, Os Capelos, a Coruña, 2006, X-REF’’ en Noticia. Pasajes de arquitectura y critica, (86), pp.16 & 18,  ISSN 1575-1937.

Godó, J. (2007). ‘‘Concurso Nuevo Diseño 2007,  Diseño joven con mucha energía. – Lámpara perchero Mol-la, J. Ignacio Toribio y Esther Rovira ’’. Magazine (LA VANGUARDIA), pp.90-91.

Suau, C., Zappulla, C. & Markuekiaga, N. (2006).‘‘Railtown: Dealing with Infrastructure in Norway’’, EUROPAN 8, Norway, pp.107-108, ISBN: 2-914296-07-X. Book chapter: http://www.europan-europe.com/pages_eng/publication/publication.php

Suau, C., Zappulla, C. & Markuekiaga, N. (2006).‘‘Railtown in Hamar, Norway’’, ByggeKunst 02/06, Oslo, pp. 58-59 & 93, ISSN: 0007-7518. Professional Journal: http://www.europan.no/E8/Hamar/winners

Suau, C., Zappulla, C. & Markuekiaga, N. (2006).‘‘Hamar Railtown, Norway’’, EUROPAN Spain, Madrid, pp. 139-144, ISBN: 84-934051-4-0. Professional Journal.

 ‘‘Railtown’’. Europan 8 Norway (2006). Concept, (92), International Magazine of Competition ISSN: 1265-4262.

– ‘‘Vespella graveyard project’’. (2006). disey, (07).

 

 

 

 

about us online publications
Online publications

-Domusweb.it, (2014). External Reference Architects: Joan d’Austria. [online] Available at: http://www.domusweb.it/en/news/2013/07/17/external_referencearchitectsjoandaustria.html

-inhabitat.com, (2014). Giant Robots Made of Recycled Yellow Beer Crates. [online] Available at: http://su.pr/1afQSE

-Laciudadviva.org, (2014). La Periferia es el Centro:  La Ciudad Viva. [online] Available at: http://www.laciudadviva.org/blogs/?p=10673

-Pa.upc.edu, (2014). ZAPPULLA, CARMELO — Departamento de Proyectos Arquitectónicos — UPC. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya BarcelonaTech.. [online] Available at: http://www.pa.upc.edu/Varis/altres/arqs/congresos/third-international-seminar-arquitectonics-network-tercer-seminario-internacional-arquitectonics-network/comunicacions/zappulla-carmelo/view?set_language=es

-presS/Tletter, (2014). External Reference: spanish pavilion « presS/Tletter. [online] Available at: http://presstletter.com/2012/09/external-reference-architects-spanish-pavilionyeosu-expo-2012/

-Ymag.it, (2014). ExternalReference Architects @ ModaFad 2009 fashion show | Y Magazine. [online] Available at: http://www.ymag.it/2009/11/27/externalreference-architects-modafad-2009-fashion-show/

-Ymag.it, (2014). The 12xMilano seriesPublic spaces, homeopathy and test cases on wheels by ExternalReference Architects | Y Magazine. [online] Available at: http://www.ymag.it/2009/08/18/the-12xmilano-seriespublic-spaces-homeopathy-and-test-cases-on-wheels-by-externalreferece-architects/

-Dezeen, (2013). Joan D’Austria by External Reference Architects. [online] Available at: http://www.dezeen.com/2013/08/12/joan-daustria-by-external-reference-architects/

-Internetdiensten, N. (2012). Spanish Pavilion at Yeosu Expo by External Reference Architects. [online] Frame Publishers. Available at: http://www.frameweb.com/news/spanish-pavilion-at-yeosu-expo-by-external-reference-architects

-Pohl, E. (2010). 36 The Calls / Externalreference. [online] ArchDaily. Available at: http://www.archdaily.com/72472/36-the-calls-externalreference/

-McManus, D., McManus, D., McManus, D. and McManus, D. (2010). The Calls – Leeds Design Competition | The Calls Leeds – e-architect. [online] e-architect. Available at: http://www.e-architect.co.uk/leeds/the-calls-leeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

blanco
Awards

2012 NATIONAL COMPETITION, FIRST PRIZE, MIGUEL BARCELÓ’S ONU DOME. EXHIBITION SPACE, BARCELONA, ESPAÑA

2012 INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION, FIRST PRIZE, SPANISH PAVILION, EXPO, KOREA. EXHIBITION SPACE, BARCELONA, ESPAÑA

2011 NEW ITALIAN BLOOD, FIRST PRIZE, YOUNG ITALIAN ARCHITECT OF THE YEAR

2010 VALENCIA CREA COMPETITION, SPECIAL MENTION, MODAFAD 2009, BARCELONA, ESPAÑA

2010 INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION, THIRD PRIZE, ARRASSAR, BOOKSHOP+EXHIBIT SPACE, BARCELONA, ESPAÑA

2008 PRIVATE COMPETITION, FIRST PRIZE, LE CORTI DI BAIRES, MILAN, ITALY

2007 AEROSPACE, FIRST PRIZE, TOULOUSE, FRANCE, COLLABORATION WITH F.O.A.

2007 PUBLIC COMPETITION, SPECIAL MENTION, CRV, CEMETERY , VESPELLA GAIA, SPAIN

2006 EVOLO SKYSCRAPER COMPETITION, SPECIAL MENTION, VENUS, COLLABORATION WITH B.GOLLER

2006 EUROPAN-8, RUNNER UP (SECOND PRIZE) RAIL TOWN, HAMER, NORWAY

2003 DE LONGHI INTERNATIONAL NEW KITCHEN REVOLUTION, THIRD PRIZE, ITALY