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Miró Rivera Architects

Miró Rivera Architects
Building a New Arcadia

The award-winning work of Miró Rivera Architects is explored through texts, drawings, and original photography; from the Circuit of the Americas to Vertical House, this richly illustrated book offers a unique approach to understanding architecture and urbanism in Texas and beyond.

November 2020
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448 pages | 9 x 12 | 226 color and 5 b&w photos, 95 color illustrations |

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Over the course of twenty years, acclaimed studio Miró Rivera Architects has produced an innovative, refined, and imaginative body of work—both modern and respectful of time-honored building traditions—that embodies the particularities of place and blurs the line between art and architecture. The firm’s diverse practice weaves together a commitment to craftsmanship with a honed sense of materiality and space to create structures at once elegant, controlled, and pleasant to inhabit. In all, Miró Rivera Architects has won more than one hundred design awards and represented American architecture at exhibitions worldwide.

The first from the firm, this volume provides critical insight into the studio’s creative process through texts, 95 drawings, and 231 photographs, exploring two decades of work that has helped bring Texas architecture onto the international stage. Featuring essays by Michael Sorkin, Nina Rappaport, Juan Luis de las Rivas Sanz, and Carlos Jiménez—prominent thinkers in urban design and architecture—and new images by renowned photographers Iwan Baan and Sebastian Schutyser, this book examines Miró Rivera’s approach to Austin as a “landscape city” and situates the firm’s work in a global context related to concepts of nature, urbanism, sustainability, and history.


Miró Rivera Architects is an architecture firm based in Austin, Texas, that has garnered over one hundred design awards, including the AR Emerging Architecture Award and Texas Architecture Firm Award, and that was recognized in ArchDaily’s 2018 list of the world’s best architects. The firm has been featured in numerous exhibitions and publications, including the German Museum of Architecture in Frankfurt, Aedes Gallery in Berlin, Architectural Record, and the Architectural Review.

Juan Miró has lectured and published extensively on the work of Miró Rivera Architects and the role of the architectural profession in civic life. He is the David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professor in Urban Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and a fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Miguel Rivera is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a recipient of the AIA National Young Architect Award. He has lectured in the United States and abroad, and his work has appeared in numerous exhibitions throughout Europe and Latin America.


“Juan Miró and Miguel Rivera, along with other writers, tell about their ideas and design journeys in page after page that foreground gorgeous photography and helpful floor plans...I could spend hours paging through this ravishing book.”
Austin American Statesman

“A thoughtfully conceived volume, 'Building a New Arcadia' offers a terrific overview of Miró Rivera’s oeuvre that also, by highlighting examples, widens an understanding of urbanism in Texas, and elsewhere.”

“What sets this monograph apart from others is the documentation, especially the drawings...These drawings, which must have been specially made for the book, highlight particular assemblies worthy of the reader's attention and, in the case of exploded axons, peel away the facades and other layers to reveal the spaces within. These twenty buildings spanning twenty years make me eager to see what the next twenty years hold for Miró Rivers Architects.”
A Daily Dose of Architecture

“The work of Miró Rivera expresses the tautness of modernism, but does so gently. It is always inflected, more subtle. It is an architecture of stability and shimmer.”
Billie Tsien, cofounder, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners

“In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Austin, Texas, emerged as a prime example of the rise of the creative class. Inside its city limits, live music and innovative filmmaking thrive. Miró Rivera Architects are design leaders in Austin’s creative ecosystem. Building a New Arcadia is a beautiful representation of their leadership. Packed full of stunning photographs, splendid drawings, and thoughtful essays, this book illustrates how brilliant architecture contributes to the landscape mosaic of the built environment.”
Frederick R. Steiner, Dean of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania, and author of Making Plans: How to Engage with Landscape, Design, and the Urban Environment

“It is through the lens of nature and the verdant landscape of Austin that the work of Miró Rivera Architects comes alive. Their formal strategies frame nature and the sky, intensifying our experience with the ever-changing light. This strong sense of place occupies their work. This is a beautifully designed book, featuring an illuminating interview and essays that will help readers to understand the work within the broadest frames of architecture and its history.”
Thomas Phifer, Thomas Phifer and Partners

Miró Rivera Architects: Building a New Arcadia engages nature and the city in a remarkable conversation. The buildings take their cues from their surroundings, exert a quiet but informed presence on their location, and the architecture skillfully accommodates the landscape and often frames it. There is a consciously imposed restraint with no compromise in the rigor with which these buildings are crafted. This book's attention to detail echoes the care the architects demonstrate in their projects. Such care is also captured in the insightful essays and drawings that beautifully illustrate a continuous dialogue with location that makes every project an appropriate response to place as well as the aspirations of both their patron and architect.”
Rahul Mehrotra, Founder, RMA Architects, and Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design