Born in Montevideo, Uruguay on October 16th, 1946, he graduated with a Master degree in Architecture and Urban Design from Washington University, School of Architecture in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. in 1972. From 1972 to 1974, he worked as an architect for Baldwin & Chesire Architects in Georgia, and in San Jose, Costa Rica. In 1975, he moved to Toronto, Canada where he worked as associate architect till 1979 at Moffat, Moffat Kinoshita & Associates Architects. From 1979 to 1983, he joined Cadillac Fairview Corporation as architect responsible for commercial and multi-purpose projects in Canada. In 1983, he started his own firm in Toronto, and has since expanded to Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America. The firm forms part of an international consortium whose resources include approximately 70 architects, designers and support staff. The various offices of this consortium serve as the bases of operations from which he can apply his internationally recognized skills and comprehensive architectural services to both private and public sector clients around the world. Effort is concentrated on ensuring that such projects are of the highest possible quality, and on creating buildings that are architecturally distinctive while respecting the clients functional, financial and schedule requirements.
The unique style of his architecture is recognized in many countries through prestigious awards such as: Arts et Lettres and the Legion d´Honneur awarded in 1986 and 1988 respectively by Francois Mitterand, the President of France, the Faculty of Architecture in Uruguay awarded him with the Gold Medal in 1990, the University of Washington with the Distinguished Alumni Award 1997, and the Museo de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires with the Vitruvio Award, also in 1997.
Arch. Carlos Ponce de León since the beginning of his career, dealt with a broad range of scales and programs such as recreation, health, housing, administration, education, industry, laboratories, and family residences.
His practice Ponce de León Architects is well prepared to cope with the enormous technological changes and challenges, the incorporation of new materials and the development of new formal approaches.
According to Arch.Ponce de León, the social, technological and environmental changes are increasing every year, and our architecture reflects these changes which can be seen in our buildings and planned communities. We believe that the quality of our surroundings (buildings or urban areas) directly influence the quality of our lives. For that reason, our designs make special emphasis in the social dimension that meet people’s needs, whether we are creating a home, an office space or a public place. Our projects are sensitive to the culture, surroundings and climate of their place, integrating social, technological, aesthetic, economical and environmental concerns. All these priorities have been applied to our projects: regional plans, planned communities, city centers, technological parks and many others.
Currently, he is also doing several projects in association with Arch Carlos Ott Architects. The practice Carlos Ott Architects in association with Carlos Ponce de León Architects started in 2004 when they won in association an international competition to design and construct a Campus for 28.000 software engineers at Chennai, India for worldwide software leader Tata Consultancy Services. Now together they are working in several other projects in India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Venezuela, Argentina and Uruguay.
The architectural practice Carlos Ott Architects in association with Carlos Ponce de León Architects has more than 40 years of outstanding experience in the design of urban and architectural projects and has designed and directed large-scale projects in the fields of urban planning, architecture, and interior design.
Both its principal architects, Carlos Ott and Carlos Ponce de León had been recognized internationally and had been awarded with several international prizes and awards of merit. According to both the architects, our team activity reflects our office works: from private houses and small projects to master planned communities that always look to improve our quality of our lives. All our designs always look forward in creating environmental friendliness with solutions for energy conservation, environment protection and efficient facility operations.
Elaborating on their design principles, they said, architecture and sustainability are inseparable in an integrated design. Architecture presents a unique challenge in the field of sustainability.
They defined the Sustainable construction as "the creation and responsible management of a healthy built environment based on resource efficient and ecological principles."
According to them, sustainably designed buildings aim to lessen their impact on our environment through energy and resource efficiency, including the following principles:
- Minimizing non-renewable resource consumption
- Enhancing the natural environment and
- Eliminating or minimizing the use of toxins.
All environmentally responsible features are always incorporated in architectural and engineering design, like for example using climate-control system incorporating free air cooling using filtered outside air without temperature adjustment 70% of the year.
Although the air conditioning can also be installed in summer, there are more comparative advantages that make artificial air conditioning not necessary in many cases. This system is ideal for the warm climates because it means saving energy. An important part of the lighting solar radiation bounces back and the infrared and ultraviolet radiation are filtered so that less radiant heat enters than with, for example, glass or polycarbonate, etc. In this way, we will achieve a friendly-environmental architecture avoiding the use of artificial energy.
Sustainable buildings, like the ones we propose, involves considering the entire life cycle of buildings, taking environmental quality, functional quality and future values into account. We identify five objectives in our building designs as:
- Resource efficiency
- Energy efficiency (including Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction)
- Pollution Prevention (including Indoor Air Quality and Noise Abatement)
- Harmonization with Environment (including Environmental Assessment) and
- Integrated and Systemic Approaches (including Environmental Management System).
Expatiating on the subject they added, performing a soil/climate analysis to determine appropriate plant material and designing the landscape with native or adapted plants will reduce or eliminate irrigation requirements. Where irrigation is required, of high-efficiency equipment and/or climate-based controllers will be used. The use of storm water, grey water and condensate water for irrigation is very important for water economy. Also the specification of high-efficiency fixtures and dry fixtures such as composting toilet systems and the use of on-site wastewater treatment systems (mechanical and /or natural) including packaged biological nutrient removal systems, constructed wetlands and high efficiency filtration systems.
Open space will be designed and maintained to unify the diverse area and building elements together as an attractive whole to make it an impressive location in terms of its scale and diversity.
Facility will stand out as a new generation with exceptional infrastructure and buildings for successful clients. The ambience shall give enhanced work productivity and create right working environment.
Our team has produced fully satisfactory results, which are promising of continuous activity for upcoming times.