Creative Interview With Architect Esther Rovira Raurell

This week as part of our creative interview series we spoke to architect Esther Rovira Raurell, founder of ERA Architects in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain.

Esther graduated with Honours (March, Barcelona, 2003) and Social Researcher (MsC in Leisure, Netherlands, 2011). After graduation she developed global competitions with the international firms MVRDV (Rotterdam), F-O-A (London), AART (Copenhagen), Vicente Guallart (Barcelona) and B720 (Barça Football Club Stadium competition).

Before forming ERA, Esther co-founded X-ref architects where she co-authored award-winning projects such as the Aerospace International Campus of Toulouse. Esther has also been an invited lecturer and teacher at the architecture and design schools of IED, ELISAVA and ESARQ, and also the business schools of IESE and ESADE (creative entrepreneurial strategies).

ERA was founded in 2008 by Esther and among its completed projects is the beautiful BAO Bar restaurant for the 5 Michelin stars chef Paco Pérez.

Laundry was delighted to speak to Esther with the all important Creative Interview Series of questions:

Three words to describe you?

Passionate, stubborn and a bit crazy (some say) 

Three words to describe your work?

Optimistic, creative and fun

When did you decide you wanted to be an architect?

When I was sixteen I spent a year abroad in Edmonton, Canada. I truly enjoyed the experience, the winter and the snow. However, I missed my city Barcelona so much, that when I came back I saw it with amusement and I understood I wanted to be an architect. 

Who is your favorite architect?

Kazuyo Sejima

What else inspires you other than architecture?

Sociology, geography, maps, infographics, graphic design, art and honest people.  

What music do you listen to when working?

Love to work while listening to   However on Fridays we like to turn into some electronic music while adding some beat and volume as the evening approaches. I must say we always finish with some Mendetz song. We looove Mendetz the band.

What inspires your work?

Little things inspire me a lot. Help me understand the essence to extract concepts. For example things like objects, textures, small details in nature and the city.  A good example is our work BAO BAR were we used the bamboo steamer used to cook the product of the restaurant into light clouds.

We like to re-invent concepts and rename the objects to create magic environments.

What city inspires you the most?

Barcelona and San Francisco.

What do you dislike about your industry?

The lack of diversity and support to emergent firms, especially in southern cities like Barcelona. Sometimes it seems you have to be a consolidated firm to get the attention of a client for an interesting project. Also seems it helps to be a white man in a suit exchanging favours and talking unclear. It is discouraging how before having the opportunity to show our previous works and abilities, you are turned down for this bias.

However this has also made us crash into cool and humble clients that seize our potential and enjoy being part of our projects. 

Where can we see your work?

Basically in Barcelona and Catalunya.  And at our web site and instagram (

What future projects are you working on?

We have just finished Poly House, a house and studio of an artist that left his boat-house to live in a house-ecosystem. We are also currently working on a conversion on a warehouse into an Art School in the centre of Barcelona and also on an extension for a building in London.