chapter  2
7 Pages

Alberto Alfonso: A Search for the Soul

For Alberto Alfonso, the architect's sketch is a family affair. Leonardo da Vinci and John Lennon, he believes, were prime examples of restless minds seeking the soul of a work whether painting or music and quickly moving along to another search. He learned to draw from his father Carlos Alfonso, a Cuban-born modernist who once introduced Walter Gropius to the University of Havana, and whose building designs were prized by both the Castro government and the Italians who built the island's casinos. His father taught him how to see when he draws, and shared with him the mechanics of holding a pencil as well as the nuances of shade, shadow, and line weight. By 1963, Alberto Alfonso was awarded the commission to redesign Tampa International Airport; his drawings helped seal the deal. He had received 40 design awards through 2012, including the H. Dean Rowe, FAIA Award for Design Excellence, won three times.