Virai Arquitectos is an architectural design firm based in Madrid. Founded in 1998 after winning a competition for a large cultural and sports building in Madrid is led by Juan Manuel Herranz (Madrid, 1971) and Marta Parra Casado (Madrid, 1972), both graduated from the faculty of Architecture of the Polytechnical University of Madrid in 1999. They have given lectures and run architectural workshops in different universities in South America and Spain.
The practice has almost exclusively dedicated itself to architectural competitions and has been rewarded with several prizes and honorable mentions, most of which are already built. Among these works the Civic Center in Muskiz, near Bilbao, the Cendea de Galar Sports Complex near Pamplona, and more recently the winery Bodega “La Grajera”, a research center for the wine and an institutional facility for the Regional government of La Rioja, Spain.
Since 2006 the office has been increasingly focusing on sports and educational architecture, designing many primary and secondary schools throughout Spain. The approach takes into account not only the functionality of the typology but also the experience of the users and the surrounding context and tries to create a positive environment. Emotional conditions are key ingredients of the design process. Intuition is always important as a way to accelerate decision making.
Architecture is not understood as a speculative knowledge but as a physical reality that has a great impact on people´s lives. Building, turning drawings, ideas and concepts into a reality is important as a way of transforming and improving the environment where it´s placed.