GANDELSONAS, MARIO (1938– ), architect. Gandelsonas was born in Buenos Aires and received his degree in architecture from the University of Buenos Aires. In 1977, he and his wife, Diana *Agrest, designed a group of apartment buildings in Buenos Aires. In 1980, they formed the firm of A&G Development Consultants, Inc. Subsequently, Gandelsonas taught at Yale, Harvard, the University of Illinois, and the University of Southern California, later becoming professor of architecture at Princeton University and director of international programs there. Under Gandelsonas' direction, a group of 20 students from Hong Kong University and Tongii University in Shanghai together with Princeton students worked to redesign Hangzou's Wulin Square, including plans for a new cultural center. The city was once the capital of the Southern Song dynasty and today is a tourist center for the 17 million people who come to visit the nearby West Lake. Gandelsonas believes that globalization is making a powerful impact on architecture and his work has inspired other international student projects. The students choose the projects and exchange cultural studies and visits to the sites. The Melrose Community Center (2000) in the Bronx is a good example of the work of A&G, Inc. Set amid high-rise apartment buildings, the center serves about 3,000 young people. With its curved exterior of silver and red, the building beckons young people to use, among other facilities, its basketball court, darkroom, restaurant-size kitchen, and computer lab. The interior is also decorated in silver and red. Gandelsonas received high praise for his Vision Plan (1990–92), a design for central Des Moines. Known for home and apartment design as well as urban planning, he is the author of The Urban Text (1991) and X-Urbanism (1999), both showing the influence of his studies in Paris with Roland Barthes and also the theories of Sigmund Freud.
"Joint Study with Asian Universities Inspires Students," in: Princeton Bulletin, vol. 90, no. 12 (Dec.11, 2000); M. Gandelsonas (ed.), Shanghai Reflections: Architecture and Urbanism, and the Search for an Alternative Modernity (2002).