e lives free who has the strength to.” Isak Dinesen said
that, and she might have been writing about this year’s
winners of TACA’s Silver Cup—Holly Mayer and
Lucilo Peña is nothing if not wildly productive, and always
with an eye to elegance. He thinks in architectural terms, backed
up by degrees from the University of Florida and Cornell with a
little Harvard and Berlin thrown in.
Born in Cuba right after the Castro revolution, Peña and his
family got out as quickly as they could. One day his father left
the office for lunch, saying no farewells to colleagues at DuPont
International, and picked up his wife and children and drove to
the airport. Once on safe ground in Miami, he called DuPont’s
headquarters in Wilmington and immediately was offered a job
in Caracas. There Lucilo grew up.
Once credentialed as an architect he worked for WZMH, a
Toronto firm, which sent him to Dallas. Before long he joined
the Trammell Crow Company and was assigned to Lucy Crow
Billingsley. They got along brilliantly, but Lucilo couldn’t resist
a call to Barcelona to preside over a major development for the
Olympic Village that included a Ritz-Carlton hotel designed by
Bruce Graham of SOM and a retail center by Frank Gehry.
Peña’s partner, Lee Cobb, went with him and started a
business translating documents. They thought they would be
Liam Gillick, Short Forest, 2005-07, powder-coated aluminum, transparent plexiglass, 39 x 59 x 8 in.