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Architectural Record Interviews Jose Gelabert-Navia About Working in Brazil

Learning to Samba

José Gelabert-Navia, Perkins+Will's regional director for Latin America, has been traveling to Brazil from Miami for over eight years. “We can work very effectively with partner offices in the rest of South America,” he says. “But it became obvious that, if you don't have an office run by Brazilians, you can't work in Brazil.” When health-care products company Covidien, which had discussed working with Perkins+Will, embarked on a substantial building project in Brazil, it prompted the architectural firm to form a strategic partnership with São Paulo firm Rocco Vidal in August 2012. The staff has since grown from 50 to 70—comparable in size to its New York office. “There is an extraordinary opportunity in Brazil for the expertise we bring in health care, research, and master planning,” says Gelabert-Navia.

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