Magazine Store

April Monthly Special 2022

WoHo: Changing How We Design and Construct Our World


We are at the tipping point for change. While the fundamental needs of physical structures remain, we are undergoing a paradigm shift for design and construction. Cities are looking to solve climate, health and housing crises; developers are struggling to make projects feasible; contractors have a hard time managing construction quality, time and cost; designers and other professionals do not find the support to innovate; and users pay the bill and suffer the consequences of these numerous misalignments.

The founding WoHo team brings design, development, and innovation experience together to transform how we build our world.

For two decades, co-founders Débora Mesa and Antón García-Abril have innovated the design, engineering and construction of buildings through their renowned architectural firm, Ensamble Studio. Javier Cuesta and Borja Soriano have shared with them the edifying journey leading to WoHo, as part of their operations team. Israel Ruiz, who had spent over two decades moving ideas from MIT labs to fruition in the world, joined their team from 2020 to 2021 to launch WoHo and get the company to commercial-stage.

WoHo’s ambition is to evolve the art of designing and building, with the conviction that their small actions will have a big impact. The company is dedicated to Architecture with capital A, increasing quality, resiliency and access while reducing waste and inefficiency. WoHo’s innovative systems are viable, scalable, responsive and available to reimagine how we make our homes, cities, neighborhoods and ultimately, the world.

Redefining Architecture

Construction and assembly of structures is complex and encumbered by high costs and inefficiencies. WoHo is applying advanced technology to architecture for a new way of designing and manufacturing affordable, sustainable, uncompromised living and working spaces.

  • WoHo Systems are made up of a series of discrete foundational components which can be scaled and configured to span residential and commercial buildings such as multifamily housing, hotels, dormitories, labs and offices. These components are optimized for fabrication, transportation, assembly and operation. WoHo's systems reinvent reinforced concrete technology and building performance, serving as competitive solutions for high-rise construction.
  • WoHo Suites are systems most fitting for small-to-medium scale buildings. They are made up of components that assemble into a structural grid, particularly suited for residential and other compatible retail, office or parking uses. With spans ranging from 16 to 20 ft, spaces within the grid can be connected or separated three-dimensionally based on specific project needs.
  • WoHo Towers are systems most fitting for big-scale, loft-type and high-rise buildings. They are made up of components that assemble to build open plan spaces, ideal for commercial, industrial, cultural, recreational or high-end residential uses. With spans ranging from 32 to 64 ft, these column-free spaces are designed with a shell and core concept in mind, and can be completed with a rich variety of fit-out works throughout the life of the building.

Collaboration with Transsolar

In March 2022, WoHo announced a partnership with Transsolar, an international climate engineering firm that creates climate-responsive built environments. The two companies are collaborating to ensure critical climate principles are applied to the development and manufacturing of WoHo’s foundational low-to-high rise construction components, to meet and exceed sustainability standards.

As a specialist in climate and comfort engineering, Transsolar, with the lead of its CEO, Matthias Schuler, will contribute to the integral design approach of WoHo's products and projects with a special focus on the optimization of energy flows and the integration of passive strategies. Through state-of-the-art computer-aided design tools for thermal building simulation, daylight calculation and airflow assessment, WoHo’s systems will deliver highly responsive environments that minimize energy consumption and maximize comfort.

“The construction industry is responsible in large part for the carbon footprint of buildings and users. WoHo is looking at sustainability from all possible angles, from material selection and sourcing to the ultimate design of every component, system and space. We are already making informed decisions that will have a huge impact in the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of WoHo's buildings and factories, both short and long term,” said Debora Mesa Molina, co-founder and president of WoHo. “Matthias and his team are exceptional companions, as we set the stage for achieving our very ambitious climate goals. Transsolar's inventiveness and competence are a great fit for WoHo.”

Leveraging climate engineering in the early stages of designing a structure means the building physics can be adapted to control environmental pollution, conform to energy requirements, and lower costs across the life cycle of the development.

About the Leader

Antón García-Abril, Co-Founder and CEO

Antón García-Abril is a registered architect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and principal of Ensamble Studio, a cross-functional team based in Madrid and Boston that he established in 2000. He has dedicated his career to innovating typologies, technologies and methodologies, advancing the fields of architecture and construction through works that are internationally recognized. Together with his partner Debora Mesa, he has progressively redefined the role of the architect, adding to his design competencies those from the developer, the contractor, the fabricator and the inventor. Through the early integration of offsite technologies in their projects, they have been invested in increasing the potential of architecture to make affordability and quality meet. Works like Hemeroscopium House and Reader’s House in Madrid or Cyclopean House in Brookline, MA, are part of the journey that have driven them to WoHo. García-Abril is full-professor at the School of Architecture and Planning of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 2012, where he co-founded the POPlab that same year. He holds a doctorate degree from the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

"WoHo’s ambition is to evolve the art of designing and building, with the conviction that their small actions will have a big impact."

"WoHo’s innovative systems are viable, scalable, responsive and available to reimagine how we make our homes, cities, neighborhoods and ultimately, the world."