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Arniches & Domínguez at ICO

Of Commitment to Exile


The Spanish Civil War was a tragedy that wreaked havoc on all sectors of society, including architects. Whether for reasons of political affiliation or because of the change of sylistic directives induced by the new regime, many professionals had no other option than the pain of exile – some at home, others abroad. Take the case of Carlos Arniches and Martín Domínguez, one of the most creative duos of Spain’s initial momentum of modern architecture, whom the curators Pablo Rabasco and Martín Domínguez now honor through an excellent exhibition on view at the ICO Museum in Madrid until 21 January.With a display of plans, photographs, and original models, ‘Arniches & Domínguez: Architecture and Life’ looks at the work of the two architects, ranging from their projects drawn up for the Institución Libre de Ensañanza (ILE, Free Educational Institute; Domínguez lived at the Residencia de Estudiantes), such as the Instituto Escuela (1931), to La Zarzuela Racecourse (1935), calculated by Eduardo Torroja and now an emblem of the very finest in modern Spanish architecture, or the projects done after the Civil War, passing through the stunning series of Road Hostels (1928-1935), proof of an early concern for the needs of mass culture. After the war, their careers went separate ways.

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