The past disappears, but fragments can remain in the form of testimonies of its protagonists. This is exactly the purpose – especially commendable in a forgetful country like Spain – of the Arquia Foundation, which recently presented at the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid a new collection, Arquia/maestros, whose purpose is to compile and disseminate high-quality audiovisual confessions of great contemporary Spanish architects, in the process building a necessary legacy for generations to come.
Based on extensive interviews conducted in Barcelona by Arquitectura Viva director Luis Fernández-Galiano with a uniform structure – five parts on the oeuvre and one on the education and training of each subject –, the maiden DVDs of the collection are devoted to Oriol Bohigas, Rafael Moneo, and Juan Navarro Baldeweg, three masters distinct from one another but sharing a confidence in the transformative role of architecture. The DVD on Oriol Bohigas (Barcelona, 1925) takes stock of his commitment as a renovator of rationalism and his indispensable part in the building of Barcelona as we know it today. Rafael Moneo (Tudela, Navarre, 1937) looks back upon a fertile trajectory that, with works like the Bankinter Building or the Museum of Roman Art in Mérida, has made him Spain’s most internationally renowned architect. Finally, the interview with Juan Navarro Baldeweg (Santander, 1939) brings out the intellectual concerns of one who has always been known to straddle different disciplines.
Programmed for launching in 2015, the next batch of Arquia/maestros DVDs will be focussing on three other figures of Spanish architecture: Antonio Fernández Alba, Ricardo Bofill, and Manuel Gallego.