José Antonio Fernández-Ordóñez



Building bridges was a life’s occupation for José Antonio Fernández-Ordóñez, and many of his works as a civil engineer can no longer be dissociated from the image of their surroundings. The taut structure of Alcoy, the Centenary Bridge of Seville and the raised passage over Madrid’s Paseo de la Castellana, under which an outdoor sculpture museum was laid out, are just some of them. But beyond public works, this engineer has stretched bridges between technology and the arts as chair professor of esthetics in the Civil Engineering school, as member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, and as president of the Prado Museum’s board of trustees, a post he held until he died and from which he oversaw the rearrangement of the collections, the renovation of Villanueva’s building, and its controversial enlargement. The swift course of his illness prevented him from completing the footbridge in Bilbao’s estuary and the bridge over the Douro River connecting Gaia to Oporto, besides what may have been his pet project, the huge hollow dug out by the sculptor Eduardo Chillida in the heart of Mount Tindaya.

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