1959 - 2012
“He died as everyone would like to die, suddenly, in his sleep.” With these words Luis Moreno Mansilla referred to his grandfather in the dedication of his doctoral thesis. As it turned out, they would apply to his own death at 52, in Barcelona, hours after taking part in the launch of a book on Enric Miralles, another architect who died young.
Moreno Mansilla was born in Madrid in 1959. Originally wanting to be a naval engineer, he opted for architecture, enrolling in the capital. In his final school years he began to work with Rafael Moneo and set up a studio with classmates Pedro Peduchi, Álvaro Soto and Sigfrido Martín Begué. Obtaining a fellowship at the Academy of Spain in Rome, he came in contact with the past and classical landscapes through drawing, soaking himself with the themes that he would put down in his thesis and book, Apuntes
de viaje al interior del tiempo [Notes on a Journey Inside of Time], and which he would subsequently develop in the course of his career. At the Academy he met the painter Carmen Pinart, also a fellow at the institution, whom he would marry and have two daughters with.
Back in Madrid, Moreno Mansilla resumed work with Rafael Moneo and stayed for a decade, actively taking part in emblematic projects including the La Previsión Española office building, the airport of Seville, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid and the Miró Foundation in Palma de Mallorca. At Moneo’s studio he shared a drawing table with Emilio Tuñón, and in 1992 they decided to set up a practice of their own. Tuñón would inevitably also be his partner in teaching design at the Madrid School of Architecture.
The work of Mansilla + Tuñón has been unanimously acclaimed, from the early museum in Zamora, the elegant auditorium in León or the innovative museum in Castellón to the digital and polychromatic MUSAC – which won the most important European architectural prize, the Mies van der Rohe Award –, not to mention their rigorous and poetic interventions on heritage, such as the El Águila brewery and the exquisite Atrio restaurant in Cáceres or the Museum of Royal Collections in Madrid, which his partner, Emilio, will now have to wrap up on his own.