Matilde Ucelay



The first Spanish female architect, Ucelay graduated in 1936 right before the Civil War began.?After almost forty years of professional practice, she would finally earn recognition for her career in 2004, when she received the National Architecture Award. Born in Madrid in 1912 to an open and liberal family, she attended high school at the Instituto Escuela, and started at the age of 19 at the School of Architecture of the University of Madrid, where she befriended Félix Candela and Fernando Chueca Goitia. When the war broke out she moved to Valencia, where she married the editor José Ruiz-Castillo. In spite of her Republican leanings, she decided to stay in Spain and in 1940 she had to endure the prohibition to practice her profession during five years, and was perpetually barred from holding public positions. However, Ucelay managed to set up an office in her own home, from where she completed 114 projects, most of them in Madrid, like the Oswald House in?Puerta de Hierro or the Turner and Hispano-Argentinian bookstores. Another noteworthy work is the Benítez de Lugo House in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

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