Antonio Fernández Alba
Critical of the “market determinism” and disappointed with the haste and mediocrity which currently characterizes the profession, Fernández Alba received the 2003 National Architecture Award in recognition of his professional career and his work at the service of the people. The Salamanca architect, who aside from architect and professor is also a permanent member of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language and of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, conceives his work as a struggle with the trivial culture of image and the nihilism it promotes. Author of books like La crisis de la arquitectura contemporánea en España or La ciudad herida, and of historic buildings such as the Monasterio del Rollo in Salamanca (1960) or the Colegio de Nuestra Señora de Monfort in Madrid (1970), Fernández Alba’s multifaceted profile turns him into a key figure of contemporary Spanish culture. The critical pessimism with which he views the prevailing system becomes hopeful optimism when he talks about the young generations of architects, to whom he has devoted his entire life as professor at the Madrid School of Architecture.