Arts and Culture  Interviews 

Rafael Moneo: "I dedicated Mérida to the memory of my father"

Tudela, 1937

Luis Fernández-Galiano  Rafael Moneo 
31/12/2020


If I am an architect, it is largely owing to my father. When I finished secondary school, I was especially drawn to the humanities, and seeing me waver, it was he who steered me toward architecture. It was difficult to get into the School at that time but I was lucky, and I was a diligent student, accustomed to discipline and demanding studies thanks to my father and my Jesuit education. During that period, the heavyweights in the School were the veteran Torres Balbás and the younger Sáenz de Oíza, who would call me, still a student, to work with him on the Torres Blancas project.

After graduating, fascinated with the Sydney Opera House, I wanted to work with Utzon, so I went to his studio with the help of a grant. After returning to Spain to do my military service, I obtained, as you know, a scholarship at the Academy in Rome, so there I went, newly married to Belén, to consolidate my training. The initial commissions would later come through people connected to my father, and it is a testimony of their confidence in him that the Zaragoza manufacturers of transformers, with only his word as guarantee, entrusted me with the Diestre plant, perhaps the first-ever of some importance. My father followed my career very closely and it was sad that he did not get to see the Mérida museum completed, so I dedicated it “to the memory of the engineer Rafael Moneo.”...[+][+]


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