Working Abroad

Emerging Spanish Offices in Europe

David Cohn 

In territorial terms, there are two basic ways to practice architecture: either locally, with roots in a particular place throughout one’s career, or as a nomad, like the master builders of Europe’s cathedrals. In the past two centuries, Spanish architects have tended to be of the first kind, due in large part to the country’s isolation. The exception was the diaspora that followed the Spanish Civil War, when many architects on the republican side had to start anew in the Americas or the Soviet Union, while in Spain, the profession had to put itself back on the track of modernity single-handedly, more isolated than ever. With the opening that came with democracy, Spaniards ventured rather timidly in search of commissions elsewhere in Europe and the world, although examples are scarce. Among the first generations to come into their own with democracy, Ricardo Bofill, Santiago Calatrava, Rafael Moneo and perhaps Oriol Bohigas, with his firm MBM, established themselves as international figures, while the likes of Enric Miralles, Carme Pinós, Josep Lluís Mateo, Cruz & Ortiz, Nieto & Sobejano and RCR carried out prominent works in Europe and beyond...

Included Tags: