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Gaudí and Koolhaas, Herzog & de Meuron or Calatrava play the lead in a year sombered by the simultaneous losses of Miralles and Oíza.
Gaudí and Koolhaas, Herzog & de Meuron or Calatrava play the lead in a year sombered by the simultaneous losses of Miralles and Oíza.
Twenty five years after Franco’s death, democratic Spain remembers its recent past as incorporated in works of arts and emblematic buildings.
In the last quarter of the 20th century, architecture has moved from the Pompidou to the Guggenheim, following a path summarized here with five images of museums.
With Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum as landmark, Bilbao has launched an ambitious urban renovation plan that has also resourced to well-known names to design its most significant infrastructures. The extension of Sondica Airport is part of this gro
Between the dry watercourse of the River Turia and the road to El Saler, in the southeastern periphery of Valencia, the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias will consolidate the connection of two hardly related neighborhoods. After a first versio
Located next to one of the roads that leaves from Palma, the area which houses the School of Music and the Professional School of Dance of Baleares is surrounded by development sites. This commission was considered an opportunity to consolidate
In a plot next to the Diagonal Avenue, the new Congress Center and the Juan Carlos I Park, form a sort of gate to Barcelona for those accessing the city from the Zaragoza highway. The simple volumes of the building search for a profile that can be ea
Inscribed within the uniform layout of the urban center of Castellón, the new Museum of Fine Arts is raised over the remains of the old school Serra Espadá, taking up almost the entire plot. The canonical division in four groups of uses exhibition, a
In the Velluters quarter – within what used to be the city walls of Valencia –, the Hospital de los Pobres Inocentes used to take up a triangular block which is now occupied by a public library that has been restored in the former infirmary quarters;
In the periphery of Doñana National Park, next to the village of Matalascañas, a 150 hectare plot between the coast and Mazagón highway was chosen to raise two buildings that will serve to connect the park and the urban center: a research institute
In the Altamira cave, close to Santillana del Mar, the Stone Age paintings were discovered in 1879 and since then the number of visitors has increased to the extent of putting their conservation in danger. Closed since 1977, these representations of
Within the typical landscape of hills covered in holm and cork oak, a 5000 hectare dry plot of land in the province of Ciudad Real had to be provided with the necessary facilities to exploit its extensive forest, host occasional huntings and serve as
As many other small towns of Spain’s geography, Valdemaqueda shows a small and scattered housing whose urban hierarchy can only be intuited through the clear volumes of buildings such as the town hall or the church. In the higher level of town, a lar
Spain literally rests on the bits and pieces of its own History, and proof of this are thenumerous Greek, Roman and Muslim remains that frequently appear in the subsoil. In the farming region that extends over the prairies of the River Douro, to the
High building density, winding layouts and the reduced dimensions of the street pattern recommend to avoid traffic in the historic centers of cities, where passers-by and vehicles are headed towards a difficult coexistence. Besides these traditional
To provide the small rural sites of the area with sports facilities, the Provincial Government of La Coruña launched the Sports 2000 program, by which swimming pools and gymnasiums have gone up in phases from a series of prototypes that each City Cou
In La Vall d'Uixò, a locality in the province of Castellón, the plan was to build a sports center to complete an existing pavilion with indoor swimming pools, an additional covered field, and outdoor tracks. Due to the plot’s siting in the urban cent
The intention to emphasize its role as a service to society inspired the foundation of the Pompeu Fabra University in the nineties, with an urban character that was uncommon to newly built campus. Installed in renovated buildings of diverse origin, t
Raised in the sixties on the dry terrains of an old airfield, the San Vicente de Raspeig campus has been subject to a gradual congestion that made it impossible to increase its extension. In view of the shortage of land, the plot initially foreseen t
As a direct result of the production needs, few building types are less affected by context as those linked to the industrial process. Displaying a whole catalog of prefabricated construction systems, sheds and factories are usually gathered in visua
An almost 4000 square meter plot, inscribed within the grid of vegetable gardens encircling Casillas, was chosen to raise a school-workshop devoted to the construction of ephemeral installations and carriages for festivities. The building’s industria
A whole series of residential developments is taking over the coastline of Cádiz, one of the few areas of the Spanish seaboard that had escaped the real estate speculation brought about by the touristic boom of the sixties. Midway between Rota and Ch
The new industrial processes, more concerned with the environment and less dependent on large machinery, are leading to a substantial transformation of the buildings in which they are installed. Far away from the great structural displays to which t
The presence of the great transport infrastructures on the limits of the city defines a whole new system of coordinates that calls to reconsider the established premises when building on the periphery. This block of social housing units next to
Regulations and economic restrictions which determine social housing are counterbalanced by the opportunity that these projects offer – generally of a great volume and through municipal commission – to intervene in the periphery of the city and to de
Standing at a bend of the road that connects Camprodón with Olot, the town of La Canya is growing in residential developments that are not very different to those surrounding great cities. But due to its location in this rural region within the prov
A rugged spot in the province of Madrid, outlooking the Sierra de Gredos, was the site chosen by a family to build their house. Renouncing to transform the place into the tame landscape of grass fields common to residential developments, the project
Lost in the crossroads of the century, we look upward for signs to guide us. But in the urban jungle, all our eyes stumble upon are billboards announcing telephones, automobiles, watches, liqueurs or perfumes, orienting our steps toward the basilicas
The current fast growth of the virtual universe is paradoxically accompanied by the hypertrophic proliferation of material facsimiles.
The youngest architectures propose a future of formless blobs: sidereal lumps of rock, inhabitable clusters of tubers and invertebrate organisms.
The project for the new headquarters of Catalonia’s leading company brings together economic and symbolic issues discussed in Spain’s general election.
The dispersed city of individual houses and gardens is the core of the American dream, a suburban way of life both criticized and admired.
Herzog & de Meuron have transformed a power station on the Thames into a new museum for the contemporary collections of London’s Tate Gallery.
The current economic euphoria gives New York City’s Big Apple a shine with new buildings and projects for fashion, culture and sport.
The deaths of Miralles and Oíza, which have coincided with those of the American Hejduk and Dieste, give a melancholy glow to the placidity of summer.
The Hannover Expo combines national identities and architectural manifestos in pavilions which take pride in their own distinctive form.
The works of the Dutch Rem Koolhaas or the Swiss Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron show the reproductive and mutant capacity of forms.
Mea culpa d’un sceptique: such was the title of the article Émile Cartailhac published in 1902 to establish the authenticity of the paintings in the Altamira cave, dismissed as forgeries by experts since their discovery by Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola
History will absolve RobertVenturi.The great American architect and theorist preached, back in the sixties and seventies, a pop architecture that was more attentive to the ordinary than to the heroic, more sensitive to common tastes than to the refin
All that is solid melts into air. The famous line from The Communist Manifesto has been used by sociologists to sum up the modern experience, and could be just as appropriate to describe the immaterial character of the latest architecture. Marshall B
On sunday 12 March, a young president and an ancient pope lived the most beautiful day of their lives. From the balcony of his party’s headquarters on Génova street, José María Aznar celebrated an electoral victory that wraps up the historical cycle
The controversial Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas received the year 2000 Pritzker Prize in front of the ciclopean walls of the city of Jerusalem.
Enric Miralles has extinguished himself like a violent bonfire suddenly dwindling to ashes. Consumed by the vigorous fire of a dazzling talent, the Catalan architect radiated the spirited confi-dence of the chosen, illuminating a placid landscape wit
An eagle dies. This month of July which has burned so many lyrical birds, from Enric Miralles and John Hejduk to today’s José Ángel Valente, has also cut short the flight of an eagle of architecture. When Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza received the P
Calatrava receives the Meadows Award for the Arts while completing in Bilbao the Sondica airport and in Valencia the Museum of Science.
Rem Koolhaas On 29 May, with the city of Jerusalem as millenary backdrop, Rem Koolhaas accepted the Pritzker of the year 2000 far from the racket of the metropolitan periphery that, besides being the starting point of his projects, is the theme aroun
Richard Rogers The awardees in the architecture section of this prize that from the east compensates the absence of a Nobel of the arts often coincide with the Pritzker nominees, but in its year 2000 edition, it hasn’t been so: Richard Rogers is, aft
Frank Gehry Following a tough battle with the Portuguese Álvaro Siza and the Dutch Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry has capped the gold medal annually awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects, one of the most veteran trophies among those devoted
Kazuyo Sejima & Martin Steinmann Few international awards distinguish the theory and practice of the profession as impartially as the Erich Schelling Architekturpreis, which biennially acknowledges the career of an architect along with that of a crit
Rafael de La-Hoz Rafael de La-Hoz died on 13 June and could not pick up the gold medal bestowed on him by Spain’s Council of Architectural Institutes. The widow Matilde Castanys had to do it for him, in a ceremony held at the San Fernando Academy of
Kursaal, San Sebastián The translucent cubes of the Kursaal – described by their maker as two huge rocks stranded in the bay of San Sebastián – have earned Rafael Moneo the FAD prize for architecture in its 2000 edition, prominent finalists of which,
Ricardo Legorreta In January, Ricardo Legorreta was added to the list of names engraved in the walls of the headquarters of the American Institute of Architects, in Washington, D.C., along with a roster of gold medalists with predecessors as illustri
Faculty of Communications, Santiago Álvaro Siza was feted once again with the Secil, one the most prestigious prizes of Portuguese culture, having already received it in 1997 for his meticulous work in the rebuilding of Chiado, after the devastating
State Art Gallery, São Paulo (Brazil) Alternating with its European equivalent, the Mies van der Rohe Prize of Latin American architecture fell in its second edition upon on a state art gallery in São Paulo, housed by Paulo Mendes Da Rocha, Eduardo
Law School, Pompeu Fabra University Through a jury including Josep Emili Hernández Cros, Benedetta Tagliabue and Manuel Gausa, among others, this year Barcelona's City Hall honored the law school that the team of Martorell, Bohigas & Mackay built in
Vázquez House, Sada The Vázquez House at Sada by Carlos Quintáns, Antonio Raya and Cristóbal Crespo was feted by the jury of the 6th Exhibition of Young Architects, held biannually by the Camuñas Foundation in Madrid. This work in La Coruña – a longi
Student Residence, Coimbra (Portugal) The student hall of the University of Coimbra, by Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus, has won the Iber-American Architecture & Engineering Biennial Award, an event first held in 1998 with aims of tightening th
(1918-2000) With the death of Bruno Zevi, organic architecture has lost one of its staunchest defenders. Born into a Jewish family in Rome, in 1940 he was forced by Mussolini’s racial laws to seek exile in the United States. While studying with Gropi
(1926-2000) Far from the Italy that had instilled in him an enthusiasm for the Baroque, Christian Norberg-Schulz died in Oslo before the publication of Principles of Modern Architecture, his last work. Trained as an architect in Zürich's ETH, he was
(1955-2000) Fleeting and brilliant like fireworks, the life of Enric Miralles ended as precociously and unexpectedly as his talent had burst onto Barcelona’s professional scene in the eighties. A professor at the ETSAB and Frankfurt’s Städel Schule b
(1924-2000) The generation that incorporated the principles of modernity into postwar architecture has lost its most politicized member. After graduating in Madrid in 1951, Rafael de La-Hoz did postgraduate studies at MIT, where he developed the inte
(1933-2000) Building bridges was a life’s occupation for José Antonio Fernández-Ordóñez, and many of his works as a civil engineer can no longer be dissociated from the image of their surroundings. The taut structure of Alcoy, the Centenary Bridge of
(1918-2000) To scan the built oeuvre of Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza is to review the vicissitudes of Spanish architecture of the second half of the 20th century. Besides the declaration of principles underlying the Basilica of Aránzazu in Oñate, M
(1897-2000) A flu finally squelched the rebellious spirit that for 103 years kept Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky anchored to life. Born in Vienna, against the wishes of her family she studied architecture under the tutelage of Josef Hoffman. Her role in
(1908-2000) The relation between architectural education, professional practice and theoretical investigation has with the death of Leslie Martin lost one of its driving forces. With a large number of constructions to his credit, this architect born
(1917-2000) The history of structures in reinforced ceramic came to a halt on 19 July when Eladio Dieste, its principal driving force, expired in Montevideo at the age of 82. This industrial engineer, who discovered his passion for architecture throu
(1929-2000) John Hejduk was born the same year as Frank Gehry and had a similarly corpulent physiognomy as a shell for an irreverent talent, but unlike the author of the Bilbao Guggenheim, who is prolific as a builder, the New Yorker made the annals
(1928-2000) On Pacific waters, aboard the Queen Elizabeth II, a heart attack put a fittingly dramatic end to the vital career of Fritz Stowasser, the heterodox artist who under the pseudonym Friedensreich Hundertwasser incorporated his unclassifiable
(1925-2000) The Turin Architect Roberto Gabetti – who with his partner Aimaro Isola, and from a silent and peripheral position, he took part in the debate of postwar Italian architecture – passed away soon after turning 75. Attached to the Neoliberty
Balance del año
Summary of the Year
Bienvenidos al último espectáculo
Welcome to the Latest Spectacle
La España crisálida, 1975-2000
Spain, from Larva to Butterfly
Cinco lustros en cinco ilustraciones
Twenty-Five Years in Five Images
Adela García-Herrera y Marta García Carbonero
2000, una antología de muestra
2000, a Sample Anthology
Aeropuerto de Sondica, Bilbao Sondica Airport, Bilbao
Museo de las Ciencias, Valencia Science Museum, Valencia
Conservatorio, Palma de Mallorca School of Music, Palma de Mallorca
Coll & Leclerc
Palacio de Congresos, Barcelona Congress Center, Barcelona
Ferrater & Cartañá
Museos a medida
Museo de Bellas Artes, Castellón Museum of Fine Arts, Castellón
Tuñón & Moreno Mansilla
Museo de la Ilustración, Valencia Museum of the Enlightenment, Valencia
Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra
Centro de visitantes, Almonte (Huelva) Visitors’ Center, Almonte (Huelva)
Cruz & Ortiz
Museo de Altamira, Santillana (Santander) Altamira Museum, Santillana (Santander)
Juan Navarro Baldeweg
Capilla, Almadén (Ciudad Real) Chapel, Almadén (Ciudad Real)
Sancho & Madridejos
Iglesia, Valdemaqueda (Madrid) Church, Valdemaqueda (Madrid)
José Ignacio Linazasoro
Cubrición de ruinas, Almenara (Valladolid) Sheltering of Ruins, Almenara (Valladolid)
Escalera de la Granja, Toledo La Granja Escalators, Toledo
Torres & Martínez Lapeña
En cuerpo y mente
In Body and Mind
Piscinas cubiertas, La Coruña Indoor Swimming Pools, La Coruña
Piscina cubierta, La Vall d’Uixò (Castellón) Indoor Swimming Pool, La Vall d’Uixò (Castellón)
Fresneda & Sanjuán
Facultad de Derecho, Barcelona Law School, Barcelona
Martorell, Bohigas & Mackay
Aulario universitario, Alicante University Lecture Halls, Alicante
Útiles de trabajo
Ampliación de oficinas, La Coruña Office Extension, La Coruña
Quintáns, Raya & Crespo
Escuela-taller, Casillas (Murcia) School-Workshop, Casillas (Murcia)
Edificio de servicios, Rota (Cádiz) Facilities Building, Rota (Cádiz)
Rubiño, García Márquez & Rubiño
Edificio de oficinas, Escombreras (Murcia) Office Building, Escombreras (Murcia)
Casado, Herrero & Suárez
Hábitos de vida
Viviendas sociales en la calle Sicilia, Madrid Social Housing on Sicilia Street, Madrid
Nieto & Sobejano
Bloque residencial, Berriozar (Navarra) Residential Block, Berriozar (Navarra)
Tabuenca, Leache, Tabuenca & Saralegui
Casa para una peluquera, La Canya (Gerona) House for a Hairdresser, La Canya (Gerona)
Aranda, Pigem & Vilalta
Casa de Blas, Sevilla la Nueva (Madrid) De Blas House, Sevilla la Nueva (Madrid)
Alberto Campo Baeza
Un año en el mundo
A Year in the World
Epifanía del perfume
Epiphany of the Perfume
Doce meses y cuatro estaciones
Twelve Months and Four Seasons
El año en doce edificios
The Year in Twelve Buildings
Marta García Carbonero
Los premios y las pérdidas
Distinctions and Disappearances
The Beatification of Antoni Gaudí by the Pope John Paul II and the canonization of Rem Koolhaas by the jury of the Pritzker Prize were two key events in the course of a bittersweet year that has seen Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron triumph with the opening of London’s new Tate Gallery and Santiago Calatrava carry the day with a chain of inaugurations and honors, but also the sad going of the architects Enric Miralles and Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza.
What the English-speaking world called Y2K began without the dreaded millennium bug paralyzing computers, but ended with butterfly ballots and pregnant chads wreaking havoc in the United States presidential elections, exposing the fragility of the conventions that sustain the spectacle of democracy. With this year as hinge, the turn of the century has been accompanied by a significant rise of oil prices, a cooling off of the Stock Market, and the erosion of expectations of the New Economy, but such signs of a change of cycle in central countries has not diminished the waves of migrants from peripheral countries, increasingly devastated as these are by wars and plagues.
Even good ol’ Europe – worn out by the fall of the euro, political paralysis, and health alarms that trace the somber reverse of the extraordinary advances in the life sciences – continues to receive a regular influx of immigrants that balances out its demographic decline, which is accentuated in the case of Spain, a country that takes leave of the century gracing the bottom of fertility lists and the top of terrorism statistics. Inexorably linked to ethnic nationalism, anywhere from Chechnya to the Basque Country, political violence has been the big argument in the clash between economic globalization and local resistances in a continent fragmented by a mosaic of languages and cultures.
A Canonical Winter
In a slower world, both architecture and religion were identifying features of the pieces that made up the patchwork tapestry of a community. But in an accelerated planet, the ecumenical unanimity of spectacle blurs every limit to form virtual networks of a catholic nature. In this way, media construction is in tune with the incandescent theology that has multiplied Pope John Paul II’s canonizations and trips: at the meeting point of both processes, the Catalan Antoni Gaudí’s beatification uncovered the convergence of the mythic and the holy by elevating a cult architect to the altars, while providing the winter’s warmest news, pushing to second place both the opening of a disappointing Millennium Dome in London and that of a renovated Pompidou Center in Paris, works of two former partners, the British Richard Rogers and the Italian Renzo Piano, who were the first to censure the final results.
Springs of Art
The most awaited event of spring was the awarding of the Pritzker Prize to the caustic Dutchman Rem Koolhaas, an architect fascinated with the contemporary urban explosion which describes as “junkspace” that explored by him in Asia’s Pearl River Delta, in the African city of Lagos, and in American commercial centers. And the biggest celebration of the season was the opening of the Tate Gallery’s new London site in an old electrical power station transformed for the purpose by the Swiss Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. An inauguration that overshadowed those of other commendable museums: the British Museum, also in London and remodeled by Norman Foster with better fortune than in his footbridge over the Thames, which had to be closed after a few days due to vibrations; Rafael Moneo’s Houston Fine Arts Museum; Frank Gehry’s Museum of Rock in Seattle; and Caruso St. John’s art gallery in Walsall. The Dutchman and the Swiss partners, who have made Rotterdam and Basel the two poles of the European debate, also initiated a rare collaboration to design a hotel-boutique for the developer Ian Schrager in New York, a city which like London is experiencing a certain architectural revival.
The heat of summer happenings, however, would visit neither an American nor a British metropolis, but two smaller cities of continental Europe: Hannover, which used its Messe facilities to organize a low-profile Universal Exposition, where Dutch and Swiss staged their architectural differences through the contrast between MVRDV’s rhetorical exhibitionism and Peter Zumthor’s musical order, and where the prescribed ecological emphasis justified the use of cork in the constructions representing Spain (Cruz & Ortiz) and Portugal (Siza & Souto de Moura), or cardboard in the Japanese pavilion (Shigeru Ban); and Venice, whose seventh Biennale di Architettura gathered a host of proposals under the slogan “less esthetics, more ethics,” an idea hardly reflected, alas, in the motley confusion of the event. But the shadow of a stream of deaths was cast over both festive occasions, darkening the summer: Rafael de la Hoz, posthumously awarded the gold medal of Spanish architecture, began an obituary line-up that would tragically and prematurely include Enric Miralles, and also veteran masters like John Hejduk, Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza and Eladio Dieste.
Temples of Autumn
In fall, which began with the echo of a tardy Australian Olympics that allowed Sydney to show the world how organizational and environmental excellence does not need emblematic architectures, the United States staged an electoral campaign in which sprawl was one of the subjects of debate, and which ended up being settled in the state of Florida, cradle of the ‘new urbanism’ movement and scene of its most significant realizations, from Seaside to Celebration. And while Americans played the presidential “she loves me, she loves me not,” Spaniards took stock of the 25 years since the death of Franco and the crowning of King Juan Carlos I. All this in a month of November that witnessed at once the escalation of ethnic Basque terrorism and the opening by Prince Felipe of two major buildings, designed by Santiago Calatrava (who received the Meadows Award around the same time), which together highlight Spain’s spectacular modernization: the Museum of Science in the architect’s native Valencia and Bilbao’s Sondika Airport in the shaken and anguished Basque Country. Two colossal cathedrals which may not raise their author to sanctity, but surely express well the grandiloquence of prosperous and confusing times. Welcome to the latest spectacle.
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