Exports. Enriched in the course of its history by other
cultures, the architecture of the Iberian Peninsula has experienced, during
the past twenty years, an ‘invasion’ of foreign talent. If
the most significant aspect of the first half of the twentieth century
was the exile brought about by the Civil War, the last period is characterized
by an internationalization of the Spanish scene that has been compensated
for, to a certain extent, by the success achieved abroad by the likes
of Bofill, Moneo, Calatrava and Miralles. The bridging of the gap between
architectural imports and exports is only starting; this issue offers
a provisional chronicle of the increasing presence of Spaniards abroad.
|Views and Reviews
||Art / Culture
|Remembering Abramovitz and Barnes. An exhibition on Max Abramovitz opened after his death and Edward Larrabee Barnes’ last interview record the contribution of both American architects to the modern legacy.||Ana María Torres
The Modern Continuity
|Five Years in One Thousand Buildings. The
publisher Phaidon has completed an ambitious project: a colossal world atlas
in which the latest architecture is presented as an expression of the culture
||Technique / Style
|To close, the Dean of Madrid’s Colegio de Arquitectos comments on the overpriced housing market in Spain, with a supply where architectural value is scarce, and a demand which is stubbornly focused on investment.||English Summary
The Luxury of Living
Spain exports; but above all, Spain imports. If there were an architectural balance of trade, undoubtedly ours would show a deficit.We like to think that Spanish architects are experiencing a sweet moment of international recognition and, certainly, the success of the transition to democracy and the flair of the 1992 events drew attention towards this peripheral peninsula,that displayed itself with pride on the catwalk of Olympic Barcelona. However, the popularity gained since then – evident in the frequent appearance of Spaniards in exhibitions, awards and magazines worldwide – has not brought a similar participation in competitions, projects and works abroad. Both the slim economic presence in other countries – however much the Latin Americans or Portuguese may resent aggressive entrepreneurial assaults – and the weak diffusion of our culture make of Spanish architecture an exportable yet scarcely exploited asset.
The energy with which the American, British, French or German financial and diplomatic muscle promotes its architecture cannot be compared to the spasmodic efforts of the Spanish companies and institutions, which force architectural offices into the uncertain adventure of the enthusiastic sniper. Most architects that have completed significant projects outside Spain ’s frontiers have done so after placing their professional center of gravity abroad, either establishing their practices there, or living out of the country for long periods.In fact,some of the works we feign to export are carried out in international offices, though the origin or education of their directors allows a nationalist appropriation of their production. But, aside from its artistic dimension, architecture has an economic ingredient that only the ingenuity of cosmopolitan angelism can scorn: the defense of this interest excludes as much half-witted provincialism as faint-hearted protectionism.