Modern Spanish architecture set to wow America

8th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

8 February 2006, NEW YORK — Spain emerges as a prominent member of the world architectural vanguard in an upcoming show at New York's Museum of Modern Art featuring 53 buildings or projects.

8 February 2006

NEW YORK — Spain emerges as a prominent member of the world architectural vanguard in an upcoming show at New York's Museum of Modern Art featuring 53 buildings or projects.

Gathered together at the exhibition 'On-Site: New Architecture in Spain', to open on 12 February, the projects - some already landmarks and others still confined to paper - show Spain to be one of the world's most important centres of architectural experimentation.

Terence Riley, curator of the exhibition, put the works on show at an event attended by the media and representatives of Spanish and international architectural firms including Rafael Moneo, Alberto Campos Baeza, Juan Domingo Santos, Peter Einseman, Josep Lluis Mateo, Herzog & de Meuron, and Toyo Ito.

The selection's wide variety of applications ranges from projects for public housing and towers with bio-climates to stadiums, hotels, airports, malls, museums and medical centres.

Spain's contemporary architecture is defined as much by innovative form and design as by its seamless blending with the landscape, Riley said.

The show's exuberance shows a boom brought on by economic and political changes as a result historic events like the advent of democracy in 1975 and Spain's entry into the European Union in 1986.

Other key moments were the Barcelona Olympic Games and the Universal Exposition in Seville, both in 1992, and the construction of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao by Frank Gehry in 1997.

In fact, what is known as the 'Bilbao effect' has given rise to a spirit of risk-taking by architects coinciding with a new wave of construction in Spain.

According to Riley, the 'Bilbao effect' changed the attitude of many regional governments "who started thinking it's good to build something radical," which in turn opened a promising window to cultural tourism.

The works on show at MoMA illustrate the risk-taking vein of Spanish architects and of foreign architects working in Spain.

Highlights among the buildings or projects on view are the Casa Rural in Girona, the Metropol Parasol in Seville, the Seawater Therapy Centre in Gijon and the Hotel Habitat en Barcelona.

Some projects tackle the idea of "liveable sculptures".

But some 'name' architects like Santiago Calatrava, who designed Valencia's Museum of Arts and Sciences, was not represented because most of his work is abroad.

The MoMA exhibition will remain open until May 1.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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