Spain has been popular for its stunning buildings and astonishing architecture in Europe. Gathering influence from the rich history and culture of the Iberian country, Spain is home to unique and distinguishable building monuments. This combined aesthetics and engineering have evolved largely from the Romans to the Moors, and from Baroque to Renaissance, to the modern-day Spain that integrates traditional materials like limestone, slate, granite, clay, and wood with contemporary materials like concrete, glass, and steel. Hence, creating an elegant hybrid style that sits within the historical monuments in the cities. More recently, the angular beauty and vibrant colors of modernism and postmodernism have nestled among the historic structures to create a skyline with a distinct chronology of architecture.

The admirable buildings and the glorious style of Spain cannot let us side-line the minds behind it. The architects and builders that have served the art, climate, geography and tradition of the nation play a vital role in the popularity of Spanish architecture. This has, at times, gained influence from foreign styles and influenced them back simultaneously. From Antoni Gaudí, Rafael Moneo, Carlos Ferrater, and Ricardo Bofill – the renowned architects worldwide, there are many other contemporary architects and firms involved in excellent architecture practice that everyone should know about.

1. Santiago Calatrava

Famously known for his dynamic skeleton-like structures, Calatrava is paraphs the most controversial modern architect. He was formally educated as a structural engineer and started his practice by building bridges, particularly known for their structure supported by single-leaning pylons. Calatrava is popular for public buildings- railway stations, stadiums, and museums. His works gained the limelight for structural forms that often resemble living organisms. His works seem to defy physical laws and imbue a sense of motion into still objects.

Renowned Project: World trade center transportation hub.

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World trade center transportation hub _©Hufton+Crow _Archdaily
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World trade center transportation hub _©Hufton+Crow _Archdaily
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World trade center transportation hub _©Hufton+Crow _Archdaily

2. Alberto Campo Baeza

Alberto Campo Baeza has a minimal design style with clarity. Simple, elegant, and seamless are some adjectives that can be used to describe his work. He views natural light as the main element of the design and works with simple geometry, solid walls, and only essential spaces with frameless cut-outs that enhance the light. The concept of his designs is based on diagnoses of a particular program and its site. For his design achieving beauty is to achieve harmonious proportions and appropriate scale.

Renowned Project: Guerrero House.

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Guerrero House _©Roland Halbe _Archdaily
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Guerrero House _©Roland Halbe _Archdaily
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Guerrero House _©Roland Halbe _Archdaily

3. Alejandro Zaera-Polo

Zaera-Polo has a notable contribution to architecture academics, along with his design firm, which has gained international popularity. His interest lies in developing and using new materials for construction and is attached to the modern movement. He gained partridge through participation in architectural competitions. His publication and architecture talks helped to present his works and gain population. Alejandro has built various public projects, including institutions, pavilions, and terminals.

Renowned Project: Birmingham New Street Station.

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Birmingham New Street Station _©Archdaily
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Birmingham New Street Station_ ©Javier Callejas_Archdaily
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Birmingham New Street Station_ ©Javier Callejas_Archdaily

4. Vicente Guallart

This Barcelona-based architect brings nature and technology together to design socially meaningful structures. By collaborating with geology, sociology, engineering, fabrication, economics, and software design, he expanded architectural boundaries. To respond better to environmental systems and components originating in nature, his projects use a “natural” logic. This logic transforms urban spaces, social organizations, and the digital world by connecting with nature. Guallart has contributed to developing the strategic vision of the transformation of the city and its large urban projects. He was the first general manager of Urban Habitat, a new department encompassing the areas of urban planning, housing, environment, infrastructures, and information technologies.        

Renowned Project: Sociopolis   

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Sociopolis _ ©Guallart Architects
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Sociopolis _ ©Guallart Architects
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Sociopolis _ ©Guallart Architects

5. Carme Pinós

Carme Pinós has worked on diverse projects ranging from urban landscapes, office towers, cultural and sports centers, and educational institutions to public housing and furniture design. Her projects have been based on a theme of ‘story’ as an idea behind design and philosophy. The relationship between form, context, and the material becomes the base of her architectural work. She strives to generate experiences from space-making that can be recollected by the people who once visited. Therefore, the human experience becomes the base of her design, and poetic value is added to the architecture. While there are abstract forms in her designs, they never get detached from the existing environment.

Renowned Project: Escola Massana.

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Escola Massana_©Duccio Malagamba_Archdaily
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Escola Massana_©Duccio Malagamba_Archdaily
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Escola Massana_©Duccio Malagamba_Archdaily

6. Lucía Cano

Lucía Cano is a partner in the architecture firm selgascano and is famous for pavilion designs. Her firm designs colorful, abstract, translucent pavilion spaces that develop spatial experiences of happiness. Their designs give a sense of giant sculptures that allows humans to enter into a different reality. The interior spaces have homogeneous designs yet are functions specific. Their projects are sensitively designed for men and nature.

Renowned Project: Second Home Hollywood Office

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Second Home Hollywood Office _©Iwan Baan_Archdaily
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Second Home Hollywood Office _©Iwan Baan_Archdaily
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Second Home Hollywood Office _©Iwan Baan_Archdaily
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Second Home Hollywood Office _©Iwan Baan_Archdaily

7. Enrique Sobejano

The architect is known for his landscape projects and context-integrated designs. He thinks architecture is as much about drawing as it is about communication and advocating for your design ideas. For him, space can be ambiguous; with its topography, space also refers to its culture, memory, history, and society. He has the reverse thinking of answering ‘where you do not want to go rather than ‘where you want to go. He believes in involving in every aspect of the built environment, not only designing. Sobejano is a founding partner of Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos with Fuensanta Nieto. The firm is known for its museum designs.

Renowned project: Auditorium And Congress Center Expo 2008

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Auditorium And Congress Center Expo 2008_©Roland Halbe_Archdaily
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Auditorium And Congress Center Expo 2008_©Roland Halbe_Archdaily
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Auditorium And Congress Center Expo 2008_©Roland Halbe_Archdaily

8. Juan Coll-Barreu

Juan Coll-Barreu is a professor and has a firm named Coll-Barreu Arquitectos that practices investigation, development, and construction. They believe in a dynamic process that transforms the dialogue about the project into the principal quality of its work system. One can find unique, angular, and distorted forms along with the use of steel and glass structures that props out the existing environment. The experimental quality can be sensed in his every project. His designed works appear to be dynamic with the surrounding situation.

Renowned project: Basque Health Department Headquarters

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Basque Health Department Headquarters_©Aleix Bague_Archdaily
Basque Health Department Headquarters_©Aleix Bague_Archdaily
Basque Health Department Headquarters_©Aleix Bague_Archdaily

9. Jorge Otero-Pailos

He is an artist and preservationist famous for making monumental casts of historically charged buildings. His artworks are for creating a cultural connection with history and tradition to question and understand. He uses residual materials like airborne atmospheric dust, waterways, traces of sweat and body sounds, maps, and even embassy security fences, to render their invisible meanings visible. Jorge also largely focuses on maintaining monumental structures by cleaning methods and designing for restoration as a part of his creative process.

Renowned work: The ethics of Dust

The ethics of dust_©oteropailos.com
The ethics of dust_©oteropailos.com
The ethics of dust_©oteropailos.com

10. Andrés Jaque

Recently appointed as a dean of Columbia GSAPP, Jaque has been an educator at the university since 2013. His firm ‘Andrés Jaque – the office for political innovation’ includes designing, research, and critical environmental practices. They work on various scale projects and bring inclusivity into their designs. The approach is to investigate the complex dialogue between life and architecture. His designs are bold yet specific to human needs and want.

Renowned project: Rambla Climate-House

Rambla Climate-House_ ©José Hevia_Archdaily
Rambla Climate-House_ ©José Hevia_Archdaily

References:

https://artincontext.org/spanish-architecture/

https://www.artst.org/spanish-architects/

https://www.archivibe.com/best-architecture-firms-in-spain/

https://www.avontuura.com/the-top-10-architecture-firms-in-spain/

https://theculturetrip.com/europe/spain/articles/10-spanish-architects-to-watch-right-now/

https://stacbond.com/us/spanish-architects/

https://calatrava.com/biography.html

https://www.archdaily.com/454797/santiago-calatrava-the-metamorphosis-of-space?ad_source=search&ad_medium=projects_tab&ad_source=search&ad_medium=search_result_all

https://www.archdaily.com/934005/architecture-is-to-put-in-order-a-room-a-house-a-city-in-conversation-with-alberto-campo-baeza?ad_source=search&ad_medium=search_result_articles

https://www-campobaeza-com.translate.goog/?_x_tr_sl=es&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=sc

https://azpml.com/#/?author=&location=&q=&tag=&topic=4&year=

https://www.archdaily.com/558451/spotlight-alejandro-zaera-polo

http://www.guallart.com/

https://iaac.net/dt-team/vicente-guallart/

https://www.citiestobe.com/10-years-10-urban-ideas-vicente-guallart/

http://www.cpinos.com/

https://www.archilovers.com/lucia-cano/

https://rupp.ced.berkeley.edu/past-recipients/carme-pinos/carme-pinos-projects/

http://www.cpinos.com/index.php?op=1&ap=1&id=133

http://www.selgascano.net/

https://www.nietosobejano.com/

https://www.archdaily.com/920000/the-importance-of-communication-and-context-in-enrique-sobejanos-work

http://www.coll-barreu-arquitectos.com/ingles/aboutus.html

http://www.oteropailos.com/about

https://www.museion.it/2022/03/jorge-otero-pailos-ethics/

https://officeforpoliticalinnovation.com/

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Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.

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