An exhibition on New Spanish Architecture starts in the MoMA in New York


Spain’s “New architecture” opens a window onto New York: the capital of skyscrapers and glass, where the Museums of Modern Art (MoMA) has inaugurated an exhibition on 35 future buildings and another 18 finished projects. The show announces that Spain has converted into “an international center for innovation and excellence in design”.

To prove just that, the MoMA will exhibit, as from the 1st May, models, photographs and plans of 53 projects, which the curator of the collection, Thomas Riley, chose from more than 600 possible candidates.
Those which passed the filter are for example: the expansion project for the Valencian Institute of Modern Art in Valencia and the Cantabrian Museum in Santander.

Amongst the buildings included is the Santa Caterina market in Barcelona which welcomes its visitors with its waved and colorful roof and the extension to the Reina Sofia National Art Museum, which is one of the largest modern art museums in the world.

The exhibition has become one large Spanish artistic party in the USA, where the 'The Washington Post' assured that the exhibition is the proof that the Iberian country has become one of the world architectural leaders.

At the official presentation of the exhibition in New York held on 7 February, there were representatives of both Spanish and International Firms, such as: Rafael Moneo, Alberto Campos Baeza, Juan Domingo Santos, Peter Einseman, Josep Lluis Mateo, Herzog y de Meuron, and Toyo Ito.

"Architecture in Spain has emerged as the new form of artistic expression, and that is a novelty, as when we used to refer to Spanish art and culture, we only thought in terms of painting and literature”, said Riley.

The selection brings together a wide range of projects, from council housing to bioclimatic towers, stadiums, hotels, airports, conference centers, drama schools, markets, museums and medical centers.


“The exhibitions reflects the enormous diversity of architecture in Spain”, both in its regional variations as in the inspiration of architects who work in the country, both Spanish and Foreign, according to Riley.
The generational diversity of the authors, many of whom have international experience, the proliferation of schools of architecture and competitions which have backed young talents have all influenced strongly in the shows’ originality, explained the curator.

Keys to the show were also, the Olympic Games in Barcelona, The World Fair in Seville, both in 1992 and the construction of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in 1997, work of the renowned architect, Frank Gehry.

In fact, what is known as the ‘Bilbao effect’ was determinant in feeding the architects’ spirit of risk and changing the conservative attitude of many regional governments who “began to think it was good to construct radical architecture”, according to Riley.


The MoMA presents Project which show a risky vein from architects like Francisco Leiva Ivorra, who designed the Thalassotherapy center, which a Hotel and Spa to be constructed in Gijon in the north of Spain, in 2007.

Rafael Moneo is also present for the extension of the Murcia Town hall in 1998, and a team of architects, Felipe Artengo Rufino, for the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Stadium, which should be finished this year.

In many cases, the designs are where the shape and functionality are of equal importance.

"Architecture as a new way of artistic expression in Spain means that you do not only have to solve problems efficiently but also create high inspirational emblems for the people” said Riley.

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