Lecture date: 1998-05-19
Begun over twelve years ago the Igualada Park-Cemetery in Catalonia is a founding project for Enric Miralles. For Miralles, a cemetery is not a tomb but a relationship with the landscape and forgetting . . . memories are deposited in the fissures of the tombs, the vegetation fills the empty spaces of the embankment, and the shadows begin to act as a clock. In this lecture he talks about Igualada and reviews work relating to recent projects.
NB: Occasional audio crackle.
Mohsen Mostafavi introduces Enric Miralles.
ENRIC MIRALLES: Thank you for having the patience for inviting me again. My lecture was named Alphabets and Shadows or something like that, in a way, it is because I am preparing a kind of publication, but in a way when you review your work… I like to present the work not as a kind of hypothesis and then you give the building as the answer; I prefer to work in a kind of continuous work and the best way to express new work is by expressing the freedom you have at the moment you make decisions in between doubts.
I’m going to talk about this, sorry, but I think it makes sense in a school, because you are fundamentally safe, because one day the academic term finished: whatever you have is the result. This is the slight difference: not having any final result, even knowing that the building process is just one step in time, one day it will have its own life, etc. I was quite impress when I decided to take this kind of shadows, maybe you’ve seen some of the photos: photographing your buildings as anything you want to see in them instead of the building itself.
I’m going to show you two projects on which we are working now, in the intermediate moment we are in the office, developed as a necessity, when I was talking about site. This is impressive, because now most of the work we are doing has to do with restoration, with urban sites that are being demolished, a lot of European cities are being like that: reusing, doing it again, taking any little detail as a starting point. Gideon's ‘Space, Time and Architecture’… this famous word time, that I really never understood, what does it really mean, I think he has not understood much either, because it sounds nice, but you don’t really know.
Doing this projects you find how much time exceeds something material, I think, time is the place of some architecture, when you have no land. When you are in a urban context, all of the buildings exist, there is expectations about construction, about new forms, and then you have the feeling that time is what is more important. I have two slides missing that are quite important, but I will draw them.
What is impressive of a Miró painting, or some of them… probably for me he is one of the painters who have been more material, when you read Miró’s notes, they are impressive, because they say: “I’m going to do something in which I’m going to use a lot of white, maybe some piece of wood and then I will do three tries.” And this is the program of his painting, and then, of course, he starts doing some other things and talking about something else. If you look carefully at a Miró painting, there are two things, how he prepares the canvas for that to exist, and the second thing [takes a piece of chalk and he is about to draw] is this… sorry for copying a Miró, but there is… [audience laughter]. There is a fear, I would say I start most of my projects with this painting, which I never did. There is something which is amazing, which is—I think this is one of the best forms, I mean, with this you could pass most of the exams, I’m sure, really, it’s useful for almost anything—I’m really impressed because it’s so precise, what I like about this is—I was talking about things like this thinking more in Giacometti.
My trace is the one of the architect, very bad, but if you see how many tries exist behind that, until this form is fixed and how he connected it with some other one and then how he calibrated the distance to a third piece, this for instance is impressive, how the triangle finished into something, and then how he defines a distance, as if saying, “here, nothing else will happen,” and then he goes back, and almost like a joke tells you that he is very conscious of the humoristic quality of this, and makes it as some kind of burnt sun, or whatever, and then in an amazing way he starts a much more subtle way. I’m impressed of how he establishes the relationship between the things and how everything is meaningful and how he creates the sort of relations that in the final result exist, let’s say, all the thousands of tries, where the forms become something, I would say, as precise as my other illustration [shows from his notebook] this is more difficult to draw, i hope you see it from here. It’s a double portrait, this was a tradition
Lecture date: 2001-03-13
Benedetta Tagliabue Miralles and Enric Miralles formed one of Europes most influential and well-respected architectural practices. Their many projects include the Music School in Hamburg, the Vigo University Campus in Spain, and the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
Tagliabue Miralles discusses their working practices and projects, and pays tribute to her husband, one of the most inventive and imaginative architects of the late twentieth century, who died in 2000.
Born in Milan, Benedetta Tagliabue graduated in Venice 1989 from the IUAV (Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia). Together with Enric Miralles, she founded the studio EMBT in 1991. Their work includes various important buildings and public spaces, providing the city of Barcelona with iconic architecture (Gas Natural tower, Santa Caterina Market, Diagonal Mar Park). Their work also includes a number of high profile projects in other European cities (Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Utrecht's Town Council and the Music School in Hamburg).
The studio has participated in numerous exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (2002, 2004 and 2006) and the São Paulo Biennale (2003). These occasions offered the chance not only to explore their own architecture but also their relationships with other disciplines such as landscape, urbanism and design.
In 2010 she taught in Columbia University in New York and presently she is directing summer various workshops including one at TEC de Monterrey (Mexico) and also the School of Architecture in Venice (IUAV). In addition to this, she lectures nearly once a month in architectural forums all over the world, such as the RIBA, the Architectural Association and the Bartlett School of Architecture in London and the Berlage Institute in Amsterdam, among others. Recently she received the RIBA's International Fellowship for the particular contribution she has made as a non-UK architect, to architecture (2009) and an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Napier University (2004). She has been invited to participate as a jury member in international architectural competitions and prestigious awards including the RIBA Stirling Prize 2009.
In 2010 EMBT opened an office in Shanghai, China. With several projects on-going: A museum for a Chinese Painter in Neijiang, an office building in Shenzhen and the recently won project for the new Campus of Fudan University School of Management in Shangai.
Lecture date: 1992-02-28
Deyan Sudjic, Enric Miralles, Oscar Tusquets
Symposium held in conjunction with the publication of the AA book Mega XIV: Four Studios in Barcelona documenting recent built work and other design projects by the invited speakers. Moderated by Deyan Sudjic.
The second session features the Q & A from the talk by Arribas followed by presentations from Enric Miralles and Oscar Tusquets.
NB: Cuts out shortly after the start of Tusquets talk
Tuvimos la oportunidad de conversar con Benedetta Tagliabue, la destacada arquitecta italiana, reconocida por sus propuestas altamente sensibles a su contexto y al mismo tiempo, sumamente experimental en su acercamiento a las formas y materiales. A principios de 1990, junto a Enric Miralles fundaron el estudio Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, convirtéindose hoy en una de las prácticas españolas más respetadas del siglo 21.
Alberto Bertoli introduces Enric Miralles, who discusses his most recent projects, some completed and some under construction.
Miralles presents the winning competition entry for the Igualada Cemetery project. He discusses how the project deals with integrating land and building, and how the connection between nature and landscaping forced the building to be slightly abstract in its shape and composition. Miralles goes on to discuss the importance of symbols in a project like a cemetery and concerns of creating paths which would not only be transitory or dead ends but would form spaces.
Miralles discusses several projects, including a project for the enlargement of a town hall in Barcelona and some smaller residential projects. Miralles discusses the importance of working in drawings in his practice, where model-making is only for final product presentations for clients.
Miralles presents a series of projects that deal with the restoration and refurbishment of existing buildings, opening spaces, cutting and fragmenting the existing structures to allow new relationships of form and light.
Miralles presents the wining competition entry project for a pedestrian bridge in Lerida, Spain. Miralles discusses how this project aimed to connect the old and the new part of the town with a promenade. He goes on to describe how a cross structure with a split was developed to create an additional public space in the center of the river as an extension of the old town’s streets.
Miralles presents the projects for two buildings which generated from existing building restorations, the Llauna School in Badalona and the Boarding School in Morella. Miralles discusses his interest in bringing the qualities of outside space into the inside, though light and movement through the space. He goes on to stress the importance of simultaneity in his work, where he aims to represent movement and different points of view in buildings through the composition of architectural elements and volumes.