Alejandro de la Sota is one of the great masters of modern Spanish architecture, designed ground-breaking buildings such as the Civil Government (Tarragona, 1957-1964) and the Maravillas School Gymnasium (Madrid, 1960-1962). In this compilation of his most important essays, he reflects on the legacy of the Modern Movement and its atypical implementation in the sad cultural panorama of Spain under the Franco regime. It can be read as a kind of chronicle of the evolution of Spanish architecture from the 1950s until the architect's death.
"One day I stopped working and tried to think freely about what I, and others as well, were doing. That very day I began to shake off many of the additions that embraced all serious thought about architecture, clinging to it like veritable limpets, crustaceans. I found the clean outcome attractive, and I thought it could also be called Architecture, or perhaps architecture. I enjoyed that lower-case a, which sufficed to resolve the issue that architecture has always had to resolve: the organisation of the world in which we live our lives."
Alejandro de la Sota (1913 - 1996) was a Spanish architect. Born in Pontevedra in Galicia he graduated from the university in Madrid in 1941. He was a promoter of the industrialisation of construction in the 1960s and his Maravillas gymnasium of 1961 was the first steel-framed building in Madrid. He was appointed as architect at the National Colonization Institute, Directorate-General of the Postal Service, Aviaco and Iberia. He was a Senior Lecturer for 16 years at the Madrid School of Architecture and gave addresses and lectures at many architecture schools in Spain and abroad, most notably at Architectural Association London, Technische Universität München and Harvard University. He received the National Prize of Architecture and the Gold Medal of the Council of Architects.