Happy B-Day Rafael Moneo
Rafael Moneo was born in Navarra, Spain in 1937. He graduated in 1961 from the Escuela de Arquitectura in Madrid after which he worked in the Denmark office of Jorn Utzon for two years. He then worked as an assistant at the Academia de Espana until 1965 when he established a private practice in Madrid.
In his work Moneo divides his professional life into two categories: teaching and architectural practice. In both facets of his career, he decries the modern trend toward short-lived architecture and attempts to emphasize the importance of creating lasting monuments to society.
Unlike many contemporary architects, Moneo does not borrow from the trends associated with European utilitarianism and expressionism. Instead, Moneo produces a softened version of Nordic and Dutch traditions. To this conception he adds an evaluation of his own historic traditions. This range of influences and aims is especially clear in his works of the 1960s. During these years Moneo was one of the centers of interest and excitement in Madrid architecture.
Against a growing trend for ephemeral designs, Moneo works to maintain the competence of architecture. He sees architecture as a vast history in which the architect conscientiously looks for models and resources to transform. Today, as both an architect and as a teacher, Moneo remains one of the most important figures in Spanish architecture.
He was also recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1996.