Bologna - Italy    23 - 27 / 09 / 2024

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Cersaie 2013: Conferences and Seminars
Lectio Magistralis by Rafael Moneo - Buildings are not just objects

Wednesday 25 September - 11.00 a.m.
Europauditorium - Palazzo dei Congressi

The notion of buildings like objects ready to be assimilated by the whatever context seems to be a generalized approach for those who don´t wish to recognize the constraints imposed by circumstances. 
My point today would be to say that buildings aren´t only objects and that the analogy between buildings and objects ignores the nature of the buildings which seek to be integrated, only finally reaching their complete significance when engaged to the city.  This implies that the commitment to the design of cities and buildings simultaneously unmasks the fantasy of the total preference and prevalence of architects designing automous, singular buildings and yet enlarges the role of the architect to react to the larger city.
4 projects will be presented to illustrate this:
The access Miradero-Safont and the Congress Center in Toledo (Spain)
The Museum of the Roman Theater in Cartagena (Spain)
The Northwest Science Building for Columbia University in New York (USA)
A new parish in Riberas de Loiola San Sebastián (Spain).


José Rafael Moneo Vallés More

José Rafael Moneo Vallés


José Rafael Moneo Vallés was born in Tudela (Navarra) in 1937. He studied at the Madrid School of Architecture, from which he graduated in 1961. In 1970 he took the chair of Elements of Composition at the Barcelona School of Architecture; he took the same position in Madrid in 1980, where he remained until 1985, when he was appointed Chairman of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a role he maintained until 1990. Rafael Moneo is currently the Josep Lluis Sert Professor of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Some of his most important recent projects include the following: The Kursaal Auditorium and Conference Centre in San Sebastián (1999), the Museum of Fine Arts in  Houston, Texas (2000), the Cathedral of Los Angeles (2002), the General Archive of Navarra in Pamplona (2003), the Gregorio Marañón Maternity Hospital in Madrid (2003), the extension of the Bank of Spain in Madrid (2006), the extension of the Prado Museum in Madrid (2007), the LISE Laboratory for Integrated Science and Engineering building in the University of Harvard, Cambridge (2007), the Museum of the Roman Theatre in Cartagena (2008), Deusto University Library (2009), the Novartis Laboratories in Basle, Switzerland (2009), “La Romareda” Civic Centre in Zaragoza (2010), a Science Laboratory for Columbia University in New York (2010), the Riberas de Loiola Parish in San Sebastián (2011) and the Congress Centre in Toledo (2012).

Rafael Moneo is currently working on a Neurology and Psychology Centre for the University Princeton, New Jersey (2006), the extension of Atocha Rail Station in Madrid (2008) and the Centre for Contemporary Art of the University of Navarra (2008).

Rafael Moneo combines his work as an architect with his activity as a conference speaker and critic. Co-founder of the review Arquitecturas Bis, Rafael Moneo’s writings have been published in numerous professional reviews, and he has presented his work through exhibitions and conferences on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2005 he published – translated into 7 languages – the book “THEORETICAL ANXIETY AND DESIGN STRATEGIES in the work of eight contemporary architects”. September 2010 saw the simultaneous of the two versions of his book “APUNTES SOBRE 21 OBRAS” (Gili) and “REMARKS ON 21 WORKS” (Monacelli).

Rafael Moneo has received numerous awards, including the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 1996 and the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2003. Elected as a member of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1997, he took up his place there at the beginning of 2005. In 2006 the Higher Council of Colleges of Architects in Spain awarded him the Gold Medal of Spanish Architecture, and in 2012 he received the Prince of Asturias Award for Arts.

Francesco Dal Co More

Francesco Dal Co

Architect and Professor of history of architecture, IUAV Venice

Biographical notes

Degree in architecture, Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV), 1970.

Professor, History of Architecture, IUAV, 1981.

Professor, History of Architecture, School of Architecture, Yale University (1982-1991).

Professor, History of Architecture, Accademia di Architettura, Università della Svizzera Italiana (1996-2005).

Director, Department of History of Architecture, IUAV (1995-2003).

Director, Architecture Section, Venice Biennale (1988-1991).

Editor of magazine Casabella (1996-).

Senior Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

Scholar, Center for Advanced Study, Getty Center, Los Angeles.

Member of the Accademia di San Luca.

Honorary Fellow Royal Institute of British Architects.



Video interview

Rafael Moneo