The research project Escandinavia. An Architectural Dialogue between Denmark and Spain investigates the fortunate parallelisms, influences, and translations between Danish and Spanish architectural cultures. The origin of this long-term affinity is to be found in the significant interest that Spanish architects have had in Nordic architecture, extensively focused on its Modern Masters: Alvar Aalto, Erik Gunnar Asplund, Sigurd Lewerentz, Sverre Fehn, Arne Jacobsen, and Jørn Utzon.
Some of the most renowned Spanish architects of the XXth century –such as Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza, Miguel Fisac, Josep María Sostres, Alejandro de la Sota and Rafael Moneo- have acknowledged the influence of the Nordic masters on their work, whose presence can be detected in several of their masterpieces. Through decades, the Spanish architect Felix Solaguren Beascoa has provided an extensive presentation of the significant impact that Scandinavian architecture has had on several generations of Spanish architects in the second half of the twentieth century.
We have recently witnessed a new generation of Spanish reference-based buildings from the Nordic masters that awaits to be related to the previous generations to form a coherent picture. The work of these architects also contributes to the dissemination of architectural culture and values at a very high level, having some of them acquired international recognition. It is the case of Nieto and Sobejano, Linazasoro&Sanchez, Ted’A arquitectes, or Harquitectes. To maintain a sense of continuity and relevance, examination and dissemination of the constructed works from this second generation need to be done.
The project argues that we need to come closer to an understanding of how these reinterpretations of foreign architectural repertoire take on a new significance. By looking more closely at the mechanisms of transference from the model to the derivative version, it investigates how the Spanish adaptations add value and validity to the original and how they hold critical potential. By conducting comparative and decoding readings, we establish a dialogical space for analysis that can shed light on the locally rooted and globally adaptive elements in the original work and the Spanish version, respectively. On a general level, the analysis shows the similarities and the differences arising in the adaptation to another climate, culture, functions, traditions, and construction techniques. The project also ambitions to inform back on the interpretation of the architecture of the Danish masters today, re-launching attention to how its reception at an international level can influence and also broaden the self-reception of the Danish constructed landscape.
Andriette Ahrenkiel. Associate Professor. Aarhus School of Architecture
Nacho Ruiz Allen. Assistant Professor. Aarhus School of Architecture
Sara López Arraiza. Aarhus School of Architecture
Thomas Bo Jensen, Head of Research, Aarhus School of Architecture
Rasmus Grønbæk Hansen, Head of Education, Aarhus School of Architecture
Lasse Andersson, Director of The Utzon Center and Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg
Martin Keiding, Editor in Chief, Arkitekten
Enrique Sobejano, Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, Professor UDK Berlin.
Felix Solaguren-Beascoa, Dean Barcelona School of Architecture, ETSAB-UPC
Jaime J. Ferrer, Head of Department of Architectural Design, ETSAB-UPC.
Carlos Quintans Eiras, Editor in Chief, Tectonica Architectural Magazine
Rogelio Ruiz-Fernández, PhD Architect and critic
Aarhus School of Architecture
Danmarks Nationalbank Jubilæumsfond
Henrik Frode Obel Foundation
Embajada de España en Dinamarca
Barcelona School of Arquitectura – ETSAB-UPM
Colegio de Arquitectos de Madrid – COAM
Col.legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya, Demarcació Girona – COAC
Fundación Arquitectura COAM
Biblioteca General – Ministerio de Transportes, Movilidad y Agenda Urbana
Secretaría General de Agenda Urbana y Vivienda – Ministerio de Transportes, Movilidad y Agenda Urbana
Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao