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He's an architect and professor of Art History at the ETSAB

The architect Juan José Lahuerta presents his plans as director of the Gaudí Chair

The Chair aims to become a centre for studies of architecture, art and the city in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries

02/11/2016
The new director of the Gaudí Chair, Juan José Lahuerta, presented his plans as the new director at the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) on 2 November. The event was attended by the rector of the UPC, Enric Fossas, and the director of the ETSAB, Jordi Ros.

Juan José Lahuerta is an architect and professor of Art History at the ETSAB and is affiliated to the UPC's Department of History and Theory of Architecture and Communication Techniques. “The Chair should be a centre for studies of architecture, art and the city in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but it should also be actively connected to the architecture of the present", said Lahuerta. One of his objectives as director of the Gaudí Chair is that "it should not be a closed forum for academia but rather one that plays an active role in the theoretical discussions and practice of contemporary architecture”. Lahuerta thinks that the Chair should develop its own scientific programme, offering scholarships and international seminars and courses on the architecture of the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

He also wishes to establish agreements with similar institutions, such as archives of architecture and museums with architecture collections. For example, he wishes to reach an agreement with the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), which would "offer the opportunity to exhibit the collections in the best possible conditions". This agreement "would also incorporate the collections of the Chair and the ETSAB in a circuit of scientific exhibitions and catalogues, thus opening them to research and conservation under the focus of international scholarship".

Lahuerta wishes to develop a programme of publications on nineteenth- and twentieth-century architecture stemming from the Chair's seminars, courses and research programmes, and from doctoral theses of the UPC and universities from all over the world. “By defining this programme—catalogues, monographs and other works—we will define the Chair's lines of study and research", he added. He also wishes to publish an architecture journal.

The new management team wish to develop a programme for conserving the architecture collections and those of the library and archive, in addition to an acquisitions programme. “The aim is to complement and expand the current collection following a system of goals and needs established through scientific programmes and seminars", said Lahuerta. The final result of a master catalogue of the collections of the Chair and the ETSAB "could become a special information centre on the School, on Gaudí and on modern and present-day architecture".

During the presentation, the director of the ETSAB, Jordi Ros, highlighted the aim of giving the Chair more academic and physical visibility. The rector of the UPC, Enric Fossas, promised to help find funding to carry out the Chair's projects.

The architect Juan José Lahuerta
From 2013 to 2016, Juan José Lahuerta has been head of collections of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC). He is the author of several books on contemporary art and architecture, including 1927. La abstracción necesaria (1989), Antoni Gaudí. Arquitectura, ideología y política (1993), Decir Anti es decir Pro. Escenas de la vanguardia en España (1999), El fenómeno del éxtasis (2004), Estudios antiguos (Winner of the International Essay Award of the Círculo de Bellas Artes-Antonio Machado Libros, 2009), Humaredas. Arquitectura, ornamentación, medios impresos (2010), Religious Painting. Picasso and Max von Moos (2014), Photography or Life. Popular Mies (2015), On Loos, Ornament and Crime (2015), Marginalia. Aby Warburg, Carl Einstein (2015) and Gaudí. Fire and Ashes (2016).

Juan José Lahuerta is a member of the editorial board of the journal Casabella (Milan) and the founder and director of the Barcelona publishing company Mudito&Co, which received a FAD Medal for its publishing work in 2007.

He has been an advisor to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; a member of the Academic Board of the Doctoral School of the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV); senior curator of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona; and a professor at New York University.

The Gaudí Chair
The UPC's Gaudí Chair, based at the ETSAB, is a research and documentation centre that focuses on the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí i Cornet and the Modernista school of which he formed part. The Chair also deals with the architects, artists, intellectuals and specialists who were contemporaries of Gaudí in a period stretching from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century.

In addition to numerous pieces and original works by Gaudí, the Chair's collection includes documentary work and artistic and technical research on Gaudí. It also includes the most important social, cultural and artistic expressions of Catalonia in this period for the purpose of studying the environment in which Gaudí's thought and work developed.

The Chair is intended to be a reference for students and researchers interested in Gaudí, offering them documentary and graphic material related to the architect that has been collected over more than half a century.

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