10 deaths of architects

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José Juan Barba (1964) architect from ETSA Madrid in 1991. Special Mention in the National Finishing University Education Awards 1991. PhD in Architecture ETSAM, 2004. He founded his professional practice in Madrid in 1992 (www.josejuanbarba.com). He has been an architecture critic and editor-in-chief of METALOCUS magazine since 1999, and he advised different NGOs until 1997. He has been a lecturer (in Design, Theory and Criticism, and Urban planning) and guest lecturer at different national and international universities (Roma TRE, Polytechnic Milan, ETSA Madrid, ETSA Barcelona, UNAM Mexico, Univ. Iberoamericana Mexico, University of Thessaly Volos, FA de Montevideo, Washington, Medellin, IE School, U.Alicante, Univ. Europea Madrid, UCJC Madrid, ESARQ-U.I.C. Barcelona,...).

Maître de Conférences IUG-UPMF Grenoble 2013-14. Full assistant Professor, since 2003 up to now at the University of Alcalá School of Architecture, Madrid, Spain. And Jury in competitions as Quaderns editorial magazine (2011), Mies van der Rohe Awards, (2010-2024), Europan13 (2015). He has been invited to participate in the Biennale di Venezia 2016 as part "Spaces of Exception / Spazi d'Eccezione".

He has published several books, the last in 2016, "#positions" and in 2015 "Inventions: New York vs. Rem Koolhaas, Bernard Tschumi, Piranesi " and collaborations on "Spaces of Exception / Spazi d'Eccezione", "La Mansana de la discordia" (2015), "Arquitectura Contemporánea de Japón: Nuevos territorios" (2015)...


- First Prize, RENOVATION GRAN VÍA, “Delirious Gran Vía”, Madrid, Spain, 2010.
- First Prize, “PANAYIOTI MIXELI Award”. SADAS-PEA, for the Spreading of Knowledge of Architecture Athens, 2005.
- First Prize, “SANTIAGO AMÓN Award," for the Spreading of Knowledge of Architecture. 2000.
- Award, “PIERRE VAGO Award." ICAC -International Committee of Art Critics. London, 2005.
- First Prize, C.O.A.M. Madrid, 2000. Shortlisted, World Architecture Festival. Centro de Investigación e Interpretación de los Ríos. Tera, Esla y Orbigo, Barcelona, 2008.
- First Prize. FAD AWARD 07 Ephemeral Interventions. “M.C.ESCHER”. Arquin-Fad. Barcelona, Sapin 2007.

Antoni Gaudí i Cornet

Antoni Gaudí i Cornet, (25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926)  was born in 1852 in Riudoms or Reus, to the coppersmith Francesc Gaudí i Serra (1813–1906) and Antònia Cornet i Bertran (1819–1876). He was the youngest of five children, of whom three survived to adulthood: Rosa (1844–1879), Francesc (1851–1876) and Antoni. Gaudí's family originated in the Auvergne region in southern France. One of his ancestors, Joan Gaudí, a hawker, moved to Catalonia in the 17th century; possible origins of Gaudí's family name include Gaudy or Gaudin.

Gaudí's work was influenced by his passions in life: architecture, nature, and religion. He considered every detail of his creations and integrated into his architecture such crafts as ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork forging and carpentry. He also introduced new techniques in the treatment of materials, such as trencadís which used waste ceramic pieces.

Under the influence of neo-Gothic art and Oriental techniques, Gaudí became part of the Modernista movement which was reaching its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work transcended mainstream Modernisme, culminating in an organic style inspired by natural forms. Gaudí rarely drew detailed plans of his works, instead preferring to create them as three-dimensional scale models and moulding the details as he conceived them. Gaudí's work enjoys global popularity and continuing admiration and study by architects. His masterpiece, the still-incomplete Sagrada Família, is the most-visited monument in Spain.

On 7 June 1926, Gaudí was taking his daily walk to the Sant Felip Neri church for his habitual prayer and confession. While walking along the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes between Girona and Bailén streets, he was struck by a passing tram and lost consciousness. Assumed to be a beggar because of his lack of identity documents and shabby clothing, the unconscious Gaudí did not receive immediate aid. Eventually some passers-by transported him in a taxi to the Santa Creu Hospital, where he received rudimentary care. By the time that the chaplain of the Sagrada Família, Mosén Gil Parés, recognised him on the following day, Gaudí's condition had deteriorated too severely to benefit from additional treatment. Gaudí died on 10 June 1926 at the age of 73 and was buried two days later.

Adolf Loos

Adolf Loos (December 10, 1870, Brno, Moravia - August 23, 1933, Kalsburg, Austria). His father, a craftsman, had a workshop where Adolf obtained his first lessons that were essential during the course of his career.  After several failures trying to enter the school of architecture, he finally started studying at the Professional School of Reichenberg (Austria), and between 1890 and 1893 at the Dresden Polytechnic without obtaining the title of architect at the end. In 1893 he traveled to the United States to see the Universal Exhibition of Chicago, where he completed his training during his stay as he was in contact with the Anglo-Saxon culture which influenced his aesthetic criteria. After visiting Londo and Paris, in 1896 he settled in Vienna working as an architect.

He worked as a furniture designer at the company F.O.Schmidt with his first order the Kohlmarkt Hall in 1897. In 1899 he revolutionized viennese architecture with the construction of the Café Museum and in 1908 wrote his famous article Ornament and crime, where he expounded his idea of ​​dispensing the ornament. He founded his own construction school in 1912, which had to close because of World War I, and in 1920 he was appointed chief architect of the Viennese City Council, resigning in 1924 because of his social principles, moving to Paris for the next five years.

He was a pioneer within the modern movement because he supported the no use of ornamentation and the break with historicism, being a precursor of the architectural rationalism. From his postulates, where he oppose art and utility and saw the architecture only from the utility field, he positioned against the modernists. These had formed the Viennese Secession and held an antagonistic view of architecture. He came into contact with the European artistic avant-gardes of the moment, such as Schönberg or Kokoschka.

The architecture of Adolf Loos is characterized by being functional and take into account the qualities of new materials. For him, architecture is different from the other applied arts, it is the mother of all; having to be functional and dispose of ornamentation.

One of his greatest concerns was to provide humans with a modern life, a western culture with no differences. In his magazine Das Andere, founded in 1903, he reflected all these problems, introducing the concept of Raumplan, where Loos awarded each space a different importance. According to the importance of the room and its vision within the total volume of the building, it had a different size and height. Thus he discovers the concrete space where human life unfolds.

Among his outstanding works we find the intervention at the Coffee Museum (Vienna, 1899), the Villa Karma (Switzerland, 1903-1906), the Steiner houses (Vienna, 1910), the Goldman Tailors and Salatsch, also known as Loos House, (Vienna, 1910) and the project Chicago Tribune Column (1922). Amongst his last works, some of them built in France, are the Tristan Tzara House (Paris, 1926), the Moller House (Vienna, 1928) and the Müller House (Prague, 1930), becoming an important influential teacher in the architectures of Gropius, Le Corbusier and other postwar architects.

Josep Torres Clavé

Josep Torres i Clavé (Barcelona, ​​Spain, 1906 - Els Omellons, Spain, 1939), was a Spanish architect and designer. He was the nephew of the architect Jaume Torres i Grau. He began his professional career with the architects Josep Lluís Sert and Antoni Bonet, with whom he founded MIDVA (Mobles i decoració per a la Vivienda actual). In 1924, he began studying architecture at the School of Barcelona. In 1927-28, at the age of 21, he made a study trip to Italy, together with Josep Lluís Sert, where he learned about the works of the great classics. Le Corbusier's passage through Barcelona on his way to Madrid and the Can Dalmau exhibition were determining factors in his formation as a modern architect. He finishes his studies on August 26, 1929.

After finishing his studies, he will be one of the founding members of GATEPAC (Group of Spanish Artists and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture) —a group created as the Spanish branch of the International Congress of Modern Architecture, CIAM—, founded in Zaragoza in 1930 by initiative of Fernando García Mercadal to promote the rationalist style in Spanish architecture, with three sections (central group (Madrid group), north (Basque) and eastern (Catalan) where he used the denomination of GATCPAC, Grup d'Arquitectes i Tècnics Catalans pel Progress of Contemporary Architecture). In this association that spread the principles of the modern movement, Torres Clavé was considered one of the best cartoonists.

Parallel to their constitution as a group, they opened a place on Passeig de Gràcia for exhibitions and promoted the magazine AC (1931-1937), Documents of Contemporary Activity, where they carried out an important task of dissemination and criticism, becoming the soul of the publication; It presented the work of architects and artists such as Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Erich Mendelsohn, Van Doesburg, Neutra, Lubetkin, Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso. He was also director of the Superior Technical School of Architecture of Barcelona during the years 1936 to 1939.

On July 30, 1936 he created the Sindicat d'Arquitectes de Catalunya (S.A.C), of which he was general secretary, and with which he would actively participate in reconstruction works, new schools and redevelopment. He was an active member of the PSUC.

Among his most important works are the Casa Bloc (1932-1936, Paseo de Torres i Bages 91-105, in Sant Andreu), and the Tuberculosis Dispensary (1934-1938, at number 10 of the San Bernat passage), both in Barcelona and made together with Josep Lluís Sert and Joan Baptista Subirana. In the field of urban planning, he actively participated in the "future Barcelona urbanization project" of 1932 (subsequently baptized as the Macià Plan), presented by Le Corbusier, Walter Gropious, Mercadal, Sert, among others, as well as the Ciutat de Repós i Vacances de Castelldefels (1932). Within his designs there are proposals for furniture that are still reproduced today, such as the chair with a rattan back that became famous or a floor lamp, pieces designed for his family circle.

He died on the front in the town of Omellons, near Borges Blanques, in 1939 during the Spanish Civil War while building trenches on the Lerida front.


Lilly Reich (b. Berlin, Germany, 16 June 1885 - d. Berlin, Germany, 14 December 1947). In 1908 she moved to Vienna, where she worked at the Wiener Werkstätte, an association of artists, architects and designers who prusued the integration of all the arts in a common project, without distinction between major and minor arts, after training to become an industrial embroiderer, Lilly Reich began working briefly at the Viennese studio of architect, Josef Hoffmann. In 1911, she returned to Berlin and met Anna and Hermann Muthesius.

In 1912, she became a member of the Deutscher Werkbund (German Work Federation, an association founded in 1907 formed by industrialists, architects and artists that defined the German industrial design). In 1920, she became the first female member of its board of directors. She was also a member of the Freie Gruppe für Farbkunst (independent group for colour art) in the same organisation.

In 1914, she collaborated on the interior design of the Haus der Frau (woman’s house) at the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition in Cologne. She managed a studio for interior design, decorative art and fashion in Berlin until 1924. In the same year, she travelled to England and Holland with Ferdinand Kramer to view modern housing estates. Until 1926, she managed a studio for exhibition design and fashion in Frankfurt am Main and worked in the Frankfurt trade fair office as an exhibition designer.

Reich met Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1926 and collaborated closely with him on the design of a flat and other projects for the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition held in Stuttgart in 1928. In 1927, she moved into her own studio and apartment in Berlin. In mid-1928, Mies van der Rohe and Reich were appointed as artistic directors of the German section of the 1929 World Exhibition in Barcelona, probably owing to their successful collaboration on the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition in Stuttgart. In late 1928, Mies van der Rohe began to work on the design for the Tugendhat House in the Czech town of Brno. This was completed in 1930 and, alongside the Barcelona Pavilion, it is considered to be a masterpiece of modern architecture. The interior design for Tugendhat House was created in collaboration with Lilly Reich.

In 1932, Lilly Reich played an important role at the Bauhaus in Dessau and Berlin. In January 1932, the third Bauhaus director, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, appointed her as the director of the building/finishing department and the weaving workshop at the Bauhaus Dessau. She also continued to serve in this capacity at the Bauhaus Berlin, where she worked until December 1932.

In 1934, Reich collaborated on the design of the exhibition Deutsches Volk – Deutsche Arbeit (German people – German work) in Berlin. In 1937, Reich and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe were commissioned to design the German Reich exhibition of the German textile and clothing industry in Berlin. This was subsequently displayed in the textile industry section of the German Pavilion at the Paris World Exhibition of 1937. In 1939, she travelled to Chicago and visited Mies van der Rohe there. Following her return to Germany, Reich was conscripted to the military engineering group Organisation Todt (OT). After the war (1945/46), she taught interior design and building theory at Berlin University of the Arts. Reich ran a studio for architecture, design, textiles and fashion in Berlin until her death in 1947.

Charles Édouard Jeanneret. LE CORBUSIER

Charles Édouard Jeanneret-Gris was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland on October 6th, 1887. He is best known as Le Corbusier, one of the most important architects of the XX Century that together with Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright rise up as the fathers of Modern Architecture. In his long career, he worked in France, Germany, Switzerland, the United States, Argentina, India and Japan.

Jeanneret was admitted to the Art School of La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1902. He knew Charles l’Éplattenier, his first teacher, and he became interested in architecture. He built his first house, Villa Fallet, in 1906, and one year later he set out on his first great journey to Italy. From 1908-1909 he worked in Perret Bother’s Studio, where he focussed on the employment of the concrete, and from 1910-1911 he coincided with Mies van der Rohe in this studio in Berlin.

In 1917, Charles Édouard Jeanneret set up finally in Paris. The next year he met the painter Amedée Ozenfant and he displayed his first paintings and wrote his first book, Après le Cubismo. In 1919 he founded the magazine l´Esprit nouveau, where he published unnumbered articles, signing with the pseudonym Le Corbusier for the first time.

He opened his own Studio in 1922, in the number 35 of the rue de Sèvres. In this decade when his laboratory epoch started he carried out a great number of activities as a painter, essayist, and writer. But also as an architect, he planned some of the most recognizable icons of modern architecture and developed the principles of the free plan. Some of these works are the Villa Roche-Jeanneret, the Villa Savoye in Poissy, and the Siedlungweissenhof’s houses built in Stuttgart in 1927. It should be pointed out that at the same time; he set out the “five points” of the architecture.

Le Corbusier projected “The contemporary three million population city” in 1922 and in 1925 put forward the Voisin plan of Paris, which is one of his most important urban proposals. Three years later, in 1928, through his initiative, the CIAM was created and in 1929 he published his first edition of the Oeuvre Complète.

In the 30s, he collaborated with the magazine Plans and Prélude, where he became enthusiastic about urbanism and he started, in 1930, to elaborate the drawings of the “Radiant City” as a result of the “Green City” planned for Moscu, his project would be summarized in the “Radiant Villa”, which was enclosed with the projects for Amberes, Stockholm, and Paris. By 1931 he presented Argel, a proposal that composed the Obus Plan. And in 1933 the 4th CIAM passed and there he edited the Athens Document.

Le Corbusier, in 1943, developed the “Three Human Establishments Doctrine” and founded the Constructors Assembly for Architectural Renovation (ASCORAL). He made the project the Unite d´habitation of Marsella in 1952, which was the first one of a series of similar buildings. At the same time, the works of Chandigarh in India began, where he planned the main governmental buildings. Nevertheless, in the same decade, he worked in France too, in the Notre-Dame-du-Haut chapel in Ronchamp, in the convent of La Tourette in Éveux, Jaoul’s houses in Neuilly and the Unites d´habitation of Rézé-lès-Nantes, Briey-en-Forêt and Firminy.

He wrote and published his worldwide known study of the Modulor in 1948 followed by a second part in 1953. Meanwhile the next Le Corbusier’s books had a more autobiographic nature, among them the Le poème de l'angle droit (1955), l'Atelier de la recherche patiente (1960) and Mise aupoint (1966) stand out.

Le Corbusier, at the end of his life, created many projects that would not be built, for example, a calculus center for Olivetti in Rho, Milan; a congress in Strasbourg, the France embassy in Brasilia and a new hospital in Venice.

He died drowned on the 27th of August of 1965 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.


Walter Adolph Georg Gropius was born in Berlin, son and grandson of architects, whose influence led him to study architecture in Munich and Berlin. After completing his studies, he worked in Peter Behrens' practice, to later become independent. Between 1910 and 1915, he worked primarily on the rehabilitation and expansion of Fagus Factory in Alfeld. With its thin metal structures, large glazed surfaces, flat roofs and orthogonal forms, this work was a pioneer of modern architecture.

In addition, Gropius founded the famous Bauhaus School, a design school that taught students to use modern and innovative materials to create buildings, furniture and original and functional objects. He was in charge of it first in Weimar and then in Dessau, from 1919 to 1928.

From 1926, Gropius was intensely devoted to the design of housing blocks, which saw the solution to social and urban problems, inaddition to betting for the racionalization in the construction industry, which would allow to build faster and more economically.

Before the First World War, Gropius was already part of a movement of aesthetic renovation, represented by the Deutscher Werkbund, which aimed to unite art with industrial design.

After the war, Gropius, in his role as director of the Sächsischen Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts) and Sächsischen Hochschule für bildene Kunst (Superior School of Fine Arts), decides to merge the two schools under the name of "Staatliches Bauhaus "combining their academic goals and adding an architecture section. The building constructed for the school itself is a symbol of the most representative ideas of the Bauhaus: "form follows function".

In 1934 Gropius was forced to leave Germany due to the Nazi agressions suffered by the Bauhaus and his own work. He lived and worked for three years in England moving to America later, where he was professor of architecture at the Harvard Design School. In 1946 The Architects Collaborative, Inc., a group of young architects known as TAC, of which he was responsible of the direction and trainig of the memebers for several years.

Walter Gropius died in Boston in 1969, at the age of 86 years old. His buildings reflect the style of the Bauhaus, with new materials used in their construction and giving them a modern look, unknown at that time. Smooth facades and clear lines, lack of unnecessary decorative elements. This architecture has made of him one of the key leaders of the so-called 'International Style' in architecture.


Louis Isadore Kahn is born in Pernow – formerly in Russia, but now Pärnu in Estonia – on February 20, 1901 by the name of Leiser-itze Schmulowsky. In 1906, the family immigrates to Philadelphia. His father changes the family name to Kahn in 1915, when the family is awarded US citizenship. Kahn develops his artistic talents early on, and is able to draw beautifully from a young age.

In his early years, Kahn earns money playing the piano at neighbourhood theatres. He keeps this up during his university years, until he graduates in 1924 with a bronze medal for ‘superior excellence’ and starts working as an architect.

In 1928, he leaves on a trip to Europe. In the Netherlands, he learns about modern architecture, such as the functionalist design of Johannes Duiker's Sanatorium Zonnestraal in Hilversum. He also gets to see the architecture of Hendrik Berlage, Michel de Klerk and Willem Dudok.

Family life and work 1930 - 1955
Back in the US, Louis Kahn marries Esther Virginia Israeli, a research assistant in the field of neurology. Five years later, Kahn is awarded the title of architect and starts working from home on his own projects. In 1940, Esther gives birth to their first daughter, Sue Ann. In 1945, Kahn has an office with a few employees. Kahn develops a tough work ethic: he often only rests for a few hours, sometimes sleeping at the office to be able to continue working straight away.

In the office, Louis Kahn and architect Anne Tyng, who is nearly 20 years younger, become entangled in an affair. Because of his attitude towards work, Louis Kahn is often away from home, keeping the two worlds of family life and work strictly separate. In 1950, Kahn leaves on another extended trip to southern Europe and Egypt, where he draws ancient Roman and Egyptian treasures. Kahn describes the beauty of these structures in letters to Anne Tyng. In 1954, Anne Tyng gives birth to Kahn's second child: Alexandra.

International fame: 1955 - 1974
In 1958, Kahn is introduced to landscape-architect Harriet Pattison (born in 1928) at a party. A relationship develops between the architect and Pattison, resulting in the birth of Kahn's third child and only son, Nathaniel. One year later, Kahn attends the conference of a prominent group of international architects, who have come together in Otterloo, the Netherlands, under the name of Team X (Team Ten). This group includes Dutch architects Aldo van Eyck and Jaap Bakema.

In the 1960s and 70s, Kahn finally takes his place on the international stage with designs for government buildings, museums, laboratories, libraries, private homes and religious buildings. One high point is the government building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which is only completed in 1983, years after his death. In the last decade of his life, Kahn visits the Indian subcontinent no fewer than 40 times. On 17 March 1974, returning from one of these trips, Louis Kahn dies in a toilet at Penn Station in New York. For uncertain reasons, he had crossed out his name in his passport, as a result of which he can only be identified a few days later.

21st century: Kahn's legacy lives on
Years after Louis Kahn dies, his son Nathaniel sets out to investigate his father's legacy. His film ‘My Architect’ (2003) earns him an Oscar nomination.


Frederick Law Olmsted. (1822-1903). He was born on April 26, 1822 in Island, New York. Landscape architect, journalist and botanist. He studied at Yale University and after finishing his studies he traveled through Europe and America, learning gardening and agricultural methods. Among his outstanding works we find Central Park and Prospect Park in New York. As a journalist he published Walks and Conversations of an American farmer in England in 1852. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted along with Calvert Vaux were presented in honor of Andrew Jackson Downing to the contest to be the designers of Central Park. His project solved the problem that Central Park had because of its narrow, rectangular shape. Finally, they were the winners of the competition.

Although the public was satisfied with the creation of the new park, Olmest received a large number of demands for the policy and cost reduction, which caused that in 1861 he left the Central Park project for a new project: executive secretary of the US Health Commission that treated the injured in the Civil War. His job was to supply the soldiers who were in the middle of war with blankets, food and clothes. In 1863 he traveled to California to manage Mariposa Estate, a gold mining operation.

On his return to New Yok, in 1865 Vaux and Olmsted created Olmsted, Vaux and Company. It was a defining moment in Olmest's life as he decided that his career would begin to focus on landscape architecture. Together they designed the Prospect Park, the park system of New York and Milwaukee and the Niagara Reserve, at Niagara Falls. In Brookline, located in the state of Massachusetts, we highlight the works of Olmest the Emerald Necklace of Boston, the campus of Stanford University and buildings of the World's Columbian Exposition.

In 1872, Olmsted and Vaux decided to finish with the team they had created together, despite having a great demand for projects to be carried out.

Olmsted helped to enhance the architecture of the landscape and to prosper in the United States with his works and ideas so characteristic of the place. Finally, he died on August 28, 1903, with 81 years in Belmont, a town in Massachusetts.

Among other outstanding projects we find:

- The coordinated system of public parks and avenues of Búfalo (New York).
- The Mount-Royal Park, in Montreal (Canada).
- The Emerald Necklace, in Boston (Massachusetts).
- The Cherokee Park including the system of avenues in Louisville (Kentucky).
- Jackson Park, Washington Park and Midway Plaisance in for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
- Part of Detroit Belle Isle park.
- The gardens of the United States Capitol and the building of George Washington Vanderbilt II.
- The Biltmore Estate, in North Carolina.



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