Fontán, Building of the Year 2022

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Andrés Perea, Elena Suárez, Rafael Torrelo.
Fontán Building, Ciudad de la Cultura, Monte Gaias, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain.

Andrés Perea, Elena Suárez Calvo, Rafael Fernández Torrelo. PEREA, SUÁREZ, TORRELO

Perea, Suárez, Torrelo, for the Fontán building project, the architects formed a team: Andrés Perea, Elena Suárez Calvo, and Rafael Fernández Torrelo.

The crossing of paths has been fortunate.

The ambitious youth of modelled spaces and freedom with two patrollers of the profession.

One of a long journey in search not of the sources of the Nile... but of beauty. The other in the fullness of his vigour.

Coming to the rescue.

Holding the course.

A beautiful, unforgettable journey through invention and reality.

Andrés Perea

Andrés Perea Ortega (Bogotá 1940 - Madrid November 16, 2023) was born in Bogotá, due to his family's exile during the Spanish Civil War.

A Spaniard, he studied at the ETSAM, graduating in 1965.

His long professional career has allowed him to share with countless architects collaborators in constructive production, and students of Architecture here as a teacher, researcher, and understanding of architecture, always as creative work.

An effort that has earned awards and distinctions, and also failures and mistakes as the human being he pretends to be.

Madrid, Bogota autumn 2022.


Rafael Torrelo was born on 23 July 1961 in Madrid, Spain. He graduated as an architect from the ETSAM in 1985.

He is internationally active with 37 years of professional experience, individually and in association with other independent architects. He has carried out project design and construction management contracts and has been an on-site design supervisor, project manager, and consultant for engineering companies.

Projects and works of high complexity such as transport and infrastructure buildings (interchanges, bus stations, metro stations, airports...), laboratories (forensic, military, biology, neurosciences...), logistics (automated postal processing centers), and other types of buildings (offices, housing, sports, care, cultural and university...).

He was also a Professor of Architectural Projects at the ETSAM/UPM and CES-CEU from 1989 to 2014. Lecturer, and expert consultant, among other professional activities.

International Senior Architect in Medinat Zayed, Abu Dhabi, and Sydney, Australia. Awards and mentions in 19 competitions (5 first prizes). Transport and Basic Infrastructures Award, XII Urban Planning, Architecture, and Public Works Awards, 1997, Madrid City Council. García Mercadal Award for Interior Architecture, C.O.A.A.


Elena Suárez Calvo is an architect graduated in both specialties of Building and Urban Planning by the ETSAM Study Plan 75, School of Architecture of Madrid, in July 2000. Member of COAM nº 13.454.

She has twenty-two years of extensive professional experience in design and construction as a professional architect in Madrid and Berlin. She has completed numerous projects for residential, administrative, and cultural use, both for the private and public fields, and has participated in recognized and award-winning architectural competitions. Among the commissioned works, it is worth mentioning those developed for the Heritage of the Spanish State with interventions in significant buildings in Madrid or projects that resulted from first prizes in architectural competitions.

In 2013 she moved to Berlin with a scholarship from the Official College of Architects of Madrid, where she participates in major architectural firms of international prestige and expands her training in the execution of industrialized construction systems with high comfort requirements.

In 2017 she goes back to Madrid as a freelance architect, associated with Andrés Perea Ortega and Rafel Torrelo. They develop the administrative building Fontán for the Xunta de Galicia in Santiago de Compostela with whom she shares the same creative ambition in the intervention of the human environment.

She is constantly involved in architectural competitions, conceived as a laboratory for research into contemporary design and the immediate future. She is committed to innovation in all fields related to the human being and the landscape, from the small scale closest to the individual to the large urban and landscape scale.

Flexibility, adaptability, recyclability, and innovation are the conceptual matter of her design processes.


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 ( He is an architecture critic and editor-in-chief of METALOCUS magazine since 1999, and he was advising 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, (2010-2022), 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.




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