45 Years of Architecture Model Photography in Spain

138 images, 14 albums, 20 magazines, 13 original models and one projection are part of Modeling for the Camera: Photography of architectural models in Spain, 1925-1970, the current exhibition of the ICO Museum in Madrid, curated by Iñaki Bergera, PhD of Architecture from the University of Navarra.

The exhibition is tied to the book of the same name that was published in 2016, edited by La Fábrica and the Ministry of Public Works (Spain). In times when 3D visualization software has popularized, accelerated and perfected the rendering industry, both materials choose to value the legacy of architectural model photography in the 20th century.

45 Years of Architecture Model Photography in Spain - More Images+ 10

Preliminary design of the Transatlantic Commercial Bank, Barcelona, ​​1956. Architects: Francesc Mitjans i Miró. Image © Fondo F. Mitjans Miró. Architectural College of Catalonia Historical Archives

Visitors to the exhibition are shown the perfect pairing of icons of architectural photography and the best Spanish architects of the 20th century, covering more than 40 years of history. It includes the work of historic photographers such as Francesc Català-Roca, Kindel, Pando, Luis Lladó, Oriol Maspons-Julio Ubiña and Francisco Gómez, through the lens of projects by Josep Lluís Sert, Miguel Fisac, José Antonio Coderch, Francisco de Asís Cabrero, Javier Carvajal, Alejandro de la Sota and Fernando Higueras.

Mountain lodge, Vitoria (Álava), 1957. Architect: Javier Carvajal Ferrer. Image © José Calvo. General Archive of the University of Navarra

"In the years of modernity and the avant-garde," explains the ICO Museum in its official communiqué, "the use of the models became especially popular because they are objects that help to describe buildings very well and are already very simple and plastic, devoid of ornamentation and other classical languages and compositions. While the images allowed the architects to depict the model, or rather, to search for the views, frames or compositions that highlight its values and characteristics in relation to the building that represents." 

Commissioner Iñaki Bergera emphasized that the exhibition reflects "on the construction of the image of architecture in a broad sense, through the models as conceptual representations of what architecture aspired to be through the documentation and visual interpretation of them using only photographs."

SEAT Branch, Barcelona, ​​1961. Architects: César Ortiz Echagüe Rubio and Rafael Echaide Itarte. Image © Fondo O. Maspons. Architectural College of Catalonia Historical Archives. General Archive of the University of Navarra

Below are some of the photographs found at the exhibition.

Casa Bloc / Josep Lluís Sert, Josep Torres i Clavé y Joan Baptista Subirana
Barcelona, 1933

"Casa Bloc", Barcelona, ​​1933. Architects: Josep Lluís Sert i López, Josep Torres i Clavé and Joan Baptista Subirana i Subirana. Image © Fondo J. Torres Clavé. Architectural College of Catalonia Historical Archives

Club Táchira, Caracas / Eduardo Torroja y Fruto Vivas
Venezuela, 1956

Club Táchira, Caracas (Venezuela), 1956. Architects: Eduardo Torroja Miret and José Fructoso Vivas Vivas. Image © Modern construction archives- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Alberto Sartoris. © García Moya

High mountain lodge / Fernando Higueras, Juan Pedro Capote and José Serrano-Suñer Polo
First prize Mateu Pla contest 1958

High mountain lodge. First Prize Mateu Pla Contest, 1958. Architects: Fernando Higueras Diaz, Juan Pedro Capote Aquino and José Serrano-Suñer Polo. Image © Fernando Higueras Foundation

Preliminary design outdoor gazebo for music band / Juan Daniel Fullaondo
National Award for Architecture, 1962

Preliminary design outdoor gazebo for music band. National Prize of Architecture, 1962. Architect: Juan Daniel Fullaondo Errazu. Image © Paco Gómez Archive / Foto Colectania Foundation

National Opera House competition / Rafael Aburto
Madrid, 1963

Competition for the National Opera House, Madrid, 1963. Architect: Rafael Aburto Renobales. Image © General Archive of the University of Navarra

JORBA Laboratory headquarters / Miguel Fisac
Madrid, 1965

Headquarters of JORBA Laboratories, Madrid, 1965. Architect: Miguel Fisac ​​Serna. Image © C. Jiménez. Fisac ​​Foundation

Torres Blancas / Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza
Madrid, 1969

Torres Blancas, Madrid, 1969. Architect: Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza. Image © Collection Architectural College of Catalonia Historical Archives. Photography: L. Jiménez

'Modeling for the Camera: Photography of architectural models in Spain, 1925-1970' is a project promoted by the Spanish Ministry of Development, organized and produced with the support of the ICO Foundation. Along with collaboration from PHotoEspaña and the FAME research project for documentation work.

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About this author
Cite: Valencia, Nicolás. "45 Years of Architecture Model Photography in Spain" [Cámara y Modelo: 45 años de fotografías de maquetas de arquitectura en España] 16 Apr 2017. ArchDaily. (Trans. Valletta, Matthew) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/867968/45-years-of-architecture-model-photography-in-spain> ISSN 0719-8884

International Design Competition for the José Batlle y Ordóñez Monument in Montevideo (Uruguay), 1959. Architect: Roberto Puig Álvarez. Sculptor: Jorge Oteiza. Image © Photographic Library of the Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. Oteiza Museum Archives


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