Miralles Tagliabue EMBT is an incorporated architecture, landscape, interior and design studio, based in Barcelona and Shanghai and the founders are Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, a couple. Enric Miralles Moya was a Spanish architect and designer. He has received numerous awards, including the National Prize of Spanish Architecture 1995, FAD Prize(Fomento Artes Decorativas) 1985 and 2000, The European ITALSTAD (Italy) 1991. Leone d’Oro Prize at the Biennale di Venezia 1996. His work has been published internationally in the most distinguished reviews, El Croquis N.100 101, Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue 1996-2000. GG. Miralles Tagliabue Time Architecture 1999. Electa, Documenti di Architettutra. Benedetta Tagliabue. Enric Miralles: Opere e Progetti. 1996. In 1999 he was named an Honorary member of The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.
Spanish designer and architect, Enric Miralles was born in Barcelona in 1955. He trained at the School of Architecture of Barcelona ETSAB until 1974. He was a visiting Fulbright professor at Columbia University during 1980-1981. His doctoral thesis was titled “The things seen to the left and to the right (without glasses)”.
From 1973-1983 he collaborated with Albert Viaplana and Helio Piñón, and in 1985 began his independent career. In his first creative period with fellow architect Carme Pinos, he created some of his most poetic works, such as the Igualada Cemetery.
In 1993, Enric founded EMBT with his wife, Benedetta Tagliabue. Together they produced many magnificent projects, such as the revitalization of Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona, and what many consider to be his Magnum Opus: the Scottish Parliament Building, in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Miralles was a professor at the School of Architecture of Barcelona (ETSAB) with the Department of Architecture (1996), the Director and Professor of lectures in the Städleschule of Frankfurt-am-Main (1990), a professor at Harvard University, in the Chair Kenzo Tange in (1992). He was also a visiting professor and lecturer at several universities in the United States, Germany, UK, Italy, The Netherlands, and finally, a member of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.
Among other awards, in 1995 received the National Architecture Prize, awarded by the Ministry of Culture, and in 1996 with the ‘Golden Lion’ at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Considered a highly inventive architect, Enric is defined as the enfant terrible of Spanish architecture. Sadly, his prolific career and practice was cut short at its peak, when he passed away in July 2000, in Sant Feliu de Codines.
Enric Miralles was an author of sweeping buildings, a genuinely original and derived language with a deep respect for the place. He left us a lush and prolific world of architectural and intellectual work, including writings, drawings, sketches, collages, journals, and nearly a thousand original models.
Enric Miralles died at the age of 45 as the result of a brain tumor. Nowadays, there is a foundation about him – Fundació Enrique Miralles.
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Benedetta Tagliabue was born in Milan and graduated from the University of Venice in 1989. In 1991 she joined Enric Miralles’ studio where she eventually became a partner. Her work with Miralles, whom she married, includes a number of high profile buildings and projects in Barcelona: Parque Diagonal Mar (1997-2002), Head Office Gas Natural (1999-2006) and the Market and quarter Santa Caterina (1996-2005), as well as projects across Europe, including the School of Music in Hamburg (1997-2000) and the City Hall in Utrecht (1996-2000).
In 1998, the partnership won the competition to design the new Scottish Parliament building and despite Miralles’ premature death in 2000, Tagliabue took leadership of the team as joint Project Director and the Parliament was successfully completed in 2004, winning several awards.
She won the competition for the new design of Hafencity Harbor in Hamburg , Germany, for a subway train station in Naples and for the Spanish Pavilion for Expo Shanghai 2010 among others.
Today under the direction of Benedetta Tagliabue the Miralles-Tagliabue-EMBT studio works with architectural projects, open spaces, urbanism, rehabilitation and exhibitions, trying to conserve the spirit of the Spanish and Italian artisan architectural studio tradition which espouses collaboration rather than specialization.
Their architectural philosophy is dedicating special attention to context. Benedetta has written for several architectural magazines and has taught at, amongst other places, the University of architecture ETSAB in Barcelona. She has lectured in many international architectural Forums as, for example, the RIBA, the Architectural Association and Bartlett School in, London, the Berlage Institut in Amsterdam, and in USA, China and South America.
She has exhibited in Brazil,Venezuela, the United States, France, Italy and of course Spain, using these exhibitions not only to explore her own architecture but also its relationships with other disciplines such us landscape, urbanisma and fashion. In Skin and Bones (New York 2006) she studied the connections between architecture (shelter) and fashion (wrapping for a body).
She has received the Honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Napier University (2004), The RIBA Stirling Prize 2005, the Centenary Medal from Edinburgh Architectural Association and the 2005 Spanish National Architecture Prize ‘Manuel de la Dehesa’, for the Scottish Parliament building. She was speaker at the 2006 RIBA International Conference in Barcelona and an outspoken Stirling Prize judge in 2009. In February 2010 she will be awarded with RIBA’s International Fellowships for the particular contribution as a non-UK architect she has made to architecture.
She has recently won the World Architectural Festival Award 2009 within Category Top Future Project for Shanghai Pavilion.
Background and Realizations: the projects
The most iconic project
From the Barcelona Cathedral, an undulating, brightly coloured roof catches our eye. Attracted like insects to a colourful flower, we approach to discover a food market below the roof: the Santa Caterina Market. The original design of the building, as well as the treasure trove of produce displayed on its stalls, won’t disappoint visitors to the neighbourhood of Santa Caterina.
The refurbishment of Barcelona’s first covered food market by the architectural practice of Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue was completed in 2005. The old Santa Caterina food market revealed a gleaming, undulating and brightly coloured roof designed to be seen from the air. The roof is attached to the building by a wooden structure, and a vast mosaic of coloured ceramic pieces, representing fruit and vegetables, boldly breaks with the traditional look of a market. The market has always been characterised by a desire to innovate. Santa Caterina Market was built in 1845 to provide the neighbourhood’s blue-collar community with foodstuffs.
The spacious, modern market building was constructed on the former site of the Convent of Santa Caterina, from which it takes its name. During the post-Civil War period, Santa Caterina became the main food supplier to the towns on the outskirts of Barcelona. People from Sant Adrià, Santa Coloma and Mataró came on the tram to buy food in this market in times of shortage. Today, the market is still worth a visit: the modern exterior ushers us into a traditional market with food stalls and restaurants which serve outstanding-quality produce.
Interesting facts about Miralles Tagliabue
Through his career and partnerships with wives Carmen Pinos and, later, Benedetta Taglibue, Enric Miralles was concerned with the relation between life, time and architecture. Or, as this article states, with exploring an architecture of time.
Miralles also believed that throughout an architect’s career, every aspect of his personal and professional life was influential to his own projects. For him, architecture is not about fixed theories or ideas. He understood and believed that philosophy is the search for wisdom, thus, his life and projects are not related to fixed models. Rather, as he said, he became an architect because of his curiosity to discover. As Miralles stated, he simply wanted to learn and change with knowledge: architects work by assembling groups of ideas, images and requirements. No project can be produced in isolation. At various stages in an architect’s career, each design, rather than simply existing as a project in itself is, therefore, also used experimentally by the architect, from which new ideas can be developed.
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“Work, when it comes, is very urgent, and it happens when your professional activities are in full swing.” Enric Miralles
“One of the best moments is when teacher and student are of nearly the same age. I believe in direct communication, and in order to achieve it the interests of the teacher and the student must be very close. To gain experience, the student must be somehow mature. I like a direct relationship with the student, a relation of quasi-confrontation, devoid of any kind of paternalism. Among other things, I learnt from Rafael Moneo that in the classroom everyone is in the same place and holds the same responsibility.” Enric Miralles
“I always say that I smoke one once in a while, but it’s not true. I like to think that I’m trying not to turn it into a habit. The problem is that, since I began smoking them, I really have been enjoying them, and the day I’m not allowed to do it anymore I’m going to be quite cross.” Enric Miralles
“I always say that the biggest influence is my husband enric miralles. he was a person looking everywhere. I think I have the same attitude of being very curious. curious about the works of others, but also curious about what artists do or what other types of professions do, and what can be discovered through films. I think this is maybe the type of influence we can imagine in our own work – more broadly.” Benedeta Tagliabue
“I think humanity is the most important thing for an architect. a phrase which made me understand cities and makes me so happy about working on cities is the quote, ‘the city is a real human thing’. I am investigating human behavior more and more because it is so important for making good architecture.” Benedeta Tagliabue
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