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Who is Enric Miralles?


Barcelona is a city full of good architecture. That is why we often mention by name the architects who were instrumental in making Barcelona the diverse and cosmopolitan city it is today. Along with Gaudi and the other modernist architects such as Montaner or Puig I Cadafalch, more contemporary architects such as Enric Miralles have also contributed to the formation of today’s Barcelona.

Santa Caterina Market under construction © Alex Gaultier

On our tour BARCELONA & GOTHIC TO MODERN we explore the ideas and mindset of Enric Miralles, the genius of our lifetime. He and his firm, EMBT, designed one of the most brilliant works of architecture in the city: the renovation of the Santa Caterina Market.

But, who was Enric Miralles? Today we share part of his biography, a must read for all of those who want to discover more about our favorite master architect.

Santa Caterina Market © Alex Gaultier

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 guest Fulbright professor at the Columbia University during 1980-1981. His doctoral thesis was entitled “The things seen from the left to the right (without glasses)”.


From 1973-1983 he collaborated with Albert Viaplana and Helio Piñón, and in 1985 took up his independent career. In his first creative period along with the architect Carme Pinos, he created some of his most poetic works, such as the Igualada Cemetery.

In 1993, Enric founded EMBT studio with his wife, Benedetta Tagliabue. Together they carried out many important projects, such as the redesign of the Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona or the Scottish Parliament Building, in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is considered his biggest work by the most.

Olympic Archery Range / Enric Miralles & Carme Pinos

Miralles has been professor in the School of Architecture of Barcelona (ETSAB) in the Department of Architecture (1996), director and lecturer in the Städleschule of Frankfurt-am-Main (1990), professor at Harvard University, in the Chair Kenzo Tange (1992). He has been also host professor and lecturer in several universities of the United States, Germany, UK, Italy, The Netherlands, and finally, member of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.

Among other awards, Enric Miralles received the National Architecture Prize in 1995, awarded by the Ministry of Culture, and in 1996 he has been honoured with the ‘Golden Lion’ at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Enric Miralles (Barcelona, 1955, Sant Feliu de Codines, 2000)

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.


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