Headquarters of Doctors Without Borders in Barcelona / Batlleiroig. Image © Antonio Navarro Wijkmark
Spanish cities are clear examples of the overlapping of historical periods. Medieval urban layouts coexist with modernist urban plans, and their buildings show traces of Roman, Arab, Gothic, and Romanesque architecture. Moreover, in the era of Maritime Expansion, Spanish architecture was exported from the Iberian Peninsula to much of the world, especially the Americas. It is also difficult to speak of Spanish architecture without mentioning the Catalan genius Antoni Gaudí, whose distinctive style remains unparalleled in architectural history – inspiring and unsettling, without fitting into any particular single stylistic movement. In recent decades, Spanish architects have remained highly respected throughout the world. From the complex structures of Calatrava and the virtuosity of Enric Miralles, to the respect for context of Rafael Moneo. There are many others that should be noted, such as Ricardo Bofill, Alberto Campo Baeza, and the recent Pritzker winners, RCR Arquitectes.