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Dense Voids

Enrique Sobejano
Nieto Sobejano Architectos Madrid

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos was founded in 1985 by Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano and has offices in Madrid and Berlin. Their work is dominated by an outstanding design philosophy.

In his lecture Enrique Sobejano will outline this design philosophy on the basis of their worldwide projects. Part of this will be the recently won competitions in Munich as well.

Design Philosophy
The works of Nieto Sobejano Architectos were conceived independently, at different times. They are the result of varying conditions, places, and programs: at first glance one is undoubtedly more attentive to what sets them apart than to what may unite them. Only when grouped together, like pieces of an imaginary puzzle, do they seem to reveal what unconsciously connects them: fragmentary processes that suggest perhaps fictitious, but not unreal, orders. And yet, precisely because architecture is always the result of an interpretation of multiple and apparently unconnected circumstances, the projects are a reflection of one another, like an unforeseen result of an endless play of mirrors.

Nieto Sobejano Architectos begin from random points: concealed in the mirror of one’s mind or perceived through the window that frames the surroundings. The window and the mirror are metaphors linked to the perception of the exterior world (objective) and to the thoughts on the interior world (subjective). Both images reflect the specificity and multiplicity that form the basis of every project.

We limit ourselves to establishing links derived from interpretations of specific problems, to which we cling when we try to understand the urban structures that define a place, the laws that govern a landscape, the constructive and spatial reasons of a historical building, the materiality of a temporary installation, or the logical solution to a functional need.
Every project oscillates between memory and invention.

Enrique Sobejano has worked as an architect since graduating from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning at Columbia University in New York in 1983. He is a professor at the Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK), where he holds the chair of Principles of Design. He has been a visiting critic and lecturer at various international universities worldwide. From 1986 to 1991 he was co-director of the architectural journal ARQUITECTURA, published by the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid. He chairs and participates in international conferences and juries and is a founding partner of Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos. He is a permanent member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin (AdK).

Along with being widely published in international magazines and books, Nieto Sobejano Architectos’ work has been exhibited at the Biennale di Venezia in 2000, 2002, 2006, and 2012, at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, in 2006, at the Kunsthaus in Graz in 2008 and at the MAST Foundation in Bologna in 2014. They are the recipients of the 2007 National Prize for Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage and the 2010 Nike Prize issued by the Bund Deutscher Architekten (BDA), as well as the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (2010), the Piranesi Prix de Rome (2011), the European Museum of the Year Award (2012), the Hannes Meyer Prize (2012), AIA Honorary Fellowsh

Their major works include the Madinat al-Zahra Museum, the Moritzburg Museum, the San Telmo Museum, the Zaragoza Congress Centre, the Joanneum extension in Graz, and the Contemporary Art Centre in Córdoba. Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos currently have projects in Germany, Spain, Austria, Estonia, Morocco, China, United Kingdom and France. Three monographs have been recently published on their work: "Nieto Sobejano. Memory and Invention" (Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern, Germany, 2013), "Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano. Architetture" (Mondadori Electa Spa, Milano, Italy, 2014) and "Nieto Sobejano Arquitectura 2004-2017" (TC Cuadernos 131/132, Valencia, Spain, 2017).