Master of Mudéjar

Author: School of Architecture

On November 17 the School of Architecture hosted the annual Driehaus Prize Lecture featuring 2010 laureate, Spanish architect Rafael Manzano Martos. His lecture, "Mudéjar Architecture: Balance Between East and West," recounted the history of architectural style, highlighted Manzano's preservation projects, and explored new iterations of the regional vernacular.

Mudéjar architecture blends Muslim and Christian influences used primarily during the 12th century on the Iberian Peninsula. With expertise in this style and a command of Western and Islamic vernaculars, Manzano's work has included hotels, commercial buildings, homes, and residential complexes throughout Spain and the Middle East. His best-known work includes state homes for Chueca Goitia in Seville and Curro Romero in Marbella (now a Julio Iglesias property). His fluency in Islamic style informs designs for a hotel in Mosul, Iraq, and a resort and shopping district in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Born in Cádiz, Spain, Manzano's career has included building restoration, urban planning and teaching, in addition to his architectural work. From 1970 to 1991, Manzano served as the Director-Curator and Governor of the Alcázar of Seville, a royal palace. Originally a Moorish fort, the Alcázar is one of the finest enduring examples of Mudéjar architecture.