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The Spanish Pavilion in New York by Javier Carvajal #Javier Carvajal


Javier Carvajal Ferrer established himself as a young successful architect after winning a contest to build the Spanish Pavilion at the World’s Fair in New York in 1964. The building was at the time a resounding success among visitors and critics, receiving laudatory reviews from Ada Louise Huxtable, New York Times’ famous architecture critic, or from Salvador Dalí. It was also awarded Best Foreign Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.

Architecture has a dual entity, which is expressed in creative ideation and in factual construction. Architecture is not a drawn art, but a built art. Javier Carvajal Ferrer, Sobre la génesis del proyecto, 1997

The exterior of the pavilion, discreet and hermetic, was made of a whitewashed base supporting a stark volume of repeated pre-cast concrete elements, a recurrent feature that he would use again in the house in Caracas Street or in the controversial Valencia Tower in Madrid.Its interior was a sequence of roofed and roofless spaces, linked in such a subtle, elegant way that critics of the time compared it to the Alhambra Palace in Granada. The ceiling was covered by square walnut coffers, also reminiscent of the Moorish architecture, that reached the level of the display cases where they held the lighting. The floor followed the topography of the site thus going up or down according to the heights of the different expositive spaces.