Enric Miralles’s approach is akin to a “critical deconstructivism”: he puts the formal system defined by deconstructivist architects to the test of a specific culture and territory. By breaking up architectural components, through the absence of hierarchy between load-bearing elements, and supported elements, and through the disappearance of any organization in favour of juxtaposition and accumulation, he expresses the earth’s gestatory power and earmarks the ground as the very stuff of architecture. In his projects (Igualada Cemetery, 1984-1994; Olympic Archery Stand , 1992), the task of excavation and earthworks replaces the traditional procedures of assemblage and production. Miralles is less interested in objects than in their process of appearance, their “emergence”, questioning the relation between artificial and living forms. So the roof of the New Scottish Parliament (Edinburgh, 2004) refers to tree leaves or upturned ship’s hulls. The cladding of the façade using scales for its part calls to mind the skin of reptiles or fish.
The architect Enric Miralles graduated from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura in Barcelona in 1978. Between 1973 and 1983 he collaborated with Albert Viaplana and Helio Piñon, before setting up his own agency in 1985 with Carme Pinos. In 1990 he became associated with Benedetta Tagliabue in the EMBT agency (Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue). Since Miralles’ death in 2000, the agency has been run by Tagliabue. EMBT today enjoys international recognition, and has had major shows (IFA, France, 2001; Venice Biennale, 2002 and 2004; MoMA, New York, 2006…).