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  • MBM, a Barcelona based architecture firm, showed 32 designs that were never built in a 2003 show titled Lost Architectures?

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

MBM is an urban design and architecture firm founded in 1951, and named from the initials of the last names of partners Josep Martorell, Oriol Bohigas and David Mackay. Martorell and Bohigas are Spanish-Catalan, and Mackay is English-Irish.[1]



The firm was one of the only exponent of modernism under Francisco Franco and served as a launching pad for many Spanish architects.[1] The team also wrote, edited, published and lectured, promoting a modernist take on regionalism and designed many schools, libraries, housing projects, and churches. [1]

MBM did "pioneering" work in transforming Barcelona’s public spaces during the 1980s and earned a worldwide reputation the firm. [2]

Barcelona Olympics

MBM did design work for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 including on the city's masterplan. The firm designed the Vila Olímpica and the Olympic Port. Their urban plan expanded the number of public spaces and cultural buildings and integrated the works of other major architects including Norman Foster and Richard Meier that helped achieve an "urban renaissance". [1]

Recent work

The firm showed 32 design projects that were never built at their 2003 Lost Architectures exhibit at the RIAI’s architecture centre in Dublin.[2] The exhibit offered "a rare opportunity to reflect on the reasons, the trends, and the architectural culture of the time."[2] In a comparison to Le Corbusier's speech when he received the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture in London in 1953 and "spoke of his failures", Mackay said, "Now, after 50 years of architecture, we are guilty of the crime of being on the scene too long. This has given us, too, the opportunity to accumulate many failures."[2]

MBM partner David Mackay oversaw a masterplan for the "Arc of Opportunity" at the Lower Lea Valley, part of 2 billion pound regeneration scheme for London in 2002.[3] In 2008 the firm's so-called Stapler museum design for Barcelona was rejected. [4] The museum is to hold a collection furniture, lamps and utensils in Barcelona and the contents of the city's former textile museum, "which was controversially closed" in 2006.[4]


  • Guardiola House, Argentona (1955) [1]
  • Europalma Apartments, Majorca (1964)[1]
  • Parc de la Creueta del Coll, Barcelona (1987)[1]
  • Harbormaster's House, Olympic Port in Barcelona (1991)[1]
  • Vila Olimpica (Olympic Village), Barcelona (1992)[1]
  • Gothic stone and tensile pavilion, Seville Expo(1992)[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Rattenbury, Kester; Rob Bevan and Kiernan Long (2004). Architects of Today. Laurence King. pp. 142–143. ISBN 9781856694926.  
  2. ^ a b c d Shane O'Toole Architecture: Site for sore eyes The designers of a square in Dublin hope to learn from past mistakes in attempting to create something memorable February 9, 2003 The Sunday Times
  3. ^ Booth, Robert MBM is back on East-End scene. November 22, 2002 Building Design(preview)[1]
  4. ^ a b Elizabeth Nash 'Stapler' museum 7 October 2008 The Independent


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