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Alberto Villar Movellán

(fl 1882–97).

Spanish architect. His work is representative of the eclecticism of late 19th-century Spanish architecture, which is especially marked by classical values. His idiom was derived from Mannerist architecture and has a strong Baroque element. The influence of French art is also evident, especially the ostentatious style of Charles Garnier. Aladrén y Mendívil’s early works are more restrained in style and show a mastery of plan and façade design. This is apparent in the Diputación de Guipúzcoa (1885), San Sebastián, which he executed in collaboration with Adolfo Morales de los Ríos. With this same architect he designed his most renowned work, the Casino (now Ayuntamiento; 1882–7) at San Sebastián, which was promoted by the city council to take advantage of wealthy visitors, as San Sebastián was the court summer residence. The upper part of the building was set aside for gaming and the lower for relaxation and recreation, with banqueting-rooms, a café and restaurant. It is French in style and incorporates medieval, Renaissance and Baroque influences, combining these with the use of iron technology. These official works recommended him to industrial magnates in the Basque region, who made important commissions. These he executed with an academic respect for symmetry and following French models, as in the elegant country house (...

Article

Ornella Selvafolta

(b Turin, Oct 11, 1829; d Turin, Nov 9, 1921).

Italian architect. He studied under Carlo Promis (1808–72), an architect active in Turin in the first half of the 19th century, and in 1851 graduated in hydraulic engineering and civil architecture. He worked first in the engineering office of Severino Grattoni, who was then engaged on the Moncenisio tunnel. In the competition (1861) for a new façade for Florence Cathedral, Ceppi was a joint winner (announced 1863), but when a new competition was arranged he refused to enter. He decided instead to concentrate exclusively on the construction industry in Turin, which was at that time undergoing considerable changes, as Turin had just become the capital of Italy. From 1861 he worked with Alessandro Mazzuchetti (1824–94) on the project for the Stazione di Porta Nuova Centrale (completed 1868), facing Piazza Carlo Felice, for which Promis had provided the initial designs. While the outline and general layout of the design were largely Mazzucchetti’s, the decorative and architectural schemes of the façade were largely the work of Ceppi, who adopted a successful and convincing formal vocabulary derived from the English Gothic Revival. The station, notable for its ample fenestration, achieves a fine balance between decoration and functional and structural concerns. The long façades are punctuated with appropriate and elegant decoration highlighted by a lively use of colour. This work shows one of Ceppi’s main merits—the ability to adopt the formal vocabulary of a past age and to re-invent it to meet modern needs. Simultaneously attracted by technical progress and fascinated by classical architecture, Ceppi knew how to adapt any style with originality, and bring its content back to life....

Article

Alberto Villar Movellán

(b Alella, Barcelona, 1804; d Barcelona, 1888).

Spanish architect and urban planner. He studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid. Among his notable works was the neo-Baroque Gran Teatro del Liceo (1844–8; destr. 1861), Barcelona, built on the grounds of the monastery of the Trinitarians. It had a horseshoe-shaped ground-plan and was later rebuilt by José Oriol Mestres Esplugas, who retained part of the façade design. Garriga y Roca’s main interest, however, was in urban planning. In 1857 he offered a proposal for an extension of Barcelona towards the Paseo de Gracia, which mixed the radial system with the orthogonal, in the style of Georges-Eugène Haussmann. The basic grid delivered plots 140×200 m suitable for dwellings and gardens and divided by a rectilinear pattern of streets 10 m wide. Although the plan was approved by the city council, it was replaced by that of Ildefonso Cerdà, which was imposed by the central government in the disputed competition of ...

Article

Cynthia Lawrence

(b Mechelen, March 18, 1661; dMechelen, c. 1720).

Flemish sculptor and architect. He was a pupil of Lucas Faydherbe, from whom he learnt the picturesque realism associated with Rubens’s workshop. He collaborated with the Mechelen sculptor Jan van der Steen in London before returning to Flanders and joining the Mechelen guild. Langhemans is best represented in Belgium by the works he executed for the church of St Rombout in Mechelen. The earliest is a naturalistic stone statue of St Libertus (1680) for the monument to Amati de Coriache; a dramatically gesticulating stone figure of St Mary Magdalene from the monument to Jan Baptiste and Bernard Alexander van der Zype (1701) exhibits similar tendencies. Conversely, the oak statue of the Virgin of Victory (1680), carved for the monastery of the Brothers of Charity at Kappelen, Antwerp, has a classicizing appearance, which became more pronounced in his work by c. 1700. In 1698–9 Langhemans collaborated with ...

Article

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

Guatemalan family of architects. They were active in the 17th and 18th centuries and dominated the architecture of the whole of Central America for a century. José de Porres (b Santiago de Guatemala [now Antigua], 1635; d Santiago de Guatemala, 17 May 1703) was of mestizo and mulatto origin. He carried out his first works under the master builder Juan Pasqual, a mulatto, from whom he took over (1666) the construction of the church of the Hospital de S Pedro Apóstol, the first vaulted church in the city (completed 1669). He then became assistant architect on the new cathedral, a completely vaulted building, assuming charge from c. mid-1670 to its completion in 1686. A triumphal-arch system articulates the façade (for illustration see Antigua). His final works were the Belén church (completed 1678), the church and monastery of S Teresa (1683–7), churches and for the Jesuit order (completed ...

Article

Ramón Gutiérrez

(b Enguera, Valencia, 1757; d Mexico City, Dec 24, 1816).

Spanish architect, sculptor, and teacher, active in Mexico. He studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Carlos, Valencia, at a time when Baroque forms were being rejected in Spain and Neo-classicism was being promoted. He was apprenticed to the sculptor José Puchol Rubio (d 1797), who also taught him extensively about architecture. In 1780 Tolsá moved to Madrid, where he studied under Juan Pascual de Mena and at the Real Academia de Bellas-Artes de S Fernando, where his subjects included painting. There he also designed several reliefs, including the Entry of the Catholic Kings into Granada (1784; Madrid, Real Acad. S Fernando). He was selected as an academician in 1789.

Following the endorsement of Juan Adán and Manuel Francisco Alvarez de la Peña, in 1790 Tolsá succeeded José Arias (c. 1743–88) as director of sculpture at the Real Academia de S Carlos de la Nueva España in Mexico City. He took with him a collection of plaster casts for sculptures, many books, and 154 quintals (7 tonnes) of plaster for the Academia. He arrived in ...