- Alberto Villar Movellán
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 (...