October 1st 2015 at 19,00 hrs
Auditorium at the COAC, Plaça Nova 5, Barcelona
This past October 1st we celebrated in the COAC, and with the excuse of presenting the book “MAT: Pasión por la arquitectura”, a tribute to architect Miquel Alvarez Trincado (Barcelona 1940-2008). To this event, more than 150 people assisted, among who there were friends, clients, workers of the architecture studio, collaborators and family.
Lluis Comerón, dean of the COAC, welcomed all the people there present to this tribute and dedicated some words to the book, mentioning on one hand the wide design trajectory of Miquel Alvarez Trincado, and the quality and actuality of his designs and works of architecture and his contribution to the landscape and the city of Barcelona. A silent architecture that is now part of the story the city tells, and sometimes, as if Miquel Alvarez Trincado will persisted, is a rejection of the intellectual Catalan scene. However, an architecture full of values and quality. Comerón encouraged the public to take a look at those projects that are featured in the book, some of which he did not know were by MAT, projects he has been long appreciating and valuing. Finally, the dean pointed out that these qualities are part of an architecture that both serve the consumer and the costumer. A very respected professional quality.
Josep Acebillo is a well known architects by the public since he had had high responsibility positions in the urbanism department during the 90’s and on the decade of 2000. He has also taught at different architecture schools. He started his lecture sharing a detail not many knew, he started his architecture learning journey at Altrim Studio, founded by Miquel Alvarez Trincado, in the late 60’s.
Acebillo talked about MAT’s person from an academic stand, beyond just a review of MAT’s extended career, since MAT’s way of doing barely changed throughout the years. His language, his thought of what architecture was were constants, what changed were the elements of his language, the materials he used and the techniques that expressed that.
He defined the figure of Miquel Alvarez Trincado as that of an architects that has the three characteristics that few architects possess and that have enabled his architects to keep in force and full of content. He explained that Miquel Alvarez Trincado was an architect that gave much importance to the context, of which he considered to be an observer. Secondly, hi was a Vitruvian architect, since to him it was of equal importance that his work of architecture was aesthetically appealing, was well built and was function following the Vitruvian principles of Venustas, Fermita & Utilitas. Miquel Alvarez Trincado’s constabt research and discurse offered values to architecture. Finally, the third characteristic was Miquel Alvarez Trincado’s special personality that, to Acebillo point of view, make him a neomedieval architect, his way of defining spaces (very detailed and fragmented floor plans) and the way he worked with materials.
Ignasi Riera gave us his vision of Miquel Alvarez Trincado as an architecture and as a unique figure. He brought 4 objects that the public recognized as part of what Miquel Alvarez Trincado entailed (a propelling pencil Caran d’Ache, the double scale of 20cm, a miniature motorcycle and a bottle of Whisky). His story wondered around his eperinced and learning during his long experience at Miquel Alvarez Trincado’s architecture studio, Altrim Studio. A learning that went beyond architecture itself and from which Riera remembers specially as the generosity and a unique way of understanding architecture as well as a team work in a studio where you worked but you also lived and experienced life. There was music, conversations and cigarettes’ smoke, as a fog, that was part of the work process.
To close, one sentence: “Miquel was a passionate person about architecture, but, beyond that, everything he was also passionate about everything he did, the drank his life in large sips and he enjoyed every single drop of it.
Joan Coll, the only speaker that isn’t an architect, wanted to speak of the business and humane side of Miquel Alvarez Trincado with one story that they had shared through their long and wide professional career, but also a lifelong friendship that began at the beginnings of the new century.
Jordi Querol spoke to us about MAT (book), the lasts years when he never missed the presentation to go back to a young Miquel Alvarez Trincado, when they were both architecture student. Miquel Alvarez Trincado taught him geometry classes to his colleagues closer to their start of their degrees. This happened in the store his parents owned, a neighborhood grocery store at Gràcia, where Jordi Querol taught English in an exchange of services and knowledge. From Miquel Alvarez Trincado with with messy hair, to a young student with a perfect hairstyle. A journey of more than 50 years of friendship, architecture and passion for the city that, nowadays, still is present in Jordi Querol’s memory.
To sum up, all 4 speakers succeeded in explaining how Miquel Alvarez Trincado was from his 4 different facets: the master, the wise man, the business man and the friend.
The presentation concluded with a piano concert by Jordi Querol, who played masterpieces of Astor Piazolla, Ernesto Lecuino, Alberto Ginastreva and, closing, the “Goodbyes” and “The Brilliant” by Chopin. Followed by a cocktail at the Cathedral hotel.
We want to thank COAC for opening their doors to host this presentation, and La Capell, who organized this event. Also, we thank those of you who assisted to bring to life the memory of Miquel Alvarez Trincado, who will now between us within the pages of “MAT: Pasión por la arquitectura”.