Francisco Javier Saenz de Oiza

Francisco Javier Saenz de Oiza . Spanish architect, he is one of the most outstanding figures of Spanish architecture of the second half of the 20th century .


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  • 1 Biographical summary
    • 1Trayectoria
    • 2 Death
  • 2 Miscellaneous
  • 3Proyectos
    • 1 Main works
    • 2 Other projects
  • 4Premios
  • 5 Sources

biographical synthesis

He was born in Cáseda , Navarra , on October 12 , 1918 . He graduated from the Madrid School of Architecture in 1946 , receiving the “Aníbal Álvarez Award” for the best academic record and that same year he won the National Architecture Award.

In 1947 he traveled to the United States to further his studies with the “Count of Cartagena” scholarship from the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts .


In 1949 , he returned to Spain and began working as a professor in the Department of Installations at the Madrid School of Architecture . Among his first constructions are houses such as the Poblado de Absorción de Fuencarral in 1958 and the Poblado de Batán in 1960.

In 1968 he achieved the Chair of Projects and from 1981 to 1983 he was director of the School. After his retirement at age 67 he continued as professor emeritus of the same. His teaching activity was combined throughout his life with professional activity. He was Romany’s collaborator in the construction of social housing and in the study of Manuel Cabeñes.

Teacher of architects from the university and from his studio where Francisco Alonso, Rafael Moneo ( 1956 – 1961 ) and Juan Daniel Fullaondo passed, among others . Considered one of the pinnacles of modern Spanish architecture, he was at the time a controversial and risky creator with controversial works that ended up becoming symbols.


He died in Madrid on July 18 , 2000 .


The architect defined architecture as:

  • Artistic activity driven by the power of the creator capable of arousing emotions.
  • Playful game in what is risky to face the enigma.
  • To venture into the unknown, to a path or process not traveled with an enthusiastic and strong attitude.
  • Without freedom there is no work of art.


main works

  • Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu1950 – 1954 ), located in Oñate ( Guipúzcoa ), a project where he met Jorge Oteiza , a religious building made of concrete, stone and steel.
  • Torres Blancasbuilding in Madrid ( 1961 – 1969 ). 71 m tall building that maintains a vertical garden city approach. Search for a spatial structure for high-rise buildings. Unconventional approach to the program and needs. Oiza said… “a tree that starts from the ground” (You don’t know if someone goes up or down) The upper part is as important as the lower part.
  • Torre del Banco de Bilbao , a 107 m high building with a steel and glass façade, located in the AZCAfinancial and commercial complex in Madrid, ( 1971 – 1978 ).
  • Campus of the Public University of Navarralocated in the capital of his homeland, Pamplona. It is not fully developed, pending the construction of the Paraninfo ( 1987 ).
  • Torre-Triana, administrative headquarters of several ministries on the island of La Cartuja in Seville ( 1993 ).
  • Palace of Festivals of CantabriaSantander , 1991 .

Other projects

  • Residential building in Fernando el Católico street, Madrid1949 .
  • Proposal for a Chapel on the Camino de Santiago1954
  • Village of Entrevías, Madrid, 1956
  • Absorption town Fuencarral-A, Madrid1955
  • Lucas Prieto House, Talavera de la Reina ( Toledo), 1960
  • One hundred apartments in Ciudad Alcudia, Palma de Mallorca1963
  • The “Arturo Echevarría house”, Madrid1971
  • La “Villa Fabriciano”, 1987
  • Dwellings on the M-30, Madrid, 1986– 1989
  • The pavilions of the IFEMA (Juan Carlos I Fairgrounds), Madrid, 1987
  • Villa Fabriciano ([[1987)
  • University of Granada ( 1988)
  • Alternative Anoeta Stadium Competition, San Sebastián1989
  • Public University of Navarra, Pamplona​​1989 – 1993
  • Ideas Contest of the Palacio de Congresos, Marbella1990
  • Offices of the Brotherhood of Architects of Madrid ( 1990)
  • School of Public Administration of Mérida1990 )
  • Arrangement of the Plaza de San Francisco, Palma de Mallorca1991
  • Covered Sports Pavilion, Plasencia1991
  • Second solution for the Palacio de Congresos, Marbella1992
  • Palace of Music and Congress Competition, Bilbao1992
  • Office buildings on Pío XII Avenue, Madrid, 1993
  • Villaviciosa de Odon Cultural Center (Madrid, 1997)
  • Jorge Oteiza Museum Foundation, Posthumous work, Alzuza, Navarra2003
  • Oteiza Museum in Alzuza, Navarra.


  • 1946National Prize for Architecture , for his proposal for the Plaza del Azoguejo ( Segovia ), in collaboration with Luis Laorga.
  • 1954National Architecture Award for the chapel project on the Camino de Santiago.
  • 1974European Excellence Award for the “Torres Blancas” building.
  • 1989Antonio Camuñas Award for Architecture.
  • 1989 Gold Medal forArchitecture , from the Superior Council of Architects of Spain .
  • 1991Prize for Architecture and Urbanism from the Madrid City Council for the residential building on the M-30.
  • 1993 Prince of Asturias Awardfor the Arts.
  • 2000Gold Medal from the Public University of Navarra


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