Rafael Manzano Martos
Rafael Manzano Martos, (born in Cadiz, Spain on November 6, 1936) is a Spanish architect. He was educated at the Superior Technical School of Architecture in Madrid. He was a disciple of Professors Gómez-Moreno, Torres Balbás, Fernando Chueca and Íñiguez Almech.
Rafael Manzano Martos earned his degree from the Technical School of Architecture in Madrid in 1961, and his Doctorate in 1963. As a student under Professors Gómez-Moreno, Torres Balbás, Fernando Chueca and Íñiguez Almech, he specialized in historic studies and in the Theory and Techniques of Monument Restoration. He was also a collaborator at the School of Arab Studies in Madrid from 1956 to 1963, where he cultivated his interest in Islamic history and archaeology.
Selected Works and Projects
In all of his works, he has expressed his faithfulness to the classical idiom and to the integration of his work in the urban setting or in the rural landscape. In his restorations of monuments, he has avoided any aggressive approach to the buildings of the past, respecting the architecture handed down and complementing it with a simple yet academic architecture that integrates into the monument without any visual aggression or turning it into a pretext for creating a contemporary work of questionable quality.
He has restored and consolidated the following monuments, among others:
- Squares and Cathedral at Castelló de Ampurias, in Gerona.
- Cathedral Square in Tarragona.
- Fortress of the Old Cathedral in Lérida.
- Church of Mary Magdalene in Tarazona.
- Castle of Alcañiz in Teruel.
- Church of Saint Michael, in Cuenca.
- Complete external reconstruction and new interiors for the Royal Academy of
Pharmacy, in Madrid.
- Reconstruction of the cloisters, tower, chapter room, stairway and other parts of
the “Sobrado de los Monjes” Monastery in Corunna.
- Total reconstruction of the former Palace of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia in
- Cordoba for Mr. Nahmias and wife.
- Alcazaba fortress in Malaga (Restorations and anastylosis of the housing nearby).
- Church of Saint Dionysius with reconstruction of its lost roofing and discovery of
its Gothic-Mudejar brickwork in Jerez de la Frontera (Cadiz).
- “Palacio de las Dueñas”, “Casa del Rey Moro” and other major buildings in
- Consolidations of the ruins of Itálica in Santiponce, and construction of its
- Total restoration of the Church of Saint George in Palos and organization of its
- Designer, together with the architect Fernando Chueca Goitia, of three major
projects for the enlargement of the Prado Museum (1972–74 and 1990).
- Excavation of the site of the former “Casa de Contratación de las Indias” (Indies
Trade Hall), with reconstruction of its Almohad courtyard and garden and a new façade.
- Private home of the Marquises de la Granja on Calle Alfonso XII street in Seville.
- Designer, in 1991, of the total restoration and decoration of King Alphonse XIII
Hotel in Seville for Ciga-Hotel-España.
- Design not carried out for a large civic centre with housing and shopping areas at
the access to Recogidas in Granada.
- Residential palace for Faisal Hassan Jawad in Bahrain (United Arab Emirates).
- “Hacienda De La Paz” estate for John Z. Blazevich in Los Angeles, California (with the
decorator M. Gavira).
- Design of a residence for the bullfighter Curro Romero in Coín (Malaga); now
belonging to the singer Julio Iglesias.
- Residence and guest house for Mr. and Mrs. Cortés in Cadima (Castanhede-
- Headquarters for the Official Professional Association of Civil Engineers in
Seville (under construction).
Awards and honors
Manzano is a member of several Spanish academic institutions, including the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, the Royal Academies of the History and of Fine arts of Granada, Cordoba, Cadiz, Malaga, Ecija, Toledo and La Coruna, and the Academy of the Good Letters of Seville.
In Spain he received the Golden Medal of the Fine Arts of Spain and he is Commander of the Civil Order of Alfonso X el Sabio.
As for international prizes, in 2010 he was awarded with the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture for his entire career.
José Guerrero Lovillo, Rafael Manzano Martos, and Enrique de la Vega Viguera. Tres Estudios Sobre Sevilla. Sevilla: Real Academia Sevillana de Buenas Letras, 1984.
Rafael Manzano Martos, Fernando Chueca Goitia and Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. La Qubba, Aula Regia En La España Musulmana /. Madrid : Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, 1994.
Rafael Manzano Martos. La Alhambra : El Universo Mágico De La Granada Islámica. Madrid: Grupo Anaya, 1992.
Manzano Martos, Rafael. El Jardín En La España Musulmana, edited by Real Academia de Bellas Artes de Santa Isabel de Hungría. Sevilla: 1990.
- "Rafael Manzano Martos" (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 December 2009.
- Manzano Architects Studio website
- Page of the University of Notre Dame about Rafael Manzano 
- Video about Manzano's work on YouTube (short version on YouTube)