L.C. Pérez-Moreno, D. Vega-López

Zaragoza University, School of Engineering and Architecture (SPAIN)
Through a donation from Don and Maria Johnson, the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado-Denver (CAP) has created a "Finland Initiatives" program that includes funding for exchanges, guest lectures and research about Finnish Architecture to develop at the CAP in Denver (USA).

In 2016, the first Johnson’s Visiting Scholar (JVS) was a Spanish Scholar from the University of Zaragoza (UZ) whose research project was titled: “Spain and the Finnish Architects in the Sixties”. The research project’s main scope was to research the so-called ‘Organic Decade of Spanish Architecture’ (1958-1968), a terminology created by the Spanish Critic Juan Daniel Fullaondo to define the influence that Nordic architecture had in Spain. Fullaondo principally pointed out the work of the architects Antonio Fernandez Alba (1927-) and Fernando Higueras (1930-2008) as the most representative of this influence. Previously, he had also observed the impact of the Swiss architect Asplund on other Spanish architects, such as Miguel Fisac, and later this Nordic connection was extended to Finnish architecture, specifically in relation to the work of Alvar Aalto and Reima Pietilä. The principal aim of this Research Project was to analyze the relationship between Spanish and Finnish architects firstly by studying the writings on Finnish Architecture published in Spanish Architecture Magazines and secondly by studying the influence of those reflections in the projects built on Spanish soil in the Sixties.

As the first JVS, I would like to present research and teaching possibilities of this international program for a non-American Scholar. On the one hand, and thanks to the coordinated work with the Finland Initiative Director, Professor Taisto Mäkelä (Ph.D., Princeton University, 1991) was possible to accomplish different activities in order to develop the research project presented as well as to build new connections between Spain and Finland thought the CAP. Some of the research results are an article in a Q1 Journal, another at the Society of Architectural Historians Meeting (SAH), and a guest lecture at the CAP that was opened to the faculty and the students, which was important to reflect on the History of Spanish Modern Architecture to an American audience. On the other hand, I would like to present an e-Learning experience as an example of the link between education and research. As JVS as well as a lecturer at UZ, I have the opportunity to supervise a Final Architecture Degree Thesis (FD-Thesis) developed by a Spanish Student (D. Vega-López) together with Professor Mäkelä. It was the first time that an FD-Thesis in Architecture was co-supervised by an American and a Spanish Scholar at UZ. The thesis studies the writings of Raili and Reima Pietilä (Finnish Architects) at the architecture magazine based in Helsinki Le Carre Blue. The aim was to study the connection between those writings and his design for a Church in Kaleva (Tampere, Finland, 1966). The supervision was done online by weekly e-Tutoring hours.