Rafael Moneo: A Series of Talks

poster with a black and white photo of a man and a drafting table and the text Rafael Moneo
2018 Preston Thomas Memorial Lecture: Rafael Moneo
forested valley and mountains with a winery built on top of a hill
Work by Rafael Moneo Arquitecto. photo / provided
Glass building with a slanted roof sunken underground beneath expansive roof
Work by Barkow Leibinger. photo / copyright Christian Richters
atrium with a geometric pattern in the ceiling and glass sides
Work by Barkow Leibinger. photo / copyright David Franck
Factory clad in weathered steel and glass
Work by Barkow Leibinger. photo / copyright Simon Menges
Steel trusses support mezzanine and catwalk
Work by Barkow Leibinger photo / copyright Simon Menges
2018 Preston Thomas Memorial Lecture: Rafael Moneo Work by Rafael Moneo Arquitecto. photo / provided Work by Barkow Leibinger. photo / copyright Christian Richters Work by Barkow Leibinger. photo / copyright David Franck Work by Barkow Leibinger. photo / copyright Simon Menges Work by Barkow Leibinger photo / copyright Simon Menges


Preston Thomas Memorial Lecture

The 2018 Preston Thomas Memorial Lecture will bring Rafael Moneo to Cornell for a series of talks, presenting recent work as well as unpacking theoretical discourse rooted in AAP's architecture pedagogy.

Talks will include:

  • Behind Buildings: Moneo will explore some of the recent works of his Madrid-based practice. 
  • Ungers after Ungers, Koolhaas before Koolhaas: The Cornell Years: Moneo will explore ideas of the city, through the lens of O. M. Ungers, Rem Koolhaas, and their seminal 1977 manifesto The City in the City – Berlin: A Green Archipelago.
  • In Conversation with Frank Barkow: As a response to the second lecture, Frank Barkow will join Moneo for a dialogue moderated by Esra Akcan, associate professor in the Department of Architecture.

An exhibition in the Milstein Hall dome coinciding with the symposium will highlight a series of influential books and topical publications drawn directly from the collection of the Cornell Fine Arts Library, all related to the work of the speakers and the subject of discussion.

The Preston H. Thomas Memorial Lecture Series is funded by a gift from Ruth and Leonard B. Thomas in memory of their son, Preston. The event is envisioned and hosted by the Cornell Department of Architecture; architecture department chair Andrea Simitch; teaching associate Brian Havener (M.Arch '18); and communications coordinator Spencer Woodcock.


Thursday, April 19

11 a.m.
Behind Buildings

Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium

  • Introduction by Associate Professor Val Warke

4:30 p.m.
Ungers After Ungers, Koolhaas before Koolhaas: The Cornell Years

Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium

6 p.m.
Exhibition Opening and Reception

Milstein Hall Dome

Friday, April 20

9:30 a.m.

Milstein Hall Dome

10 a.m.
In Conversation with Frank Barkow

Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium

  • Dialogue moderated by Associate Professor Esra Akcan


Keynote Speakers


headshot of a man with his hand next to his cheekRafael Moneo was born in Tudela in the province of Navarra, Spain, in 1937. He obtained his architectural degree in 1961 from the Architecture School of Madrid. As a student, he worked for Oíza and in 1962 for Utzon. He was awarded a Fellowship to study in Rome from 1963–65. After becoming a professor in the Architecture Schools of Barcelona and Madrid he was appointed chairman of the architecture department of Harvard GSD. In 1991 he was named Josep Lluís Sert Professor of Architecture at Harvard GSD where he continues to give classes.

Notable among Moneo's works are the National Museum of Roman Art in Mérida, Spain; the Kursaal Auditorium and Congress Center in San Sebastián, Spain; the Museums of Modern Art and Architecture in Stockholm; Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles; and the Extension to the Prado Museum in Madrid.

Moneo combines his professional activity as an architect with that as a lecturer, critic, and theoretician. His book Theoretical Anxiety and Design Strategies in the Work of Eight Contemporary Architects was published in 2004, Remarks on 21 Works in 2010, and Rafael Moneo: International Portfolio 1985-2012 in 2013.

Moneo, member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Spain since 1997 and elected Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2013, has been awarded numerous distinctions including the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 1996, the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2003, the Prince of Asturias Prize in the Arts in 2012, the National Prize for Architecture in 2015, and the Praemium Imperiale by the Japan Art Association in 2017.


headshot of a man with black glasses and white hairFrank Barkow studied architecture at Montana State University and Harvard University; has held teaching posts at, among others, the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, Cornell University, Harvard University, and Royal College of Art in London. Since 2016, he has been a visiting professor at the Princeton University School of Architecture. In 1993 Regine Leibinger and Frank Barkow founded Barkow Leibinger, an American/German architectural practice based in Berlin and New York City.


val warke

man seated on a couch with a book in his lapVal Warke's teaching and research focus have been on criticism and genre theory, including issues of fashion, formalism, populism, reception, and relations to literary theory, and in particular the work of Mikhail Bakhtin. He has been published in a number of journals, including Assemblage, A+U, Cornell Journal of Architecture, and the Harvard Design Magazine, as well as many essays and texts on the work of Morphosis. He teaches in the areas of design (architectural and urban) and architectural theory. He practices architecture with Andrea Simitch, as a partner in Simitch + Warke Architecture. In addition to the field of architecture, he is also a member of the graduate field of fabric science and apparel design. Warke graduated from Cornell with a B.Arch. and from Harvard University with an M.Arch.

Dialogue Moderator

esra akcan

woman in a black sweater with large white dots on it Esra Akcan's scholarly work on a geopolitically conscious global history of architecture inspires her teaching. Her research on modern and contemporary architecture and urbanism foregrounds the intertwined histories of Europe and West Asia. Her book, Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey and the Modern House (Duke, 2012), offers a new way to understand the global movement of architecture that extends the notion of translation beyond language to visual fields. It advocates a commitment to a new culture of translatability from below and in multiple directions for truly cosmopolitan ethics and global justice. Her book, Turkey: Modern Architectures in History (Reaktion/University of Chicago Press, 2012), coauthored with Sibel Bozdoğan, is part of a series that aims at an inclusive survey of modern world architecture and is the first volume in any language to cover the entire 20th century in Turkey.

Akcan is currently working on her next book on the urban renewal of Berlin's immigrant neighborhood, through which she explores a theory of open architecture. She has received numerous awards and fellowships and has authored more than 100 articles in scholarly books and professional journals in multiple languages. She has also participated in exhibitions as an artist by carrying her practice beyond writing to visual media. She was educated as an architect in Turkey and received her Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Also of Interest

Close overlay