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Clarifying the citation for Oriol Bohigas

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Letters

May I please expand on the curious encapsulation of Oriol Bohigas' role which was attributed to me in last week's report on the award of the Royal Gold Medal to the City of Barcelona (aj 18.03.99)?

In an early proposal for the citation I wrote:

'From the early 1970s, under the leadership of the then head, Oriol Bohigas, the University of Barcelona's school of architecture carried out a series of urban design projects in which local needs and aspirations rather than large-scale masterplans were addressed. This was based on an understanding of the city's differing districts, their distinctive features and their individual possibilities. Underlying this idea was the realisation that small-scale projects are more likely to be realised than large-scale plans and that the cumulative effect of many such ventures is likely to benefit the whole in a way that reinforces its particular character.

'Other architects who made a contribution to the University's investigations were Manuel de Sola Morales, who founded the Urban Planning Laboratory, and Rafael Moneo. And, just as Cerda, the originator of Barcelona's nineteenth- century grid, set out his ideas in Teoria general de la urbanisation in 1867, so, just over a century later, did Bohigas encapsulate the thinking behind the new approach in his 1981 essay Towards another urbanity. Without this preparatory work and theoretical base, the transformation of Barcelona would have been no different from that of many another Games host.'

Peter Carolin

University of Cambridge Department of Architecture

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