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"Dols leaves a legacy of modern, sincere and mature architecture that transcends any convention".

The architect Javier Domingo de Miguel defends at the University a thesis on Heliodoro Dols, award National of Architecture in 1965 and author of the Torreciudad Sanctuary.

FotoManuelCastells/Javier Domingo de Miguel, author of thesis , together with architect Heliodoro Dols

18 | 03 | 2022

"Dols leaves a legacy of modern, sincere and mature architecture that transcends any convention". Thus signature Javier Domingo de Miguel, author of the thesis "La arquitectura de Heliodoro Dols Morell", defended at the School of Architecture of the University of Navarra. 

The author carries out a study of his main works and aims to discover the personage, award National of Architecture in 1965, in his historical context, as well as to alleviate the existing historiographical vacuum about his figure, basing the main body of the research on the file of the architect. 

"Dols has remained somewhat in the shadows. Partly because he does not live in Madrid or Barcelona, which have been the main focuses, at least until now, of architectural discussion in Spain. And partly because his best-known work, Torreciudad, has not been a particularly media-friendly project . Nor has he sought to be in the avant-garde, or to appear in magazines", he points out.

According to Javier Domingo, Dols' work, inspired by Gaudí and influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, is based on the expressive force of materials and tectonic elements, on the authority of the lintel architecture inherited from the ancient world, on the employment of implacable elements such as the roof, the column and the wall. "Dols can be considered one of the most expressionist of the organicists, with a final evolution towards the post-modern ideas of the end of the century", he says. 

However, in his opinion, it is difficult to classify his work. "He has been included in organicism, but he is also influenced by German expressionism, for example Hans Poelzig, and also, later, Hans Scharoun. Dols stands out for his spontaneity and a healthy lack of prejudice which, in a way, have made him stand apart from fashions and styles".

Torreciudad, a landmark of religious architecture

The Torreciudad Sanctuary, his best-known work, "constitutes a benchmark in religious architecture in the second half of the 20thcentury", Domingo points out. partnership This work, he explains, contains the main characteristics that would mark his career: the integration of architecture into the landscape; the reference letter to popular architecture and tradition; geometry as a vehicle of expression and formal creation; and the search for the integration of the arts in close collaboration with important plastic artists. "Torreciudad is a very extensive project , which lasts several years and which Dols carried out at a very young age, so it has necessarily marked his career," he adds.

Since Dols began working on Torreciudad, he has lived in Aragon, first in Barbastro, and since 1973 in Zaragoza. "In this city he has developed all his work degree program and has been respected and loved by Aragonese architects". In this sense, another characteristic of his work is that "he has always designed looking at what was already there, popular architecture and tradition, trying to improve it and making his contribution staff".

Heliodoro Dols (Valencia, 1933), began his professional career in Madrid with the engineer and painter Fernando Delapuente, degree program . He belongs to a generation of architects who will play a leading role in the consolidation and characterisation of modern architecture in Spain, protagonists of the so-called Madrid organicism of the years 1958-1968. His works include the Postigo sausage factory (Segovia, 1963), in partnership with Curro Inza; the Sanctuary of Torreciudad (Huesca, 1975); the high school Mayor Peñalba (Zaragoza, 1978); and the development of the surroundings and housing at place de San Bruno (Zaragoza, 1990).

The author of the thesis , Javier Domingo, is an architect by the School of Architecture of the University of Navarra (1997) and Master's Degree in design and management Environmental Building by the same university (2012). Between 1997 and 2002 he collaborated professionally in the studio of Heliodoro Dols. Since 2002 he has had his own studio in Huesca, from where he develops rehabilitation and new construction projects.