In the early 1930s, professionals in Spain who were emerging from the years of the Primo de Rivera dictatorship were eager to embrace the new creative languages that were circulating around Europe. Architecture was no exception.
The GATEPAC group was created to overcome the initial reluctance of a profession that was somewhat anchored in the past. The acronym stood for Grupo de Artistas y Técnicos Españoles para el Progreso de la Arquitectura Contemporánea, which means Group of Spanish Artists and Experts for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture.
Within this context, when the Second Republic was declared in April 1931, there was a wide- reaching wave of renewal that led to moderate institutional support of Avant-garde architecture. This new Modernity was fostered by men such as Jose Luis Sert, Fernando García Mercadal and Luis Vallejo, who understood architecture to be a product at the service of the needs of society, as opposed to a merely ornamental form of expression, laden with non-essential features, or as a vehicle for social ostentation.
Instead of reverently repeating the archaic models taught in Spanish schools of architecture, GATEPAC sang the praises of Rationalism, as propounded by architects such as the Swiss Le Corbusier, and of adapting living spaces to the new urban surroundings. The advent of new building materials could be used to serve the habits of contemporary society. The GATEPAC movement developed alongside industrial society and its mass needs. In Spain, it was responsible for devising ideas that are still widely used today, such as vertically superimposed blocks of dwellings for medium-sized families.
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The Reina Sofia MUSMon.com audioguide makes a better visit to the "Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia" (MNCARS). It is an independent production from the museum. It offers 67 minutes of two voices narrations with 43 explanations of works, authors and artistic trends.
It comes with 65 photographs, and museum plans. It also includes the full text transcriptions of voiceover, technical data and several organized itineraries. +info