Today we dedicate our blog to Rafael Guastavino. A Valencian architect and master builder, known all over the world. If you do not know anything about him, our Spanish school El Rincón del Tándem briefly tells you about his story and main achievements. Enjoy your reading! ?
In today’s blog, we briefly tell about Guastavino. An essential name in the field of Spanish and worldwide architecture.
In our Spanish school, besides language, we also teach our students the culture and history of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries.
For this reason, our teachers always enrich their Spanish classes with information about people that stood out and made great contribution to history, art and science.
Today we focus on art and architecture, talking about Rafael Guastavino.
Although its name may not sound familiar to you, surely you have seen or visited some of the buildings or works that bear his very original mark.
Architect, artist, master builder and entrepreneur, his name is mainly related to the architecture of New York, although his artistic heritage is found in other countries such as Spain or Mexico.
Rafael Guastavino was born in Valencia in 1842 and studied at the Barcelona school for master builders. It was in this city that he started his professional career, building the Batlló Factory.
In 1881 he emigrated to the United States, where he mainly succeeded as architect and lived there until the day of his death. Although the beginning of his American adventure took place under stormy and adverse circumstances, over time he managed to made his fortune thanks to his inventiveness.
In fact, his great achievement and source of success was the creation of a tiled vault construction system inspired by the partition vault (bóveda tabicada). A characteristic construction of the Mediterranean coast of Spain and, in particular of Valencia.
Thanks to the usage of the patent of this system known asGuastavino system or tile, he created his fortune by founding his own company (the Guastavino Fireproof Construction Company). As the name says, the company was dedicated to the construction of high-quality fireproof material vaults. A sensitive issue for the builders of that time, especially after the devastating fires that occurred in Chicago and Boston in the 70s.
Guastavino’s participation in the great works of New York are very numerous, so much that the New York Times called him “the architect of New York.”
In fact, only in this city, he collaborated in of 260 buildings and works, designing and constructing “Guastavino style” vaults. Among the most emblematic works, there are the Carnegie Hall, the Grand Central Station, the City Hall subway station and the Queensboro Bridge.
He also left his artistic heritage in other cities such as Boston, Washington DC, Baltimore and Ashveille, the city where he died and in which his remains are kept in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, designed by himself.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Guastavino is also known for his stormy personal history.
Therefore, if Guastavino intrigued you and you want to know more, we advise you to read the Javier Moro’s book, “A prueba de fuego”. A book that talks about Guastavino, his professional and personal adventures in the United States, his special relationship with his son and other details of his life.
Finally, we hope that this blog encourages you to learn more about important leading figures of Hispanic culture.
As always, to find out more about the grammar, culture and weekend plans in Valencia, we invite you to follow our blog.
Our Spanish school, El Rincón del Tándem, wish you a nice day ?