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Lucia Nuria Alvarez Lombardero, BA, M.Arch, PhD

Unit Master, Experimental Unit 8, AA Undergraduate School

Professional qualifications

COAS 5260 (Spanish Board of Architects)

Research Interest

Politics, architecture and the city. Form in Architecture and Urban typologies Women´s studies in Architecture and Urbanism.


Nuria Álvarez Lombardero (Architect,MA,MPhil hons,PhD) studied Architecture and Urbanism at ESTA Madrid, the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and the Architectural Association. After working for Machado & Silvetti Associates in Boston, she co-founded the London-Seville based office Canales-Lombardero. Besides teaching design at the Architectural Association, she has taught design at the University of Cambridge, TEC Monterrey and University of Seville, and theory at the Bartlett UCL. Her work on women´s studies in architecture and urban typologies has been published in different international magazines (RA, DeArch, Journal of Architecture, Estoa, Revista 180) as her award-winning book Arquitectas: Redefining the Practice (RU,2015).She co-directs the initiative Politics of Fabrication whose work has been published in the book Politics and digital fabrication: an ongoing debate(Book-a, 2017).


2019, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero & Francisco González de Canales, Aldo Rossi and the architecture of Spanish democratic transition in Seville, The Journal of Architecture, 24
In the second half of the 1970s, during the Spanish transition to democracy, a new generation of young architects in Seville reassessed the city in relation to Italian debates and their strong political drive. Concerned about the destruction of Seville’s historical centre by the Franco regime’s urban planning, these architects found in Aldo Rossi not only their main figure of reference, but also a powerful object of fascination. Moreover, Rossi’s presence in Seville between 1975 and 1978 had a fundamental influence on the early work of young Sevillian architects and the subsequent planning of the city under the first democratic administrations. However, a particular analysis of Rossi’s ideas in comparison to the works of that time in Seville showed how these young local architects did not always fully bring on board Rossi’s political position through their architectural projects. Rather, these architects’ reading of Rossi favoured figure over structure, visual aspects over relational ones, and ultimately had an important impact in the way the city’s historical centre developed in the 1980s and 1990s.

2018, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero, Soft-architecture. A recovery of the spatial conception value in Lilly Reich’s and Petra Blaisse’s work, Universidad Europea de Madrid, REIA, 10
Traditionally, manuals of architectural history have omitted the work of certain women architects and designers for not following the criteria of established historiographic canons. Within this group of creators, some practitioners have been specially neglected for creating spatial conceptions from disciplines outside architecture practice by using nontectonic elements such as furniture, draperies, coatings, textures and colour. Despite this notable absence, the work of these women has been key in important examples of twentieth century architecture, in which these elements have amplified their spatial experience. This article explores these practices by understanding them as software or “soft-architecture” through the work of two creators, Lilly Reich and Petra Blaisse. They worked in two different moments constituted an essential element that significantly intensified the work of the architects Mies van der Rohe and Rem Koolhaas respectively. In both experiences, two ways of understanding space from different disciplines, applied arts and architecture, were brought together, resulting in a transverse and perhaps expanded understanding of spatiality in architecture.

2017, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero, The female architect as the subject of a vital redefinition of the professional practice from a Spanish perspective, Dearq, 20
Over the last decade, an increase in the number of female students of architecture in Spanish architecture schools has been recorded. This means that the profession will have a new future in terms of equality for both sexes. This unprecedented turn of events comes into conflict with a depoliticized practice that still has a paternalistic character and several antiquated forms of operating. There is a need, therefore, to redefine the professional practice as a result of the global economic crisis, which has particularly affected architecture. This paper contemplates the current situation of the Spanish female architect as the central subject of study within this redefinition.

2017, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero, El espacio urbano como condición social. La experiencia de la mujer en la ciudad contmeporánea”, Institut Valencià de l´Edificació, Género y politica urbana

2017, Nuria ALvarez Lombardero& Francisco Gonzalez de Canales Ruiz, The Political in the Recent Urbanism of Collective Actions in the Public Space and its Implications in some Latin American Contexts, ESTOA, 6, 11
In recent years, an urban trend has emerged based on collective actions in the public sphere, which is taking a big rise in various locations in Latin America (Colombia, México, Venezuela, among others) and reaching a significant media impact with initiatives such as "Spaces of Peace" in Venezuela. This article discusses the rhetoric on "the political" in this type of collaborative practices and the capability of empowerment that these actions possess. The article analyzes contradictions, limits and real scope of these practices from the most fundamental bases that define “the political” from the perspective of scholars such as Arendt, Castriadis, Mouffe or Sennet. These analyses will allow defining these practices potential in a productive way.

2016, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero, A parallel city of women: The network of female associations and clubs in London (1859-1914), Revista proyecto, progreso y arquitectura, 14
Between mid-nineteenth and early twentieth century, London underwent a radical social and spatial transformation to become a modern city. A key part of this transformation process is a gendered division of the city related to a progressive implementation of evangelical moral codes prevailing in the society of that time. However, between 1859 and 1914, a group of women broke these divisions through different mechanisms of action to reclaim both a place in the urban public sphere and their citizen rights. Among these mechanisms, there is a strategy of infiltration in this male town that is implemented through a progressive opening of spaces of association. The progressive opening of women’s clubs and associations consolidated a solid relational network that subsequently is disclosed in large suffragette’s marches in the public space in the early twentieth century. Through this first network of places, a parallel city of women is evidenced and defined by alternative city maps, which, however, would be later long marginalized by modern historiography

2016, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero & Francisco Gonzalez de Canales, Politics of Fabrication: an ongoing debate, ViBok
Politics of Fabrication Laboratory is a design research directed by Nuria Álvarez Lombardero and Francisco González de Canales at the Architectural Association in London, which aims to interrogate the role of digital fabrication techniques in the contemporary construction of the public realm.

2015, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero (Ed), Arquitectas: Redefining the practice, Recolectores Urbanos

2014, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero, Francisco Gonzalez de Canales & Mauricio Puentes, Contextualizando lo Digital. Una reflexión a propósito del Taller Politics of Fabrication Laboratory desarrollado entre la Architectural Association y la Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, Revista 180, 32

2013, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero, Small Active Urbanism, Revista Lusofona de Arquitectura e Educação, 6-7

2011, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero & Francisco Gonzalez de Canales, Yes we Party. Spanish Fiesta as a political urban tool, Archithese Magazine, 6

2010, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero & Francisco Gonzalez de Canales, El Derecho a La Forma, Revista Arquitectos, 62-63

2010, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero, Mat Building. a promise of Espacial Association / El Mat Building: La Promesa de Asociación Espacial, Revista de Arquitectura, 12

2009, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero, Rem Koolhass: EXODUS, AA Publications, First Works: Emerging Architectural Experimentation of the 60s & 70s

0, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero, Hacia una Teoría del Patrimonio Social Urbano, Metalocus, 19


2017, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero, MOMOWO - Women's creativity since the Modern Movement, The influence of the Architectural Association on Zaha Hadid´s early career, Women Designers, Architects and Engineers between 1969 and 1989
The Architectural Association (AA) based in London educated several of the most important female pioneers of international architecture in late 20th century, such as Jane Drew, Denise Scott Brown, or more recently Zaha Hadid. The creative and open environment of this institution, concerning the teaching of architecture, allowed these women to know a form of practice based on research. Later they established in their professional careers a continuity between academia and practice based on this knowledge. Particularly, this paper will review this institution environment and education system in the 70s that allowed Hadid to develop a distinct way of understanding space and its representation.

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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.