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Josep Lluis Mateo Book

Occasions : Architecture Publication by celebrated Barcelona architect, Spain

e-architect gave away one copy of this beautiful new book – ‘ON BUILDING Matter and Form’:
Josep Lluís Mateo book
image : Josep Lluis Mateo

14 Jun 2012

Mateo Arquitectura Book

This book describes that initial moment of a series of buildings, beyond their origins and their physical constitution (both issues, idea and matter, however, based on my work). Here, the objects are presented, captured by Adrià Goula, as visual forms, as compositions of planes and surfaces that form volumes and also as a dialectic of the light and shade that define spaces.

Josep Lluís Mateo
Excerpt from ON BUILDING Matter and Form

24 May 2012

Mateo Arquitectura – New Book

ON BUILDING Matter and Form, by Josep Lluís Mateo

ON BUILDING. Josep Lluís Mateo

On Building is an action that moves towards the future. It involves imagining another reality, another world, different to this one. The project requires data about existing conditions. (…) Yet the project distorts this data (and must do so). (…)

Building is a long journey through the present continuous. The past exists as an echo, as a phantasmal form that is no longer discussed, and sometimes even its origin is forgotten.(…) Finally, the building appears. Despite the slowness of construction, suddenly, the building is there. (…)
And so we see it: whole, new, young, brilliant. Very soon, we will leave it. (…)

The idea, however, is to convey the initial, fresh force of the objects when they appear. Witnessing these brief moments is, in part, what motivates our work.

Josep Lluís Mateo
Excerpt from ON BUILDING Matter and Form

This book presents 5 singular projects that Josep Lluís Mateo has completed recently:

1. Offices in Boulogne-Billancourt, France

2. PGGM Company Headquarters, Zeist, Netherlands

3. Remodelling of Banc Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain

4. Reconstruction of an old country mansion, Garrotxa, Girona, Spain

5. Film Theatre of Catalonia, Barcelona

Josep Lluis Mateo Book – Credits
Title: ON BUILDING Matter and Form
Author / Editor: Josep Lluís Mateo
Photos: Adrià Goula
Texts: Josep Lluís Mateo, Agustí Obiol, Dominique Boudet, Fredy Massad, Alicia Guerrero, Philip Ursprung, Adrià Goula y Lucien Engels
Published by Ediciones Polígrafa, Barcelona 2012

Mateo Arquitectura Book – Featured Buildings

Filmoteca de Cataluña, Barcelona, Spain
Filmoteca de Cataluña
image : Josep Lluis Mateo
Filmoteca de Cataluña Barcelona

PGGM Headquarters Building, Zeist, The Netherlands
PGGM Company Headquarters Zeist
photograph : Adrià Goula
PGGM Company Headquarters

Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris, France
Boulogne-Billancourt Building
images : Adria Goula
Boulogne-Billancourt Paris

Banc de Sabadell Atlantic, Barcelona, Spain
Banco de Sabadell interior
photo © Pedro Pegenaute
Banc de Sabadell Atlantic

Reconstruction of an old country mansion, Garrotxa, Girona, Spain

La Garrotxa House
photo © Adrià Goula
House in Garrotxa

Mateo Arquitectura

A previous book by Josep Lluís Mateo:

Josep Lluis Mateo Architect Book


(15 to 19 Sep 2009)
Josep Lluis Mateo presents his book Occasions, which contains the architect’s projects, talks and reflections over the last five years. To coincide with this launch, the practice has devised an ephemeral installation, Occasional City, comprising models and documents of recent projects.

Josep Lluis Mateo book
image : Ferran Mateo

The book, published by Actar, will have its public launch on 15 September at Barcelona’s Galeria RAS, the venue of the installation of models and audiovisual material.

The book is published in Spanish and English, and will be distributed in over 20 countries. It includes contributions by Stan Allen, Dominique Boudet, Vicente Guallart, Jose Luis Guerin, Marta Poch, Carlos M. Reis de Figueiredo and Jordi Teixidor.

The ephemeral installation will be open to visitors on 3, 4 and 5 September only, at Galeria RAS in Barcelona.

“Don’t finish this building (the Catalan Film Theatre). The outline is always much better than the finished product. It’s lovely, Josep Lluis.”

– Jose Luis Guerin, film director

“Josep Lluis Mateo is one of Spain’s most influential architects and a guest in Nice at this first lecture of 2008. He is an architect with an atypical career.
(…) It was a hard training, but one that allowed Mateo to forge his exceptional urban savoir-faire”

– Dominique Boudet, Director and editor in chief of AMC French magazine

“I try to ensure that my participation is in proportion, establishing a balanced relation between the way I see and feel the commission and the overall project (…) .less painting, more architecture.”

– Jordi Teixidor, Painter

“(…) reflection on the profession also forms part of the practice of an architect, and that this activity should not necessarily be given up to professional theorists or academics.”

– Stan Allen, Dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton University

Josep Lluis Mateo


Occasions refers to the specificity of our actions and puts distance between itself and the generic approach. Operating as an architect, I have to go up to phenomena; I cannot merely explain them from the distance that renders them uniform and dilute. I am interested in the viewpoint that causes experiences and ideas to materialize in a unique, special way. In consequence, rather than proposing a practice of general, abstract, generic architecture, Occasions seeks to understand it and to describe it as the product of an intelligence and a specific sensibility.

Occasions points out that our work is always an opportunity to understand and establish active relations with the world.

Josep Lluis Mateo



OCCASIONAL CITY is an ideal city consisting of fragments of cities in which we have been invited to work. It is global and local, comprised of order and hierarchy (despite being fortuitous), and it organizes our responses on the occasions when we have been asked.
The installation is made up of a fragment of this ideal city that contains actual models, screenings and audiovisual material in a programme that will be publicized in August 2009.

Photomontage with fragments of cities represented by Josep Lluis Mateo’s Occasional City:
Occasional City

The installation will be open to the public from 15 to 19 September 2009 at the RAS gallery in Barcelona. The opening will take place at 8 pm in the evening on Tuesday 15 September.

RAS is at number 10, Carrer Doctor Dou in Barcelona.

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