The winner of the ‘competition’ for the Museo del Prado expansion has just been announced; and the award goes to one of those works that boost the prestige of the reigning authorities and of the winning designers.

A golden opportunity for the government and official bodies to promote new architectural proposals and brighten the sad professional landscape has yet again gone to waste.

The judges? Royal Patrons of the Museo del Prado chaired by the current Minister of Culture, and including the president of the Madrid Regional Government and the presidents or former presidents of Spanish companies such as Telefonica, Iberdrola, La Caixa, BBVA, etc…..

The result? The winning team conveniently includes a famous British architect (yes, that one! the one who’s married to a Spanish lady) and his local entourage, so that nobody can say we only give work to foreigners.

Our thoughts? Always the same ones!!! Which is probably what many of the thousands of out-of-work architects are also thinking, many of whom are under 40 and will probably never be able to practise the profession they love and to which they devoted at least 6 years of their lives in study.

Always the same !!! is the cry of the architects and citizens who are tired of stunning buildings of questionable use, often of dubious architectural quality, built at an astronomical cost and populating our cities which, on the other hand, lack infrastructure, basic amenities and decent housing for recently evicted low-income families or energy-poor households, creating an unacceptable situation in a society that calls itself democratic.

Enrique Fombella, 26 December 2016