GATEPAC (Grupo de Artistas y Técnicos Españoles para el Progreso de la Arquitectura Contemporánea)


The Group of Spanish Artists and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture, better known by the acronym GATEPAC, was formed by a group of architects active before the Spanish Second Republic whose aim was to promote rationalist architecture.

The group was officially founded at the Gran Hotel de Zaragoza in October 1930 as the Spanish branch of the CIAM. Its most relevant members were José Manuel Aizpurúa, Antoni Bonet i Castellana, Fernando García Mercadal, Josep Lluís Sert, and Josep Torres Clavé. GATEPAC published the magazine A.C. Documentos de Actividad Contemporánea, which was an important reference point for modern movements in Spain during the 1950s and 60s. The group established contacts with the government during the Second Spanish Republic and collaborated on some governmental architectural projects, although not on a large scale. In this institutional sense, the eastern (Catalan) section of the group, called GATCPAC (Grup d'Arquitectes i Tècnics Catalans per al Progrés de l'Arquitectura Contemporània), was more active than the central or northern sections (Madrid and Basque).

In the Catalan group were, among others, Antoni Bonet, Ricardo de Churruca, Germán Rodríguez Arias, Sixt Illescas, Ricardo Ribas, Josep Lluís Sert, Manuel Subiño, Josep Torres Clavé, and Joan Baptista Subirana.

The Central group was composed of Ramón Aníbal Álvarez, Víctor Calvo, Santiago Esteban de la Mora, Fernando García Mercadal, Felipe López Delgado, and Manuel Martínez Chumillas.

The Northern group consisted of three architects: Luis Vallejo, José Manuel Aizpúrua, and Joaquín Labayen.

Many members of GATEPAC supported the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War. Torres Clavé died in action. Josep Lluís Sert went into exile in the United States, where he became a professor at Harvard University. Antoni Bonet settled in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In contrast, Joaquín Labayen and José Manuel Aizpurúa joined Falange, with the latter being executed by the Republicans during the conflict.

GATEPAC had no legacy in Spain until the 1950s, when its publications ceased to be censored by the Franco regime and its work was embraced by a new generation of Spanish modern architects like Oriol Bohigas.