The Foundation building was designed by Josep Lluís Sert, architect, co-founder of the GATCPAC (Grup d'Arquitectes i Tècnics Catalans per al Progrés de l'Arquitectura Contemporània) and a close friend of Joan Miró. It was built on land provided by the City Council in the Parc de Montjuïc.
Towards the end of the 1960s, Sert and Miró began working on the idea of a "Miró Museum" on the site. From the outset, the Foundation was designed in accordance with the principles of Rationalist architecture, with different spaces set around a central patio in the traditional Mediterranean style and with Sert's characteristic skylights. Designed to house the Miró collection, more than thirty years after it was opened the building has also demonstrated its capacity and adaptability for displaying the work of other artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and continues to be an emblematic example of contemporary architecture.
In 1988 it was enlarged so as to gain more exhibition space, provide room for new services and relocate the offices. The extension was designed by Jaume Freixa, a friend and pupil of Sert.
| Roof terraces | Olive Tree Patio | Sculpture Room
Josep Lluís Sert
Josep Lluís Sert i López (Barcelona 1902-1983), architect and town planner. In 1928 he met Le Corbusier, whose influence was to be reflected in his work.
His first buildings, in the 1930s, such as the duplex apartments on Carrer Muntaner, Barcelona (1931) and the Dispensari Antituberculòs (tuberculosis clinic) (1935), show a clearly Rationalist tendency that was apparent in many of his designs. It was during this period that he met Miró and started a long and close personal and professional friendship.
Sert was co-founder of the GATCPAC (1930-1939), with which he collaborated on important projects such as the Macià Plan for Barcelona (1934). In 1937, in conjunction with Luis Lacasa, he designed the Spanish Republic's Pavilion at the Paris World's Fair.
After the Civil War he lived in exile in the United States, where he met Paul Lester Wiener and Paul Schultz, with whom he set up Town Planning Associates. He was president of the CIAM (1947-1956) and succeeded Walter Gropius as dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design (1953-1969). During this period he combined teaching with designing buildings in America and the Mediterranean. In 1957 he founded the architectural practice that later became Sert, Jackson & Associates.
Other important buildings by Sert are Joan Miró's studio in Majorca (1955), the Fundació Maeght in St.-Paul-de-Vence, France (1964) and the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona (1975).
Josep Lluís Sert
Sketch of the plan and elevation of the Joan Miró Foundation, undated.
Gift of Jaume Freixa, 2003. Sert Room,
Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona.
Letter from Josep Lluís Sert to Joan Miró, October-November 1968. Gift of Jaume Freixa. Sert Room, Fundació Joan Miró.