Writings 2005–2020

Selected essays from the past fifteen years by Josep Lluís Mateo, one of Europe’s most influential architectural intellectuals


Also available in Spanish


Title Information

Josep Lluís Mateo. Edited by Arnau Pascual

1st edition

, 2021


96 pages, 18 color and 12 b/w illustrations

13 x 21 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-209-5


Josep Lluís Mateo is one of Spain’s leading architects and one of Europe’s most influential intellectuals. He runs a firm called mateoarquitectura in Barcelona, which has designed buildings in many countries such as Spain, Portugal, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Alongside his work as guest lecturer, Mateo was Professor of Design at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich from 2002 to 2014.

Mateo’s standing as a pacesetter in the international intellectual discourse about the future of architecture is closely tied to the journal Quaderns d’Arquitectura i Urbanisme, which has appeared in Catalan, Spanish and English since 1985 and of which he was editor-in-chief between 2002 and 2014. Under Matteo, it developed into the leading platform for discussions on architectural issues, urban design, and aesthetic concepts.

Footprints: Writings 2005–2020 collects his most important texts from the last fifteen years—short and longer essays and vignettes, along with interviews touching on questions about the elements, environmental and urban contexts, as well as on Matteo’s own designs. The texts, most of which published here in English for the first time, are illustrated and arranged thematically, to allow the juxtaposition to inspire new connections.

The book also features brief interviews with Josep Lluís Mateo conducted by Richard Scoffier, Isabel Concherio & Anna Hotz, Piotr Lopatka, Philip Ursprung, Fredy Massag & Alicia Guerrero, and Félix Arranz; and an introduction by Philip Ursprung.


Josep Lluís Mateo, born 1949, has been practicing as an architect since 1974. In 1991 he established his own firm in Barcelona, today operating under the name mateoarquitectura. From 1981 to 1990 he was editor-in-chief of Quaderns d’Arquitectura i Urbanisme, which was awarded various prizes during his tenure. He taught as a professor at Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura (ETSAB) in Barcelona 1996–2002 and at ETH Zurich’s School of Architecture 2002–14.


Edición española

Authors & Editors
Please send a review copy.
Please send the following high resolution images:


Eva Afuhs, Wasser I (Water I), photographic study, 1994–1998 © Eva Afuhs, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2021

Church Square after the intervention in Ullastret, 1985 © Ferran Freixa, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2021

Construction of foundations for the Film Theatre in Barcelona, 2007 © Adrià Goula

The wilderness of Ocotillo Desert prior to any construction © Reyner Banham Collection, AA Archives. London

Tilting a slab into place with block and tackle, 1922 © RM Schindler Studio

Occasional City is an ideal city consisting of fragments of cities on which mateoarquitectura has been invited to work. The piece was shown in the exhibition Footprints at Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona, in 2018 © mateoarquitectura

Notes on a board by Josep Lluís Mateo © mateoarquitectura

Paul Klee, Angelus Novus (New Angel), monoprint, 1920 © Paul Klee


All images printed must come with respective picture credit and may only be published in connection with a book review containing the publishing house, the title of the book and names of editors or authors.


Zip code