This research project examines the interplay between architecture, political power and national identity by studying the reconstruction ofMadrid’s Ciudad Universitaria (University City) and its role within GeneralFranco’s regime (1939–1975). The symbolic nature of this university campus during the war and its importance as a public institution made its reconstruction a key exercise that aimed to facilitate the formation of a new social and political identity. Hence, the interplay between its architectural reconstruction and the new political system will be analysed. To do so, this research looks at citizens’ interpretations, at ceremonies and at events in people’s everyday lives. Furthermore, it examines the official processes of selectively shaping social memory in the reconstruction of the campus and how this facilitated the formation of a new social and political identity during the three decades following its reconstruction.
The research methodology is a combination of archival and oral history methods. National, university, and architectural archives will offer graphical and written sources; interviews with former students, university staff and neighbours will serve to interrogate their perceptions. Thus, this thesis intends to shed light on the understanding of the interaction between architecture, political power and national identity through the study of symbolic meaning together with power relations and social memory.
Ana Mayoral Moratilla is a Spanish architect and researcher. She has been a PhD candidate at the Bartlett School of Architecture since 2019. Ana teaches history and theory of architecture at the Academy of Arts University(California) and at the Greenwich School of Design (London). Ana studied architecture at the University of Seville, Spain (2014) and graduated fromHarvard University in 2017, where she pursued the theoretical Master in DesignStudies (MDes) at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Focusing on the interaction between architecture, political power and heritage, she has developed several research projects, published articles and participated in various international congresses. She is the author of Aljarafe, más que un colegio: La Arquitectura Pedagógica de Fernando Higueras y Antonio Miró (2018). Ana has worked at the Andalusian Institute for Historic Heritage (Spain) and as a research associate at the research lab Nuevas Situaciones, Otras Arquitecturas (University of Seville, Spain).