Architecture in Andalusia from a gender perspective: case of study of the practice and the reality of buildings and construction

Published: 18/7/11

2011-2015 Excellence Project HUM 5709. Junta de Andalucía

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The foremost objective of this project is to visualize gender relations in architecture, which has traditionally been considered an essentially masculine area of creation. The different historical records and sources have provided a great deal of information about the continuous participation of women in this field and cast light on the many and varied roles that women may have played as patrons, as architects, or working in studios, workshops or even on the building site itself.

The project we are presenting here seeks to define and visualize the role played by women. This role has always been inextricably entwined with the role established for the male gender and the actions performed by men, bearing in mind that the assigned roles and attitudes of the different genders did not function dichotomically and there were frequent and continuous exchanges and transfers between them. For this reason, this research seeks not only to break down the discriminatory discourses constructed by the patriarchal system but also aims to reflect on possible points of agreement between the genders, proposals for convergence and consensus that have also existed throughout history.

Gender has been and indeed remains a basic factor when it comes to conceiving, planning and designing spaces and it is therefore a useful category for historical analysis. In view of the current state of historiography on this subject, we feel that it is necessary to approach this question from a broad, multi-disciplinary, historical perspective, without forgetting the need for very specific pieces of research.

We decided to take an interdisciplinary approach in which History of Art was combined with other branches of History such as Prehistory, Ancient History, Mediaeval History and Modern History, and other disciplines such as Anthropology and Architecture. This interdisciplinary, transversal approach will enable us to identify more exactly the historicity of gender, its constants and its variables, and above all establish historical and temporal comparisons that are most important given the fragmented, dispersed nature of the research on this subject. In geographical terms we will be focussing above all on the history of architecture in Andalusia.


The study of various geotemporal cases of architecture in Andalusia from a gender perspective. The main objective is to analyse and visualize the historical constants and variables of gender in architectural practice. For this purpose we have carefully selected a number of architectural spaces of particular importance in the history of the architecture of Andalusia.

Application of the gender perspective in its broadest sense. For this purpose it is necessary to interrelate the assigned symbolic and theoretical constructs with the real practice and experiences of the men and women of the time.

Analysis of the complexity of the assignment of spaces: transgressions and social praxis. Our aim here is to emphasize the complexity of societies and of the way they use space in an attempt to overcome the traditional dichotomy between the public and the private domain.

Visualization of the contributions made by women in architectural practice. Women have made important contributions to architecture as patrons, in design, in collective work in workshops or studies, on the building site, and as architects. The practice of architecture by women must be visualized within its historical context and must therefore be related to and compared with the contributions made by men.


  • Ana Aranda Bernal (Universidad Pablo Olavide, Sevilla).
  • Juan Manuel Barrios Rozúa (Universidad de Granada)
  • Margarita Birriel Salcedo (Universidad de Granada).
  • Mª Elena Díez Jorge (Universidad de Granada).
  • Esther Galera Mendoza (Universidad de Granada).
  • Carmen Gregorio Gil (Universidad de Granada).
  • Carlos Hernández Pezzi (Arquitect)
  • Manuela Marín Niño (CSIC, Madrid).
  • Therese Martin (CSIC, Madrid).
  • Cándida Martínez López (Universidad de Granada).
  • Christine Mazzoli-Guintard (Universidad de Nantes, Francia).
  • Yolanda Olmedo Sánchez (Universidad de Córdoba).
  • Margarita Sánchez Romero (Universidad de Granada).
  • Felipe Serrano Estrella (Universidad de Jaén).

Lines of research

Occupation of space from a gender perspective in recent prehistory (Margarita Sánchez Romero)

The presence of women in the cities of Roman Andalusia from a gender perspective (Cándida Martínez López)

Gender relations in the spaces of Andalusian cities (Manuela Marín Niño, Christine Mazzoli-Guintard)

Architectural patronage and property development in the Kingdom of Seville from a gender perspective (Therese Martín, Ana Aranda Bernal)

Mudejar architecture in Andalusia from a gender perspective (Mª Elena Díez Jorge)

Architecture and gender in the former Kingdom of Granada (Margarita Birriel Salcedo, Esther Galera Mendoza)

Architecture of the mendicant orders in Andalusia from a gender perspective (Felipe Serrano Estrella)

Architecture and gender in the Kingdom of Cordoba in the Modern Age (Yolanda V. Olmedo Sánchez)

The contemporary city: spaces and places from a gender perspective (Carlos Hernández Pezzi, Carmen Gregorio Gil)

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