Muro y detalle del Parlamento de Edimburgo, EMBT. Octavio Mestre, 2009 / Wall and detail of the Scottish Parliament building, EMBT. Octavio Mestre, 2009.
That July, days before he died, he was given a FAD award for a house in La Clota that was very much along the lines of Arte Povera and a future that is here today; one that was waiting for all of us and that back then we didn’t have a clue was coming (the influence of that house can be seen in the works selected by Jordi Badia and Félix Arranz for the Ramon Llull Institute’s Catalan Pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale and the Vogadors exhibition). As I was saying, as Enric said when they gave him the FAD award before he died that the only important architecture is the emotional kind, I will tell you (I have never put this in writing) that two of the last times I have wept bitterly have been linked to his memory.
The last time was in 2009 on a trip to Scotland, looking at the side wall of the Parliament Building in Edinburgh. I had already visited the entire complex, the triple height foyer, the function rooms, the MPs’ offices, the gardens and its fusion with the natural greenery. But it was on returning to the city when I came across a side wall, barely more than packed earth, upon which was written phrase upon phrase in the form of a hotchpotch of graffiti that he would have used for inspiration and initial sketches, a wall that I don’t recall having seen published, except for the façade behind it in which I recognised his way of working... a wall that Enric never got to see, according to what Bene herself told me years later when I talked to her about it: a homage that they dedicated to him together with Soraya, the daughter of Peter and Alison Smithson (forgive me, but thirteen years on and I still don’t understand the fascination Enric always had for them; one which I’ve only just discovered my friend Juan Ignacio Mera also shares).