Rafael Moneo was born in Tudela, Spain, in 1933. He graduated in architecture in 1961 at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura in Madrid (ETSAM).
After working for two years at the Jørn Utzon’s practice in Hellebaek, in Denmark, he won a scholarship at the Spanish Academy in Rome, where he studied from 1963 to 1965.
Back in Spain, he founded in 1966 his own firm in Madrid and at the same time he worked as a teacher at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura in Madrid (ETSAM), at the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies in New York, between 1976 and 1978, and at the University of Harvard, where he has been teaching since 1987.
The firm has received numerous awards and recognitions including the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 1996, the Royal Gold Medal given by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2003, the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts in 2012 and the Praemium Imperiale in 2017.