(b. 1488, Torrijos, Toledo, d. 1570, Toledo)


Spanish architect and sculptor. Recognized as an innovator by his contemporaries, he was one of the most important members of the first generation of Spanish Renaissance architects, who proved able to develop from the Gothic and Plateresque styles prevalent in the first decades of the 16th century to the purest unornamented style ultimately inspired by Sebastiano Serlio. His artistic evolution was not the result of a direct knowledge of Italian art but was acquired from the treatise literature and from the suggestions of other Spanish architects who, unlike him, had travelled to Italy.

In the first years of his career he worked principally as a sculptor. As an architect he built the courtyard and the Plateresque staircase in Hospital de Santa Cruz (Toledo). In 1534 he was named superintendent of the building program at Toledo Cathedral where planned the Kings Chapel. In 1537 Covarrubias and Luis de Vega were named architects of the Alcázar, where Covarrubias built the main façade and the courtyard. From 1541, he designed and built the Tavera Hospital (Hospital de Tavera).

Covarrubias also worked in the Archbishop's Palace of Alcalá de Henares where he built the façade and the lost courtyard.