HERRERA, Juan de
(b. 1530, Mobellán, d. 1597, Madrid)

Biography

Spanish architect, mathematician and geometrician. One of the most outstanding Spanish architects in the 16th century, Herrera represents the peak of the Renaissance in Spain. His sober style was fully developed in buildings like the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The Herrerian style was named after him, and was representative of the architecture of the Spanish Empire of Philip II and his Austrian successors.

Juan de Herrera completed his studies at the University of Valladolid in the spring of 1548. He started his architectural career in 1561 with the works in the Royal Palace of Aranjuez.

In 1563 he starts his collaborations with Juan Bautista de Toledo in the construction of El Escorial. After the death of Juan Bautista de Toledo in 1567, Herrera becomes the director architect of the works. Herrera modifies the plans and enlarges the program, changing the image of the façades and introducing his personal sober style. The main keys of his design are the impressive horizontal unified composition and the nude use of the granite, omitting the classical orders for large surfaces.

The plans of the Cathedral of Valladolid and the Archivo General de Indias were also designed by him. He was the first original designer for the Plaza Mayor in Madrid.