Miquel Ponsetí i Vives
Miquel Ponsetí i Vives (Felanitx, Mallorca, 30 January 1920 - Barcelona, 18 january 2009) is the son of a watchmaker from Mallorca and a wealthy woman from Menorca. As a result of economic problems and the attendant hardships they came to Barcelona in search of a refuge from adversity. This was in 1924. However, the family (parents and three children) continued to suffer the harsh effects of poverty.
The good watchmaker, on confirming that crafts were not well-paid, determined that his elder son would study because only a good education could save the poor from their misfortunes. This son completed his studies and became a doctor who went into exile at the end of the Civil War and became an orthopaedist, of (what is known as) world-wide renown. The younger son, yours truly, also studied, got through the war with all the suffering that it brought, bore the peace and went on studying – while also maintaining his family – to become a painter, mathematician and, eventually, an architect.
He taught in the university after finishing his degrees. In his last teaching phase, he was head of the Chairs of Extended Mathematics and Rational Mechanics at the Barcelona School of Architecture (1956- 1962).
In 1946, he was appointed as a municipal architect after an official examination for the post. He won a number of prizes in competitions, was Head of the Unit of City Planning (1978 – 1980) and Head of the Architectural Heritage Service of the Department of Culture of the Generalitat (Government) of Catalonia (1982 – 1984). As a Barcelona City Councillor, he was president of the Board of Nomenclature and of the Design Commission (1980 – 1983).
In his professional life he produced more than 200 new buildings with a variety of uses and styles, in both Catalonia and Mallorca, and more than 300 projects of extensions, refurbishing and remodelling.
He retired from the Public Service and as an architect in 1986. And, once retired, he decided to keep on painting and writing.
He was an honorary member of the Association of Catalan Language Writers.
Web page: Carme Ros for AELC.
Documentation and Photographs: Personal files of the author.
Translation: Julie Wark.