Grupo Aranea is a multidisciplinary group set in Alicante since 1998 and formed by architects, engineers, landscape gardeners, artists, biologists and a sociologist.
Grupo Aranea has a special sensitivity for the reinterpretation of geographic contexts as well as for the assumption of programmatic challenges.
It has been awarded with several prizes both in national and international competitions, outstanding amongst them the 1st Prize in the International Competition for the Arrangement of Calpe’s Maritime Façade (1999), 1st Prize in the National Competition for the Municipal Library in San Vicente del Raspeig (2001), the 1st Prize in the International Competition for the Center of Thalassotherapy in Gijón (2002), the Europan 8 prizes in Ceuta and Sintra, the 1st Prize in the National Competition for the construction of 111 Social Housing Units in Alicante (2007), 1st Prize in the International Competition for the Revitalization of both sides of River Vinalopó in Elche (2009) or the 1st Prize in the Competition for the Observatory of the Environment in Alicante (2009).
Its built work has been recognized with several prestigious awards like the FOPA Prize for the Best Public Work built in Alicante in 2005, the FAD 2010 Prize for the Best Built Work in Spain and Portugal in 2010, the nomination for the 2011 Mies van der Rohe Prize for the Best European Built Work or the participation in the XI Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism.
Its career has been covered by a monographic publication by the Chinese magazine World Architecture Review. Its work appears in specialized publications from all around the world like Arquitectura Viva, AV Monografías, Á Vivre, Arquitectura & Construção, Arkinka, Arquitectura COAM, Bauwelt, BRAUN, DAMDI, Detail, Dezeen, Domus, C3 magazine, Future Arquitecturas, GA, ID International Design, ORIS magazine, On Diseño, Pasajes, Metalocus, Scalae, Uruk, TC, The Plan, VIA arquitectura or WA World Architecture.
Grupo Aranea has been part of important exhibitions as “On Site. New Architecture in Spain” at MOMA in New York, becoming its work “Salamandra” part of MOMA’s permanent collection. Nowadays its work is being exhibited in “GA Houses Proyect 2012″ at GA gallery, Tokyo and in “Arquitectura Española 1975-2010: 35 años Construyendo en Democracia” at the Arquerías de los Nuevos Ministerios in Madrid.
Its interest and compromise for the transformation of landscape has taken Grupo Aranea to develop an intensive educative task from both its teaching experience in several universities and its organization of periodic workshops. These activities have as their goal to generate a permanent debate where all agents involved with the territory, in every specific geographic context, can meet.
Since 2006, Grupo Aranea runs the pH_Inhabited Landscapes workshop series, an annual meeting that has been developing successively in the Guadalest Valley (Alicante), the Navia Valley (Asturias), the Consello de Tomiño (Galicia), Leon City and the Municipality of L´Àlfás del Pi.
Marta García Chico, Agronomist and Master in Landscape, and Francisco Leiva Iborra, Architect, lead this dynamic collective.
Francisco Leiva has been Lecturer of Architectural Design at the School of Architecture in Valencia from 2003 to 2006 and in Alicante since 2006.