Benedetta Tagliabue (born 24 June 1963) is an Italian architect known for designs which are sensitive to their context and yet still experimental in their approach to forms and materials. Her diverse and complex works have marked out her Barcelona-based firm EMBT as one of the most respected Spanish practices of the 21st century.
Born in Milan, Tagliabue graduated from the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia in 1989. In the early 1990s, she married Spanish architect Enric Miralles and the pair founded their studio Miralles Tagliabue EMBT. Together, Miralles and Tagliabue designed some of the practice’s most notable works, including the renovation of the Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona and the enormous edifice of the Scottish Parliament Building – a building which critic Charles Jencks described as “a kind of small city,” reflecting the complexity and intricacy of the Edinburgh streets which it responds to.
However, following Enric Miralles’ tragically premature death in 2000, Tagliabue took over the firm as a sole director, completing the Santa Caterina market, Edinburgh Parliament and a string of other projects besides. In recent years, the firm’s most striking work has perhaps been the Spanish Pavilion completed for the 2010 Shanghai Expo, a design which epitomizes their philosophy of continuing curiosity and material experimentation.
To this day, Tagliabue refers to her late husband as one of her greatest influences, and in 2011 she founded the Foundation Enric Miralles, with the mission of promoting and teaching the philosophies of inquiry and experiment that are fundamental to his legacy.