HIS work is known all around the world and here in Scotland the architect Enric Miralles will forever be remembered as the man who brought us the Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood, which can still trigger as much debate now as it did when it opened, four years after his death.

Love it or loathe it, the building, with its roof of upturned boats and striking – if unusual – window frames, is regarded by many as the Catalan architect’s finest work and is featuring in a tribute organised by his home city of Barcelona.

MIRALLES has been organised by the Enric Miralles Foundation, along with support from Barcelona City Council and the Catalan government and is aimed at giving the wider population the opportunity to appreciate the legacy he left after he died in July 2000 from a brain tumour, aged just 45.

He was not solely an architect, more a creator, an imaginative designer and photographer, as well as teacher, all of which are addressed in the programme of exhibitions and activities that comprise the tribute.

It is being curated by the architect’s second wife Benedetta Tagliabue, with whom he set up the architectural partnership Miralles Tagliabue (EMBT), and Joan Roig i Duran, a co-founder of architectural group Batlle i Roig.

Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB), the Architects’ Association of Catalonia (COAC) and the Miralles Tagliabue EMBT are all collaborating in it.

“This tribute not only wants to remember the human and professional figure of Enric Miralles, but also wants to keep the spirit of the visionary, of the experimentalist, alive, as a way of working and seeing the world,” says Tagliabue. “And to leave his legacy also for future generations.”

Miralles grew up in Barcelona surrounded by the works of one of the city’s most famous architectural sons Antoni Gaudi, and studied at the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB). Later, he stared work with the “minimalist and modern” pair Albert Viaplana and Helio Pinon, and was involved with the creation of the Placa dels Paisos Catalans (Square of the Catalan Countries), courtyard of Barcelona’s main railway station.

This was the start of what was to be a prolific, if short, career of just 26 years during which he took part in nearly 70 competitions and won 62 awards.

His work involved installations and various projects, resulting in 225 being collected in different countries.

Apart from Scotland and Spain, they included Holland, Italy, Germany, Japan, Austria, Argentina, the US, Greece, Finland, England, Ireland, Switzerland, and Denmark. Miralles also taught in Barcelona, Frankfurt, and the most prestigious universities in the US such as Harvard, Columbia, Princeton and Yale. Miralles established an architectural office with his then wife Carme Pinos, in 1985, after winning several architectural design awards. Their four-year partnership was successful and gained them international attention with projects such as Igualada Cemetery, outside Barcelona, and the Olympic Archery Ranges of Vall d’Hebron in the Catalan capital.

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In 1992 Miralles and Tagliabue set up their own architectural practice. Their most notable commissions were the Scottish Parliament building and Edifici Gas Natural (Natural Gas Building) in Barcelona – both of which were completed after his death. While his work was unique in style, Miralles was influenced by other greats in the field, including Charles Rennie Mackintosh, which helped establish a strong friendship with husband and wife team Alison and Peter Smithson, who are credited with leading British Brutalism in the latter half of the 20th century.

He was also influenced by Glasgow-born Sir James Stirling, who disrupted the composition and theory behind the Modern Movement with architecture often described as “nonconformist”.

The Enric Miralles Foundation has designed a “Miralles circuit” as part of the tribute – a series of venues designed to be available at various times throughout the year, accessible to everyone.

First on the list of representative spaces in Barcelona is the Salo del Tinell (Tinell Hall), which is home to an exhibition on Miralles as an architect. In 1956 this hall was chosen to host the first retrospective of Gaudi, one of his early influences.

Other venues on the circuit are the Catalan government’s Centre d’Arts Santa Monica, the Disseny (design) Hub of Barcelona City Council, the Architects’ Association of Catalonia (COAC), ETSAB and the Enric Miralles Foundation itself.

Organisers insist that visitors do not have to be architects or have links with the world of architecture to appreciate the homage.

They say anyone can get closer to the life of one of Catalonia’s most international contemporary architects through a range of formats at each venue –talks and debates, photography and videos, plans and drawings, models, notebooks, sketches and collages.

The foundation says Miralles is the “most studied and imitated” architect in the western and eastern world, and the tribute features materials and documentation from his lifetime – some unpublished – which are coming out of the archives for the first time.

Curator Roig said: “A meticulous research effort has been made within the archives to find those documents and materials that can best explain Miralles to the general public. It is not a tribute made from a distance; it has been thought from the front line to make it accessible to everyone.”

And if you’re still wondering about the Holyrood “boats”, here’s how Miralles explained them to the BBC the year before he died: “The boats are still there but the boats are much more like a filling and will not be like a crude thing or something like an enforced icon.

“I mean, it’s just, sometimes you take something out of your pocket; something to start thinking and be provocative and then go ahead. No?”