Dr José M Silva Hernández-Gil

School: School of Art and Architecture
Position: Lecturer


José Silva studied architecture at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (ETSAM) and at the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio, gaining his degree in 2008. He continued his architectural education at the ETSAM, in the PhD programme "Theory & Practice of the Architectural Project", where he defended his thesis "Permanences in the architecture of James Stirling" in 2015, obtaining a qualification of Distinction Cum Laude.

In the meantime, José also gained extensive professional experience, both in Spain, where he worked for the award-winning practice Frechilla López-Peláez Arquitectos between 2006 and 2009 and establishing his own practice Silva Palomares Arquitectos; but also in London, where he has worked for six years (2010–2016) at Duggan Morris Architects, where he became Associate in 2013.

In addition to his 1st Year studio unit in Kingston, he also leads a 2nd and 3rd Year studio unit in the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design at the London Metropolitan University with Miranda MacLaren and Fran Balaam.

Previously he has taught at the ETSAM (2008–2009) and in the University of Cambridge (2014–2015) and his writings and essays have been published in REIA magazine.

Related links

Research expertise

José Silva's PhD thesis was titled "Permanences in the architecture of James Stirling" and constitutes a study of the architecture of the British post-war master from the point of view of elements that persisted across his highly variable (formally and stylistically) output.

The research is not a purely historical or theoretical study; its aim is to unravel some key (if unusual) aspects of Stirling design methodology and to understand the relationship of these methods in the context of the second half of the 20th century, because the digestion done in this period by architects like Stirling of the Modern heritage, is still today the main source of our current architectural approach.

In this thesis, and in the associated essays produced, Stirling's architecture was used therefore as a "tool" to analyse and dissect some key aspects of post-war architecture that are still relevant for our architectural context today:

  • James Stirling architecture as a synthesis of his period

  • Modern heritage in the context of post-war architecture and today

  • Aspirations, contributions, and troubles and of the postmodern period to the understanding of Modern architecture

  • Influence of post-war architectural developments in contemporary architecture
  • Teaching areas & responsibilities

    Level 4 Studio Tutor

    Professional activity

    • 2016 - presentStudio leader, 2nd–3rd year Studio Unit 9: MacLaren, Silva & Balaam
    • 2015 - presentStudio leader, 1st year Studio C: Calderón & Silva
    • 2014 - 2015Assistant teacher, 3rd year Studio Unit 1: Devendahl & Martin
    • 2013 - 2016Associate. Duggan Morris Architects, London
    • 2013 - 2014Mentor, 3rd year students. RIBA Mentoring Programme & Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London
    • 2010 - 2013Architect. Duggan Morris Architects, London
    • 2009 - 2010Partner. Silva y Palomares Arquitectos, Madrid, Spain
    • 2008 - 2009Assistant teacher, 1st–2nd year Professor Antón Capitel Studio Unit. Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

    Educational and professional qualifications

    • 2015PhD Theory & Practice of the Architectural Project. Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain. 2015 (Thesis titled "Permanences in the architecture of James Stirling" Distinction Cum Laude)
    • 2008Registered Architect COAM (Spain)
    • 2008Architecture degree Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

    Conferences & events

    December 2015: Conference lecture "Octavo nivel de proyectos arquitectónicos". Escuela de Arquitectura de Toledo, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

    August 2015: Publication of research paper "A place for man: towards a modern monumentality". REIA Magazine no.4, pp. 175–192.

    February 2015 Publication of research paper "Between expression and type: James Stirling in the fifties". REIA Magazine no.3, pp. 165-181.

    Research groups & programmes