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An interrupted education (1932-1942)

It was precisely in the year 1932, when Miguel Fisac managed to enter the School of Architecture, that Antonio Florez in his entrance speech to the Real Academia de las Bellas Artes outlined a new study plan for architecture degrees. It seems paradoxical that this illustrious architect who had disliked the hardness of the drawings of his student Fisac, should be the author of the student residences in Calle Pinar, which occupied half the Colina de los Chopos, which after the war would be completed by Miguel Fisac’s complex for the C.S.I.C. But Florez made progress difficult for him by failing him on the next course, and that despite the fact that he had no problems with the technical subjects, such as Mechanics, in which Fisac performed as well as his friend and future structures specialist Javier Lahuerta.

In 1934 he managed to pass the complementary course and graduate in a year when only ten students did so. He was accompanied by Cabrero, Rebollo, Peña, Rodriguez-Losada, Garrido-Serrano, Bastarreche, Fernandez del Amo, Carbonell and Alustiza. Another one hundred students failed, including such well-known personalities as Rafael Aburto or Jose Marcide. The following year, at the end of the course, the School moved from Calle de las Escuelas to the new building in the Ciudad Universitaria projected by Pascual Bravo, it was only used for a short period due to its destruction in the civil war because it was on the battle front. When the war began on July 18th Miguel Fisac remained in Daimiel where he saved his life by hiding for a year in the attic of the family house until he was rescued by Juan Jimenez Vargas, with whom he travelled through Spain and crossed the Pyrenees in order to join the Nationalist side under the command of General Lahuerta, the father of his friend Javier. During this intermediate period of the civil war he met up with various student friends like Alejandro de la Sota, and with the group of the catholic organization Opus Dei, which he had joined in 1935 as a founder member along with others such as Jose Maria Escriva, or Jose Maria Albareda.

Once the war finished on 1st April 1939, he resumed his studies immediately, returning to the old Jesuit building in Calle de los Estudios, because the School of Architecture could not reopen until 1942, the year in which Fisac qualified as an architect along with Francisco de Asis Cabrero, Javier Lahuerta, Jose Rebollo, Jose Luis Fernandez del Amo, Luis Alustiza, Manuel Bastarreche y Javier Peña Peña. With this group, led by the professor of Urban Planning Cesar Cort, he went on his end of course tour to Portugal, the only possible destination in a Europe at war. In the final three years of his course, he was already beginning his professional career in the studio of Ricardo Fernandez-Vallespín, with whom he designed a Tuscan door and the conference hall of the headquarters of the CSIC at number 4 Calle Medinacelli, and later the building for the Torres Quevedo Institute in Calle Serrano. He also worked in the studio of Pedro Muguruza drawing perspectives for the reconstruction of the city of Santander, working with his companions Francisco Cabrero and Rafael Aburto, coinciding with a student five years younger by the name of Francisco Javier Saenz de Oiza.
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