The professional partnership formed by Federico Correa and Alfonso Milá is one of the most fruitful tandems in Spanish design and architecture. Their work is an interpretation of the architectural heritage of the Modern Movement and the eagerness for a cosmopolitan Barcelona.
Both born in 1924, Federico Correa and Alfonso Milá were schoolmates and went on to attend the same university. Both received doctorates in architecture from the University of Barcelona. They established their architectural studio in 1953, interweaving their friendship with a professional partnership. Their names soon became inseparable. The studio began with a focus on decoration and single-family homes, gradually developing larger projects such as offices, residences or industrial factories. They met all kinds of challenges with distinction, within the framework of architecture, interior design and industrial design. In addition, both architects became dedicated lecturers, with an emphasis on the internationalisation of Barcelona and Spain's distinguishing features in the world of design. They taught at renowned design schools in Barcelona, such as Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura (ETSAB) and EINA University, Centre for Art and Design.
Federico Correa and Alfonso Milá were disciples of the Modern Movement. Their work is a legacy of their learnings from José Antonio Coderch and the inspiration they drew from the architecture of northern Italy, creating their own interpretation of architecture which has generated a following in recent years. The Correa-Milá style has been distinguished by its characteristic manner of intervention from the very beginning. Various of their summer houses in the seaside town of Cadaqués, with integrated furniture, created a refreshing and accommodating style that was later imitated often. Other projects by Federico Correa were Barcelona's Olympic Ring or the restaurant at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, as well as the interior design of legendary venues in the history of Barcelona, such as the Flash Flash or Il Giardinetto restaurants. Aside from their residential and restaurant projects, Milá and Correa designed various industrial plants around Barcelona, such as the Godó i Trias and Montesa factories.
Federico Correa and Alfonso Milá compare the challenges in the realm of industrial design to those of architecture: "The implementation process is so slow that you almost forget about it; it takes forever. Architecture has a fixed deadline, whereas design does not. Even when the two disciplines overlap, as was the case with everything we did in the Olympic Ring, the most challenging part is the design of the objects." In 2003, when they were commissioned to refurbish the office of Barcelona mayor Pasqual Maragall, they turned to Miguel Milá, Alfonso's younger brother, to design the furniture and lighting. A result of this collaboration was the Diana lamp, which since 1995 has been one of the most cherished lamps in Santa & Cole's collection.
Between them, Federico Correa and Alfonso Milá have received several FAD awards and multiple accolades. They have been the tandem of Barcelona design, reinventing architecture warmly through their emblematic friendship.
Miguel Milà, industrial and interior designer, inventor and bricoleur, began his career in the 1950s, and soon became a pioneer of Spanish design. To overcome the scarcity of resources at the time, he decided to design his own pieces. He soon began to produce objects at his company Tramo (Trabajos Modestos), and they remain true contemporary classics today. In 2016, the Ministry of Education and Culture awarded him the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts.