Fundación Focus



The Focus Foundation announces the winner of the Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis on a theme related to Seville


  • The concert mass will be held on Monday May 30 at 19:30 at the church of the Hospital de los Venerables.
  • Admission to the event is free while seating space is available.
  • María Núñez González, Doctor of Architecture at the University of Seville, is the author of the winning Thesis, 2017.
  • The winning thesis is entitled Houses, corrals, inns and shops in 16th century Seville. Architecture, drawing and lexicon of the alarifes, in which Sevillian domestic architecture in the Golden Age is analyzed.

Seville, January 31, 2018- The Focus Foundation has awarded the 2017 Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis on a theme which is either artistic, historical, literary, scientific or technical and related to Seville, to María Núñez González , Doctor of Architecture at the University of Seville, for her work entitled Houses, corrals, inns and shops in 16th century Seville. Architecture, drawing and lexicon of the alarifes. This distinction has been awarded by the Focus Foundation for over 30 years and includes a cash prize of three thousand euros for the author, as well as adding the work to the Library at the Foundation.  

With regard to the study, directed by Ricardo Sierra Delgado and Antonio Gámiz Gordo, who are university lecturers in the Architectural Graphic Expression department at the Superior Technical School of Architecture, at the University of Seville, its author spoke of  “the methodological rigor, the use of historical sources and drawings as an indispensable instrument to understand the history of domestic architecture and the way the house from the 16th century has evolved up to the present day, in a way that develops architectural and urban projects on farmhouses. Some 1,700 surveys have been studied from the 16th century which describes buildings in the city belonging to the Cathedral and the charitable Hospitals of Amor de Dios, Bubas, Cinco Llagas, Cardenal and Espíritu Santo.”

Furthermore, she admits that “this thesis has been both personally and professionally enriching. It has helped me to understand the importance that all monuments have in life.” The winner also stated that winning this prize for the best doctoral thesis from the Focus Foundation is very highly regarded by the city’s academic and scientific community. “Thanks to the Foundation and this prize, history, architecture, art and the characteristics of Seville have become more widely known and have provided scholars and the general public a closer look at the past, present and future”.

According to the jury which was chaired by Francisco García Novo, trustee of the Focus Foundation,  Houses, corrals, inns and shops in 16th century Seville. Architecture, drawing and lexicon of the alarifes is “an excellent work which develops a novel methodology of analysis which allows the written references in survey books and other documented sources to be moved to the integral knowledge of the residential and productive fabric of 16th century Seville.” In addition, the jury has recognized that "going beyond a strictly architectural and urbanistic value, the thesis offers a view of sociological and anthropological order of great interest for an understanding of the daily life of the city." Moreover, the recovery of the lexicon of the alarifes of the 16th century, which to a large extent remains in force today, has also been valued positively by the jury.  

In addition, the members of the jury for this edition have wished to express their satisfaction for the significant amount of theses presented (24 in total), as well as the amount submitted which were of a high scientific level. It is also important to highlight the great variety, both in the areas of knowledge collected, and of Spanish universities from which the works originate.

María Núñez González received her Doctorate of Architecture at the University of Seville. Currently, she is a temporary professor at the IES Heliche de Olivares (Seville), and is partner director at Proyectos de Ingeniería y Arquitectura del Sur S.L. (Architectural and Engineering Projects in the South Ltd). She belongs to an investigation group which is directed by Antonio Gámiz Gordo, at the Seville Superior Technical School of Architecture, and also collaborates in an R+D project which is financed by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness at Granada University, under the leadership of Mª Elena Díez Jorge, History of Art Lecturer (accredited lectureship) at Granada University. Her teaching experience has been enhanced in a number of different secondary colleges in Toledo and Seville, in addition to assisting on the Masters degree in History at Granada University. On an academic level, her career in research started in the Architectural Graphic Expression department, under the leadership of Ricardo Sierra Delgado. She has also published works on the Sevillian house in the 16th and 17th centuries in books and magazines and has participated in seminars, exhibitions and conventions.

Appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Focus Foundation, the jury of the 34th   edition was chaired by Francisco García Novo; Professor of Ecology at Seville University from 1976 to 2013 and Trustee of Focus Foundation. In addition, it was made up of José Enrique Ayarra Jarne,  the titular organist of the Focus Foundation and the Seville Cathedral; Teodoro López del Cerro, Technology Director at Abengoa; and Antonio-Miguel Bernal Rodríguez, Consuelo Flecha García, Pilar León-Castro, Alfredo Morales Martínez, Arsenio Moreno Mendoza, Alfredo Navarro Robles, Javier Nó Sánchez, Víctor Pérez Escolano, Alfonso Pleguezuelo Hernández, Ramón Queiro Filgueira, Rogelio Reyes Cano, María Dolores Robador González and Florencio Zoido Naranjo who are all Lecturers at Seville University, Pablo de Olavide and Loyola Andalucía.

Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla (Focus)

The Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla (Focus) was created in 1982 as a result of the cultural work begun in 1972 by Abengoa with the publication of the works Temas Sevillanos (Themes of Seville) and Iconografía de Sevilla (Iconography of Seville). A collection of documents, books and engravings on the Kingdom of Seville and by Sevillian authors was created during the same period.

This cultural activity inspired and promoted by Abengoa, is based on the support and a series of activities which is of great benefit to society. The Focus Foundation was born from this conviction at the start of the 80s.

1991 became a key year in the organization’s recent history as its location was moved to the Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes, a 17th century monument, owned by the  Archbishopric of Seville in addition to inaugurating the exceptional baroque organ. From this point onward, the institution has organized 34 plastic arts exhibitions- visited by over one million people, and has offered a musical program for the organ of international reference.

Since 2007 and following the acquisition of Velázquez’s Santa Rufina by the Foundation, the Hospital de los Venerables has housed the Diego Velázquez Research Centre, a leading institution for studying and disseminating the Baroque era and the Sevillian period of this universally renowned artist. Attention to this crucial moment of the Golden Age is completed with the legacy of Professor Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez, received by the Foundation in 2011. Consisting of his library, photo library, archive and collection of artworks, its cataloging is enabling to create a library specializing in Baroque art and culture. This entire heritage is widely spread by Focus Educa, our area of education, by means of which we raise awareness and bring culture closer to society.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Focus Foundation at the Hospital de los Venerables, and coinciding with the 400th anniversary of the birth of Bartolomé E. Murillo, the Hospital de Los Venerables hosted the Velázquez. Murillo. Sevilla Exhibition (2016-2017). This was a first rate cultural phenomenon that received more than 120,000 visitors, making it the most visited exhibition in the history of the Foundation. A series of organ recitals which were held in the Church of Los Venerables made up the musical framework entitled, Tribute to Murillo: Homage to a universal painter.  

For more information:

Marián Ariza.

Rocío Castro.

+ 34 954937111

Follow us on:

Educational and cultural activities