The Bartlett School of Architecture


Jaime Bartolomé Yllera

Work by Jaime Bartolomé Yllera



Architectures of Joy: A theoretical and practical guide to the production of positive feelings in buildings

First and second supervisors 


Jaime Bartolomé Yllera’s thesis examines design strategies in architecture related to the production of positive feelings by buildings, and speculates on how to interact with them in order to intensify such experiences. Based on Spinoza’s theory of affect, and supported by a varied body of contemporary science, this thesis explores the conceptual structure and the geometric, material, and biological bases of positive emotional interactions between architecture, and the human body, including its organs of perception and behavioural patterns.

The thesis focuses on biomechanical, thermodynamic, aerologic, biological, and tactile relationships that substantiate specific architectural emotions, whilst investigating the internal mechanisms and resources on which they are based. The intensification of these relationships has been tested through the design of seventeen digital prototypes. The resulting architecture is composed of deeply articulated technical systems that include novel entangled definitions of flooring, interior and exterior enclosure, openings, building systems, lighting and vegetation, among others. They relate to each other in structural, performative and ornamental terms in their roles as buildings.

The thesis outlines a possible design method that enhances positive emotions and feelings in buildings. This led to six building projects, two of which were built using these principles, providing reliable objects of discussion and further study. These projects constitute a repository of concrete disciplinary findings and innovations. This thesis also offers a broad theoretical background in addition to its concrete ideas and specific criteria for the design of building elements and systems, and the way they relate to one another. It offers a new, invigorating design paradigm for buildings – at the intersection of performance and aesthetics and beyond pervasive paradigms such as functionality, efficiency or comfort.


Jaime Bartolomé Yllera is a practicing architect, researcher and design teacher. He studied architecture at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, graduating with distinction in 2005. Jaime worked for a number of years for Cero9/Amid in Madrid and for Zaha Hadid Architects in London.

In 2008, he founded GilBartolomé ADW with Pablo Gil. The firm is dedicated to the design of public buildings, such as the new airport in Lahore, Pakistan, and private commissions such as the House on the Clif in Salobreña. They have been awarded several competition prizes and their work has been published.

Jaime has taught at the School of Design and Fine Arts and at the School of Architecture of the Francisco de Vitoria University. He currently teaches architecture at Nebrija University and design at the University School of Design, Innovation and Technology in Madrid.