Whilst studying to become a doctor, Manuel Valls Vergés visited Mies Van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion at the World Exposition of 1929. Upon seeing the modernist structure he remarked on, 'the new materials and the beautiful things that could be made'. He then decided to study architecture.
The Spanish architect set up his own practice in 1941 with Jose Antonio Coderch, constructing small dwellings for local people on the Catalonia coastline. These characterised by their geometric shapes and whitewashed walls but culminated in their Ugalde House, near Barcelona built in 1951.
In 1982 he received the Gold Medal from the C.O.A.C. (Catalan Society of Architects).