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Spanish Architects Win Pritzker Prize

Friday, March 3, 2017

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Collaboration gleaned the architecture profession's highest honor as three designers from Spain, who have shared work for three decades, were named Pritzker Architecture Prize winners.

Architects Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta were selected as the 2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates, Chairman of Hyatt Foundation Tom Pritzker said in an announcement Wednesday (March 1).

The Hyatt Foundation sponsors the international award program.

Photo by Javier Lorenzo Domínguez / All images courtesy of Pritzker Architecture Prize

Architects Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta, of Olot, Spain, were named the 2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates.

The designers have worked closely together since founding their hometown firm RCR Arquitectes (Olot) in 1988. The team shares all project responsibilities including the creative process and commitment to vision.

“It is a great joy and great responsibility,” Pigem commented. “We are thrilled that this year three professionals, who work closely together in everything we do, are recognized.”

Photo by Hisao Suzuki

Bell-Lloc Winery (2007) Palamós, Girona, Spain.

In a video response, the architects said that ideas arise from discussions with others, suggesting that open exchanges have been a pillar of their work.

Commitment and Vision

In making the announcement, Pritzker said the team’s body of work demonstrates an unyielding commitment to place and its narrative.

“Harmonizing materiality with transparency, Aranda, Pigem and Vilalta seek connections between the exterior and interior, resulting in emotional and experiential architecture,” he said.

Photo by Hasao Suzuki

El Petit Comte Kindergarten (2010) Besalú, Girona, Spain, in collaboration with J. Puigcorbé.

Their projects range from public and private spaces to cultural facilities and educational institutions.

Material Usage

Members of the jury noted the team’s creativity and use of modern materials, such as recycled steel and plastic.

“They’ve demonstrated that unity of a material can lend such incredible strength and simplicity to a building,” says Glenn Murcutt, jury chair. “The collaboration of these three architects produces uncompromising architecture of a poetic level, representing timeless work that reflects great respect for the past, while projecting clarity that is of the present and the future.”

Of Note

Listed among the firm’s notable projects were the following: La Cuisine Art Center (Nègrepelisse, France, 2014); Soulages Museum in collaboration with G. Trégouët (Rodez, France, 2014); La Lira Theater Public Open Space in collaboration with J. Puigcorbé (Ripoll, Girona, Spain, 2011); Les Cols restaurant marquee (Olot, Girona, Spain, 2011); El Petit Comte Kindergarten in collaboration with J. Puigcorbé (Besalú, Girona, Spain, 2010); Bell-Lloc Winery (Palamós, Girona, Spain, 2007); Sant Antoni - Joan Oliver Library, Senior Citizen’s Center and Cándida Pérez Gardens (Barcelona, Spain, 2007); and Tossol-Basil Athletics Track (Olot, Girona, Spain, 2000).

Photo by Hisao Suzuki

Soulages Museum (2014) Rodez, France, in collaboration with G. Trégouët.

As the winners of the 39th edition of the Prize, it is the second time that laureates hail from Spain, following Rafael Moneo, who received the award in 1996.

The team will be honored May 20, 2017, during a ceremony at the State Guest House, Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan.


Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Architects; Architecture; Awards and honors; Color + Design; Design; Europe; North America; Pritzker Architecture Prize

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