Pritzker Architecture Prize 2017 was presented by the Catalan studio RCR Arquitectes.
The international jury under the leadership of Australian Glenn Mercutte (Pritzker’s 2002 winner) managed to really surprise the architectural community: firstly, in the entire history of the award the creative union of several architects has never been awarded, and secondly, the work of the three winners is not well known to the public, but also to many professionals.
By topic: Who will receive the Pritzker Prize in 2017?
Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta graduated from the Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura del Vallès School of Architecture in Barcelona in 1987. And already in 1988, they founded their own architectural studio in the native city of Olot (in the Catalan pronunciation Ulot) in the province of Girona and for all 29 years outside of Catalonia they worked a little, and then only in France and Belgium. The abbreviation in the name of the bureau, formed from the first letters of the names of the founders, once again underlines the absence of an obvious leader and the division of responsibilities in their work. Actually, therefore, the jury had to retreat from the rules and present the first collective award.
In their projects, Catalan architects are very attentive to the environment and the landscape. They even say that they create their own alphabet each time to talk with a place, trying to make architecture a “conductor of beauty”. They often use recycled materials, mainly plastic and steel. And, as a rule, only one material actively dominates, as architects, in their own words, try to achieve the maximum impact with a minimum of means.Public space La Lira Theater, 2011, Ripoll, Girona, Spain. In collaboration with J. Puigcorbé. Restaurant Les Cols Marquee 2011 Olot, Girona, Spain. Restaurant Les Cols Marquee 2011 Olot, Girona, Spain. Restaurant Les Cols Marquee 2011 Olot, Girona, Spain.
But in such an unexpected decision, the jury contains another important statement: support for individuality and local traditions, an attempt to show that for global success it is not necessary to follow the demands of ever-increasing globalization and universalization, it is possible and necessary to preserve and preserve its roots. At least in architecture.
The official award ceremony will be held on May 20 in Tokyo in the Akasaka Palace.Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta.