By Nora Vasconcelos
Last Wednesday, architects Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta received the 2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize, the highest honor in the field, and it is very interesting to see, through several photos of their work, how they’ve managed to develop designs that might seem simple but that in fact get a great deal of complexity as they manage to blend with their surroundings, adding to the landcapes colors, lines, spaces and volumes that invite people to interact with them.
These three architects founded their firm RCR in Catalonia, Spain, in 1988. “Their works range from public and private spaces to cultural venues and educational institutions, and their ability to intensely relate the environment specific to each site is a testament to their process and deep integrity”, as Tom Pritzker said.
Mr. Pritzker is the Chairman of Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the award.
The locally-based architects, adds the press release by the Pritzker Foundation, evoke universal identity through their creative and extensive use of modern materials including 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.”
The 2017 Pritzker Prize Jury Citation states, in part: “we live in a globalized world where we must rely on international influences, trade, discussion, transactions, etc. But more and more people fear that because of this international influence…we will lose our local values, our local art, and our local customs…Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta tell us that it may be possible to have both. They help us to see, in a most beautiful and poetic way, that the answer to the question is not ‘either/or’ and that we can, at least in architecture, aspire to have both; our roots firmly in place and our arms outstretched to the rest of the world.”