Pritzker Architecture Prize 2011 - Eduardo Souto de Moura
History of the Pritzker Architecture Prize
The Pritzker Architecture Prize was established by The Hyatt Foundation in 1979. This foundation belonges to the Pritzker family of Chicago that has always been recognized for it's big interest on education, science medical and cultural activities. In 1979 Jay A. Pritzker, and his wife, Cindy, decided to create the Pritzker Arquitecture Prize. After Jay A. Pritzker died in January 23, 1999, his eldest son, Thomas J. Pritzker, has become chairman of The Hyatt Foundation.
Jay A. and Cindy's purpose was to honor annually a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture. They intended to put the greatest architects in the world on focus.
Nowadays, this prize is highly esteemed among architects. It is recognized as the Nobel Prize for Architecture.
The nominating procedure is continuous from year to year, closing in November each year. Nominations received after the closing are automatically considered in the following calendar year. The final selection is made by an international jury with all deliberation and voting in secret. The prize is awarded irrespective of nationality, race, creed, gender or ideology.
The winner receives a $100,000 grant, a formal citation certificate, and since 1987, a bronze medallion.
The bronze medallion is based on designs of Louis Sullivan, famed Chicago architect generally acknowledged as the father of the skyscraper. On one side is the name of the prize. On the reverse, three words are inscribed, “firmness, commodity and delight”
Eduardo Souto de Moura
Eduardo Elísio Machado Souto de Moura is a Portuguese architect and the recent Pritzker 2011 winner. He's 58 years old and is the second Portuguese architect to win this prize. The first one was Alvaro Siza Vieira in 1992.
It was with Alvaro Siza that Souto Moura first started learning and working on his architect degree. Holding it by Porto's university in "Belas Artes", he began working on Vieira's atelier.
Throughout his carer, Moura has been asked to teach on several prestigious architecture schools. An activity he started doing in 1981 on Porto's architecture faculty, but that has already taken him to Paris-Belleville, Harvard, Dublin, Zurique and Lausanne universities.
Finally his work has been recognized. Pritzker Prize jury chairman, The Lord Palumbo, quoting from the jury citation that focuses on the reasons for this year’s choice:
“During the past three decades, Eduardo Souto de Moura has produced a body of work that is of our time but also carries echoes of architectural traditions.” And further, “His buildings have a unique ability to convey seemingly conflicting characteristics — power and modesty, bravado and subtlety, bold public authority and a sense of intimacy —at the same time.”
From his long work, there's a couple of pieces worth mentioning: "Casa das Histórias" in Cascais, "Casa das Artes" in Porto, the subway station of Trindade, Bragança's Contemporary Art Centre, "Hotel do Bom Sucesso" in Óbidos, "Mercado da Cidade" of Braga, the Crematorium of Kortrijk" (Bélgica) and even the house of Llabia (Espanha).
Casa das Histórias Museum
'The House Of Stories' is an Eduardo Souto de Moura project. Taking up some architecture aspects of the region, we can distinguish two pyramidal structures of the same dimension on the landscape.
Having the earthly ground and the surrounding trees as essential aspects of the landscape, the different parts that arrange the building are divided in four wings, subdivided in sequential rooms on its inside. There, we can find not only a technical and service area of 750m2 but also a shop, an open outdoor cafe, with a gorgeous view to a front garden and 200 seats auditorium.
This project, corresponds to the architect choices, answers to plenty of museological issues, and is extremely welcoming to whoever visits it.
Braga's stadium is a project of innovative architectonic lines. A 30 000 seats stadium with 2 bleachers only, and the top of it meets the hill slope. The covering is open in order to light up the grass with sunlight, preserving it's natural quality.
Souto de Moura describes this coexistence of the natural with the man made construction as good architecture. In his own words, “It was a drama to break down the mountain and make concrete from the stone.” The jury citation calls this work, “…muscular, monumental and very much at home within its powerful landscape.”
Braga's stadium is certainly one of the most emblematic works of this century's Contemporary architecture.
Souto Moura takes into account the real spaces that surround him, choosing and putting into use the materials carefully. His particular refinement way of putting his work into action, brings stunning and modern pieces of art, of big architectonic dimensions - For instance, Porto's subway.
Another of his projects, the Burgo Tower, completed in 2007, constructed in the city where he lives and works, Porto, Portugal, is described by the jury as, “…two buildings side by side, one vertical and one horizontal with different scales, in dialogue with each other and the urban landscape.”
Bragança's Contemporary Art Centre
On an architecture where white is the main colorand every single detail is an author's feature, the several rooms seem greater, like the reception area, the bookshop, the bar/cafeteria, the outdoor cafe, the garden, the seven rooms dedicated to the pintor Graça Morais, the working offices, the meetings room, the temporary expositions room and the changing room.
Casa do Cinema Manoel de Oliveira
Eduardo Souto de Moura presents in this building a space solution to the projection of classic movies. An open space, with several bumps that carry the double function of space organizers and actual spaces from which you can get light.