Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta have been selected as the 2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates, announced Tom Pritzker, Chairman of Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the award that is known internationally as architecture’s highest honor.
The three architects, originating from Olot, in the Catalonian region of Spain, have worked together collaboratively since founding their firm RCR Arquitectes, in their hometown in 1988. Their work demonstrates an unyielding commitment to place and its narrative, to create spaces that are in discourse with their respective contexts. Harmonizing materiality with transparency, Aranda, Pigem and Vilalta seek connections between the exterior and interior, resulting in emotional and experiential architecture.
“The jury has selected three architects who have been working collaboratively for nearly three decades. Mr. Aranda, Ms . Pigem and Mr . Vilalta have had an impact on the discipline far beyond their immediate area. 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.”
Mr. Aranda, Ms. Pigem and Mr. Vilalta represent the first time that three architects together are honored with the prize. Their intensely collaborative way of working together, where the creative process, commitment to vision and all responsibilities are shared equally, led to the selection of the three individuals for this year’s award.
The locally-based architects 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.”
Notable projects include 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).
In 2013 Mr . Aranda, Ms . Pigem and Mr . Vilalta founded RCR BUNKA Foundation to support architecture, landscape, arts and culture throughout society. They have been consultant architects to the Natural Park of the Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa since 1989. Much of their work may be seen throughout Catalonia, Spain and greater Europe. They remain based in Olot. This year, the Pritzker Prize ceremony will take place at the State Guest House, Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan, on May 20, 2017.
About the Pritzker Architecture Prize
The Pritzker Architecture Prize was founded in 1979 by the late Jay A . Pritzker and his wife, Cindy . Its purpose is to honor annually a living architect or architects 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.