Pritzker 2011: Eduardo Souto de Moura
March 28, 2011
Cat’s out of the bag thanks to Scalae, a Spanish news organization that broke the news embargo on this year’s Pritzker Prize winner (then deleted the original web post). According to sources, Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Mouras is the beneficiary of this year’s prize, which nets $100,000, a bronze medallion, and the everlasting respect of the architecture community.
The Pritkzer Architecture Prize and the Hyatt Foundation was supposed to announce the big news on April 11 — we’re assume they won’t revoke it before then. The 58-year-old Souto de Moura — best known for his stadium in Braga, Portugal — is the second Portuguese architect to win the Pritzker. (Fun fact: he worked for the first, Alvaro Siza, early in his career from 1975 to 1979.)
As Christopher Hawthorne notes, “Souta de Moura has produced a varied body of public and private work but is probably best known for a stadium in Braga, Portugal, that was completed in 2004.” Blair Kamin points out that the ”Pritzker jury also singled out his House No. 2 in Bom Jesus, Portugal, for praise. Like Siza, who won the Pritzker in 1992, Souto de Moura works in Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city.”
Here’s a quick visual roundup of Souta de Moura’s most high-profile works:
From the Pritzker press release, which quotes Souto de Moura on his stadium for Braga (below): “He 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.’”
Estádio Municipal de Braga. Photos via Pushpullbar Forum.
Block of flats in Rua do Teatro, Porto, Portugal, 1995. Photo via El Croquis.
Gallery space inside the Silo Norte Shopping mall, Matosinhos, Portugal. “The program called for an exhibition Gallery and an Auditorium inside an external concrete spiral ramp that gives access to terrace-level parking.” Photo by Flickr user Arnout Fonck.
Department of Geosciences at Aveiro University, Portugal, 1994. (For more on the facade, see an archived post by Daily Dose of Architecture.)
Casas Quinta da Avenida, Portugal. Photo via Flickr user z.z.
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.” Souto de Moura commented that “a twenty story office tower is an unusual project for me. I began my career building single family houses.” Burgo Empreendimento office buildings, Avenida da Boavista, Porto. Bottom photo by João Sousa via Mimoa.
UPDATE: In a vague but complimentary explanation by the Pritzker Prize jury chairman The Lord Palumbo, the reasons for this year’s choice are: “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.”
The architect’s reaction? “When I received the phone call telling me I was to be the Pritzker Laureate, I could hardly believe it. Then I received confirmation that it was actually true, and I came to realize what a great honor this is. The fact that this is the second time a Portuguese architect has been chosen makes it even more important.”
2011 Pritzker Jury Members:
Lord Peter Palumbo, 2005-present (Chair)
Alejandro Aravena, 2009-present
Carlos Jimenez, 2001-present
Glenn Murcutt, 2010-present
Juhani Pallasmaa, 2009-present
Renzo Piano, 2006-present
Karen Stein, 2004-present
Martha Thorne, 2005-present (Executive Director)