28 março, 2011

Souto Moura wins the Pritzker Prize in 2011, the Nobel of architecture

The atelier of the architect Eduardo Souto de Moura confirmed the public award of the Pritzker Prize 2011 world, the largest prize in the field of architecture.

"During the past three decades, Eduardo Souto Moura have produced a body of work that is of our time but also has echoes of traditional architecture. Its buildings have a unique ability to reconcile opposing characteristics, such as power and modesty, courage and boldness and subtlety, simplicity-at the same time" read the statement issued by the jury of the prize.

Among the projects mentioned, the jury highlighted the work of the Braga Municipal Stadium, commonly known as estádio AXA, built in an old quarry.

"When I received the call to say that I would be awarded the Pritzker Prize, I couldn't believe it. After I received confirmation that was even true, and then realized the great honour which is the fact that it is the second time a Portuguese architect is chosen makes this even more important, "said Souto Moura, quoted in the statement.

Born in 1952 in Porto, Eduardo Souto Moura is the second Portuguese architect to receive this distinction, after Álvaro Siza Vieira won in 1992. The architect is, thus, names like Oscar Niemeyer (1988), Frank Gehry (1989), Norman Foster (1999) and Zaha Hadid (2004). Last year the Hyatt Foundation distinguished the Japanese Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.
Among his best-known works include, besides the Estádio Municipal de Braga (2000/03), the House in Cascais, Casa das Artes in Porto (1981/91), the Metro station of the Trinity, the Centro de Arte Contemporânea de Bragança (2004/2008 )the Hotel of good success in Óbidos, the market town of Braga (1980/84), the Marginal de Matosinhos-South (1995), the Crematorium of Kortrijk (Belgium), the flag of Portugal in the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale (Italy) (1985) or Llabia (Spain).
In the same communiqué, in relation to the work of the architect, the jury underlines the confidence it has in Souto Moura "use a stone with over a thousand years or inspire a modern detail of Mies van der Rohe".
Throughout his career, Souto Moura saw his work was recognized several times, having received the Prémio Pessoa (1998), the Prix Secil architectural (1992 and 2004), first prize Bienal Iberoamericana (1998), the international award Architecture in stone (1995)the Heinrich Tessenow Gold Medal (2001) and the International Prize for architecture in Chicago (2006).
The architect of 58 years will receive the prize, worth 100 billion dollars (about 70 thousand euros), at a ceremony to be held in June in Washington, D.C.

Souto Moura, who is currently travelling, scored a press conference for the Hotel Flórida, Lisboa, 22 hours.

Created in 1979 by the Hyatt Foundation, headquartered in the United States, the Pritzker Prize is considered the Nobel of architecture. The award distinguishes a living architect each year for their exceptional work.

Born on July 25, 1952 in Porto architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, recognised as one of the greatest names of Portuguese modern architecture, began his professional career alongside Siza Vieira, with whom he worked until 1980 for five years.
In 1980, the architect graduated from the Escola Superior de Belas Artes do Porto, starting their activities as free-lance. In the same year, Souto Moura would receive its first prize, António de Almeida Foundation.
Throughout his career, the architect has been repeatedly approached to teach in the most prestigious schools of architecture, activity which began in 1981 at the Faculty of Architecture of the port, but that has led him to teach in the schools of Paris-Belleville, Harvard, Dublin, Zurich and Lausanne.

"Casa das Histórias" - Cascais - Lisbon

 "Casa da Música" Subway Station - Oporto

AXA Stadium Sporting de Braga - Braga

 Serpentine Pavilion - London

 Burgo Tower - Oporto

27 março, 2011

The Programmed Wall - ETH Zurich

If the basic manufacturing conditions of architecture shift from manual work to digital fabrication, what design potential is there for one of the oldest and most widespread architectural elements -- the brick? Students investigated this question in a four-week workshop, designing brick walls to be fabricated by an industrial robot. Unlike a mason, the robot has the ability to position each individual brick in a different way without optical reference or measurement, i.e. without extra effort. To exploit this potential, the students developed algorithmic design tools that informed the bricks of their spatial disposition according to procedural logics. Positioning this way it was possible to draft a brick wall in which each of over 400 bricks took up a specific position and rotation in space. The students defined not the geometry of the wall, but the constructive logic according to which the material was organised in a particular temporal order, and which thus produced an architectonic form.

13 março, 2011

Álvaro Leite Siza - Fez House

This home and studio space, ‘the work of my life’ according to Álvaro Leite Siza, took 12 years to complete, assembling the site, designing the house, and then building it. The home’s size is almost statuesque with its lines and angles.

“To do architecture it’s necessary a client, a promoter. When I realized, in certain moment of my career that to continue my path I would need to occupy that role too, I didn’t hesitate. I conciliated objectives, interests, goals, I pursued an ideal and I achieved a dream. I also had the need to be, in this work, supervisor, coordinator and project director, in an organization in direct administration. I started this work in 2004 and I finished it in early of 2005. The construction begins in February of 2006 and was concluded in July of 2010. The project of personal house-atelier is the first where is present touching figures in their own atmosphere, exalting pieces, personalities that derive from history, versus the sensibility, recreating individually realities, with no intention previously defined. They appear in the middle of delivery to ones believe beyond what we need (specific program and functional), sublimation underlying to authentic communication of the creative process.”

“Transitional spaces, the porticos, the lamps, the light, the doorknobs, the doors, the hand rails, even some paintings and the furniture was designed for me, but also other of XIX century (timeless pieces) that came from my family that fit the environment perfectly, beyond other elements, complement the creation of environments that exalt Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci, Miguel Angelo and surrounded by a lot of extraordinary Art works, that aren’t limited to the atmosphere of purely imaginary architectural.”

by Álvaro Leite Siza


Architects: Alvaro Leite Siza Vieira
Location: Porto, Portugal
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

05 março, 2011

Laufen Forum by Nissen & Wentzlaff

The LAUFEN Forum exhibition and visitor centre, completed in 2009 by architects, Nissen&Wentzlaff, impressed the judges of this year’s Award for Marketing + Architecture. LAUFEN Forum won the prize in the “Office and business premises, industrial and commercial buildings” category.

The building has a clearly defined concept. It is a meeting place dedicated to the LAUFEN brand. It includes a spacious section for exhibitions, test bathrooms and an area for training and presentations. The impressive 6,500 cubic metre large structure on Wahlenstrasse aims to offer a range of facilities and satisfy a variety of demands. Basel architect’s office Nissen & Wentzlaff designed the two-storey, made of exposed concrete virtually throughout. Viewed from the outside the building looks like a receptacle.

And that is not far off the mark. When visitors walk around the building, or from a bird’s eye view, the building ultimately reveals itself to be a scaled replica of a familiar LAUFEN ceramic washbasin. Symbolically the building was cast in one piece exactly like its ceramic model. Unlike the product, the building does not contain water but the company’s products.

Economising on space, the architects situated the new LAUFEN Forum on the edge of a slope. Two thirds of the building project over a car park and the structure is only supported by one single, off-centre point. Several precisely defined radii determine the building’s free-form structure. This free-form structure was implemented with the aid of computer-aided milled templates in a concrete shell.

The two-storey concrete facade was cast in one mould, giving it a similar appearance throughout. The ceilings were added later on. The main entrance looks onto the street and offers disabled access. Visitors are received at an info desk and then walk around and view the exhibits. Starting upstairs, visitors first discover the exhibition booths, separated by partitions. These house a permanent exhibition of LAUFEN designer bathrooms. Test baths also invite the visitor to take a dip. The gallery is linked to the ground floor by two staircases.