Portuguese maestro Eduardo Souto de Moura wins Pritzker Prize 2011

on Wednesday 30 March 2011 - 12:31:31 | by admin

The biggest architecture prize of the year the Pritzker Prize 2011 has been declared on 28th March. Eduardo Souto de Moura, a 58 year old architect from Portugal, is the jury’s choice for the 2011 Pritzker Architecture Prize, it was announced today by Thomas J. Pritzker, chairman of The Hyatt Foundation which sponsors the prize. The formal ceremony for what has come to be known throughout the world as architecture’s highest honor will be in one of Washington, D.C.’s finest classical buildings, the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on June 2nd.

As a student, Souto de Moura worked for Alvaro Siza for five years. Since forming his own office in 1980, Souto de Moura has completed well over sixty projects, most in his native Portugal, but he has designs in Spain, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom and Switzerland. The projects include single family homes, a cinema, shopping centers, hotels, apartments, offices, art galleries and museums, schools, sports facilities and subways.

Braga Stadium, Braga, Portugal (Photo: Luis Ferreira Alves)

His stadium in Braga, Portugal was the site of European soccer championships when it was completed in 2004, and gained high praise. Nearly a million and a half cubic yards of granite were blasted from the site and crushed to make concrete for the stadium. Precise explosions of a mountain side created a hundred foot high granite face that terminates one end of the stadium. 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.”

Burgo Tower, Porto, Portugal (Photo: Luis Ferreira Alves)

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.”

To know more about Pritzker Architecture Prize and the laurite visit the official Pritzker website: http://www.pritzkerprize.com/
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