The winners of BigMat International Architecture Award '19
The design of the power plant for the dam Foz Tua in Portugal, signed by the Portuguese studio Souto Moura Arquitectos, is not only an example of the virtuous union between architecture and landscape, but also the winner of the fourth edition of the biennial BigMat International Architecture Award '19, conceived and promoted by the Gruppo BigMat, a leader in Italy and Europe for building and renovating materials.
The official award ceremony took place during a gala evening on November 22nd, in the prestigious eighteenth century building Palais de la Bourse in Bordeaux, in front of an audience of 400 people, including international guests from the architecture sector and BigMat members from all over Europe.
Eduardo Souto de Moura, formerly Pritzker Prize in 2011, was awarded by the jury for his work, which was defined «complex and far-reaching, a hydroelectric infrastructure in which architects seldom intervene actively. In this extremely difficult project, Eduardo Souto Mora proves his mastery in managing works of extreme dimensions. The metaphor of the “machine inserted in the landscape” becomes reality by hiding most of the engineering works in the subsoil and covering the surrounding landscape so that the appearance of the building is fully reduced, despite the enormous size of the intervention. Autonomous elements, in their materiality and expression, are fragmented in buildings of different sizes, for ventilation, chimneys, etc., in cubic, cylindrical or conical shapes, which generate an alternative artificial landscape that dialogues with topography and the natural environment. Souto Moura’s mastery controls the different scales, proving the importance of architecture as a mediator between engineering and landscape».
There were 14 finalists, including architects and studios from the seven European countries where the BigMat brand is present (Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Spain), selected from a list of 83 worthy works from over 600 candidate projects.
Besides the BigMat International Architecture Award ‘19 (worth € 30,000), they awarded 6 BigMat National Prizes '19 (each worth € 5,000), 7 Finalists Awards for the runners-up in each country (worth 1,500 euros each) and a Special Mention for Young Architects (value 1,500 euros) to an under 40 architect.
The architect Amanzio Farris from Cagliari won the National Award for Italy, with his project “Belvedere per una persona” (Overlook for a person): a work suspended between architecture and sculpture in Rocca di Mezzo, in the province of Rome, formerly Honorable Mention Landscapes and urban spaces in the sixth edition of the Gold Medal for Italian Architecture 2018.
Here below, the winners of the other national awards:
Finally, the Special Mention for Young Architects BigMat ’19 was assigned to TRANS architectuur stedenbouw, for the design Balenmagazijn Gent in Ghent, Belgium (2015).