The Pritzker Architecture Prize is often referred to as the “architecture’s Nobel” and “the profession’s highest honor”. 2011 winner is Portuguese Architect Eduardo Souto Moura.
The purpose of the Pritzker Architecture Prize is to honor annually a living architect 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.
Cinema House for Manoel de Oliveira
Eduardo Souto Moura is the second Portuguese architect to have been given the prize. Alvaro Siza Vieira was the first Portuguese awarded with this prestigious prize.
Contemporary Arts Center Graça Morais
Eduardo Souto Moura was born in Porto, Portugal in 1952. He began his career as an art student, studying sculpture, but eventually switched to architecture. He credits a meeting with Donald Judd in Zurich for the switch from art to architecture.
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, photo by iqbal aalam.
Souto Moura has achieved much praise for his exquisite use of materials – granite, wood, marble, brick, steel, concrete – as well as his unexpected use of colour. Souto Moura is clear on his view of the use of materials, saying, “I avoid using endangered or protected species. I think we should use wood in moderation and replant our forests as we use the wood. We have to use wood because it is one of the finest materials available.”
2 Houses in Ponte de Lima
In an interview with Croquis, he explained, “I began my professional practice designing houses, I don’t know why— houses for my family and for my friends. And those houses, both urban and non-urban, had a typology. I believe that housing is something universal that historically has changed very little. The materials change, the building systems change, but the idea of a house as such is not something that has changed a lot.”
House in Cascais
At a series of forums called the Holcim Forum on sustainable architecture, Souto Moura stated, “For me, architecture is a global issue. There is no ecological architecture, no intelligent architecture, no sustainable architecture — there is only good architecture. There are always problems we must not neglect; for example, energy, resources, costs, social aspects — one must always pay attention to all these.”
Braga Stadium, photo (bottom left) by Carlos Coutinho.
Why Souto de Moura Won the Pritzker
President Obama presents the Pritzker Architecture Prize to Eduardo Souto