Eduardo Souto de Moura wins 2019 BigMat Grand Prize for Architecture

Previous Grand Prize winners of the biannual award include Lacaton & Vassal, Alberto Campo Baeza, and Xaveer De Geyter. The 4th edition of the biennial BigMat Architecture Award rewarded quality architectural production in Europe with more than 70.000€, distributed in 1 Grand Prize, 6 National Prizes and 7 Prizes for Finalists.


Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM, 2018, Foz do Tua, Portugal, Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A. © Luís Ferreira Alves; Juan Rodriguez and Carlos Castro


The awards ceremony took place yesterday, November 22th, at “Palais de la Bourse” in Bordeaux, France, in the presence of the architects competing for the Grand Prize, the members of the international panel of judges and the companies making up the BigMat Group. The selected 15 finalists were chosen back in September from the more than six hundred entries presented in April.

Out of a total of almost six hundred projects presented across the seven European countries taking part (Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain), the panel of judges chaired by Jesús Aparicio and comprising Stéphane Beel (Belgium), Petr Pelcak (Czech Republic + Slovakia), Philippe Prost (France), Paolo Zermani (Italy), Fuensanta Nieto (Portugal + Spain) and awards secretary Jesús Donaire, decided to award the BigMat International Grand Prize’19 to the Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM in Foz do Tua, Portugal, by Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura. (more…)

“Close Encounter: Meetings with Remarkable Buildings” at the Glucksman Cork

Curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Close Encounter: Meetings with Remarkable Buildings was presented at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale as part of the FREESPACE exhibition in the Central Pavilion.


“Close Encounter” Venice Biennale 2018


“Together with our collaborator, Hugh Campbell, we asked sixteen contemporary practicing architect teams to research one selected building, each of which was chosen by us. Close Encounter calls on the generosity of each of the invited architects to ‘take’ the work of another architect and help it to be remembered, understood, re-valued and appreciated for its own inherent worth”- Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Curators, Venice Biennale 2018. (more…)

“New Human, New Housing – Architecture Of The New Frankfurt 1925 – 1933” at DAM

In the 1920s, Frankfurt/Main emerged as an archetypal metropolis of the Modern Age. In many fields the architects working on behalf of the City were performing pioneering work, which in the 1920s gave Frankfurt a worldwide reputation as a Modernist stronghold and would define architecture and urban development for decades to come.


Innenhof des Wohnblocks an der Bruchfeldstraße (um 1930) Copyright: DAF, Bestand Grünflächenamt


In the 1920s, Frankfurt\Main became the center of an unprecedented program of architectural and cultural renewal that would enter the history books under the name of “New Frankfurt”. Under Lord Mayor Ludwig Landmann and his Municipal Building Councilor Ernst May, Modernism as a way of life took shape. The heart of the project was a model housing and urban development program of international significance. (more…)

“Superstudio. Life after Architecture” at Frac Centre-Val de Loire

“Superstudio. Life after Architecture” is the first major exhibition in France dedicated to the work of this Italian group. The exhibition will present the most significant artworks over the entire floor area of the Frac Centre-Val de Loire (1 000 square metres).


“Life after architecture” © Superstudio


Founded in 1966 in Florence by Adolfo Natalini and Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, who were later joined by Gian Piero Frassinelli (in 1968), Roberto and Alessandro Magris, as well as Andrea Poli (between 1970 and 1972), Superstudio was one of the most influential architectural groups of the global avant-gardist scene in the 1960-1970s. (more…)

“Balkrishna Doshi. Architecture for the People” at Vitra Design Museum Gallery

With the exhibition “Balkrishna Doshi: Architecture for the People”, Vitra Design Museum presents the first international retrospective about the 2018 Pritzker Prize laureate Balkrishna Doshi (born 1927, Pune, India) outside of Asia.


Balkrishna Doshi, Kamala House, Ahmedabad, 1963, 1986 © Vastushilpa Foundation, Ahmedabad


The renowned architect and urban planner is one of the few pioneers of modern architecture in his home country and the first Indian architect to receive the prestigious award. During over 60 years of practice, Doshi has realized a wide range of projects, adopting principles of modern architecture and adapting them to local culture, traditions, resources, and nature. (more…)

“Dogma – Rooms” at deSingel International Arts Campus

The exhibition Rooms explores the domestic space via its simplest manifestation: a room. Taking this as a starting point, Dogma presents the results of two distinct lines of enquiry: The Room of One’s Own, which focuses on the history and function of the private room, and Loveless, which charts the evolution of the ‘minimum dwelling’.


Dogma – Rooms © Dogma


While the American architect Louis Kahn (1901-1974) considered the room to be the essential origin of architecture, the British author Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) emphasized the private space as being vital to female creativity in ‘A Room of One’s Own’ (1929). At the time of writing, her words were a direct challenge to the patriarchal organization of the domestic sphere and, by extension, society at large. (more…)

“A Home for All: Six Experiments in Social Housing” at Victoria and Albert Museum

The challenge of providing housing for all is one that has faced governments and architects for over a century. This display presents six innovative projects from the collections of the RIBA and the V&A, each demonstrating a unique experiment in social housing design, providing lessons for today.


Keeling House, Claredale Street, Bethnal Green, London: detail of base of cluster block © RIBA Collections


Keeling House / Denys Lasdun & Partners. Constructed 1954-59, London. Keeling House was an early experiment in ‘cluster block’ housing. This innovative form placed four 16 storey blocks around a free-standing services tower. The linked blocks were designed to balance the existing community of the street with a sense of seclusion. Privacy was achieved with short access balconies that serve only two flats and face each other at oblique angles. The shared central platforms provided the communal services such as laundry. (more…)

Lacaton & Vassal wins 2017 BigMat Grand Prize for Architecture

The FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais art center, completed in 2013 by the French architects, follows the office building by Alberto Campo Baeza and the kitchen tower by Xaveer De Geyter as Grand Prize of the biannual award. The third edition of the BigMat International Architecture Award rewards European architecture with one Grand Prize (30.000€), six National Prizes (5.000€ each prize), six Category Prizes (1.500€ each prize), one Public Prize (1.500€) and one Special Mention for Young Architects.


BigMat '17 International Architecture Award ceremony at Palazzo Vecchio, Florence  © BigMat

BigMat ’17 International Architecture Award ceremony at Palazzo Vecchio, Florence © BigMat


The awards ceremony took place on November 24th, at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy, in the presence of the architects competing for the Grand Prize, the members of the international panel of judges and the companies making up the BigMat Group. The selected 14 finalists were chosen from the initial selection of 87 participating teams of architects disclosed last July.

Out of a list of almost 900 projects from 7 European countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Slovakia, Portugal and Spain), the panel of judges chaired by Jesús Aparicio and comprising Xaveer De Geyter (Belgium), Henrieta Moravčíková (Czech Republic + Slovakia), Marc Barani (France), Francesco Isidori (Italy), Paulo David (Portugal + Spain), and awards secretary Jesús Donaire, decided to give the BigMat ’17 International Architecture Award to the French National Fund for Contemporary Arts building ‘FRAC’ in Dunkirk, by French architects Lacaton & Vassal. (more…)

“Gio Ponti. Loving Architecture” at MAXXI Rome

Architect, designer, art director, writer, poet and critic, Gio Ponti was an all- round artist who traversed much of the 20th century, profoundly influencing the taste of his time, responding to its most significant demands and anticipating many of the themes of contemporary architecture.


Cocathedral of Taranto 1964/70 © Gio Ponti Archives


40 years on from his passing, MAXXI, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts, is devoting a major retro- spective to this exceptional figure. The exhibition examines and presents his multi-faceted career, starting with an account of his architecture, a unique and original synthesis of tradition and modernity, history and progress, elite culture and quotidian existence. (more…)

“Re-Imagining the Avant-Garde” at Betts Project

Betts Project presents ‘a new exhibition that explores the ongoing importance of the work of Architects associated with the Avant-Garde of the 1960s and 1970s for today’s designers and artists. The exhibition has been developed as a companion to the recently published special issue of Architectural Design (AD) edited by Matthew Butcher and Luke Pearson entitled ‘Re-imagining the Avant-Garde: Revisiting the Architecture of the 1960s and 1970s’.


Matthew, Butcher, Dragged Drawing, Superstudio Grid 2017, © Betts Project


The avant-garde of the 1960s and 70s has been likened to an ‘architectural Big Bang’, such was the intensity of energy and ambition with which it exploded into the post-war world. It produced architectural projects that redefined the discipline and remain highly influential today. In contemporary design, references to the likes of Archizoom, Peter Eisenman, John Hejduk and Superstudio continue to define the approaches of a new wave of practitioners. This avant-garde was highly diverse, and not tied to a single methodology or tendency in its political, formal and cultural preoccupations. It was also geographically divergent – reaching from Europe to North America and Japan. The avant-garde was, however, unified as a critical and experimental force, critiquing contemporary society against the backdrop of extreme social and political upheaval. Those turbulent times mirror today. (more…)

“Timber Tales” at AEDES Architecture Forum Berlin

“Timber Tales” presents a selection of completed and planned projects by weberbrunner architekten, offering new, well-designed perspectives for a sustainable and future-oriented approach to building. These range from a small house to central Europe’s largest timber housing complex.


Multi-generational housing estate Hagmann-Areal in Winterthur. © Georg Aerni


Climate protection, energy system transformation and resource conservation are increasingly drawing the public’s attention to contemporary timber construction. Timber is both a renewable raw material and an efficient building material. Thanks to recent technical and structural advancements, new uses are becoming possible, particularly for building in urban areas. weberbrunner architekten is a pioneer in urban timber construction. Founded in 1999, the practice is based in Zurich and Berlin. Complementing the exhibition, a series of events focuses on the many positive aspects of timber buildings and is dedicated to telling the stories about the people who plan, implement, and ultimately dwell in them. (more…)

“After the Wall: Design since 1989″at Vitra Campus

Thirty years after the historic fall of the Berlin Wall, the Vitra Design Museum presents “After the Wall: Design since 1989” at the Vitra Schaudepot. Organized on the occasion of the museum’s own 30th anniversary, the exhibition charts design from the past three decades, examining how it has been shaped by broad technological, cultural, and socio-political shifts.


Installation view »After the Wall: Design since 1989« © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Lucia Hunziker


The exhibition juxtaposes iconic product design and graphic design with works by leading furniture designers and retailers including Jasper Morrison, Philippe Starck, Hella Jongerius, Muji, and IKEA, as well as up-and-coming contemporary designers. The exhibits show that many of the global changes of the last 30 years have also been reflected in design: from a growing awareness of sustainability to social upheavals caused by the commercialization of the Internet in 1989. The latter has led to an undeniable flood of information and a radical acceleration of our everyday lives, which designers have also played a decisive role in driving forward – for example, with the first iPhone in 2007. Yet many of the works shown also point to critical ways of thinking that contribute to a responsible use of technology and resources. (more…)

“Geology” Fernando Casasempere at Ivorypress

This exhibition, open to the public until 11 January 2020, brings together a series of sculptural and pictorial works based on three sources of inspiration: pre-Hispanic heritage, the Chilean landscape and the impact that living in London for twenty-two years has had on the artist’s work.


“Geology” Fernando Casasempere © Ivorypress


Geology marks the first time that Casasempere’s paintings, with clear material and sculptural resonances, are more prominent than his three-dimensional works. Familiar with earthy and mineral mediums—including clay, porcelain and ceramics—the artist describes his creative process as ‘an acceleration of natural geological transformations, such as mineral sedimentation.’ In this new pictorial series, Casasempere explores the telluric phenomena of the Atacama Desert, its earthy crust and saline formations. (more…)

“Gili Tal. Mastering the Nikon D750” at ETH Zurich

For a few years now Tal has been taking photographs in and around urban areas that to an extent, imitate what she perceived to be a certain style of ‘architectural’ photography and its various tricks and tropes.


“Gili Tal. Mastering the Nikon D750” at ETH Zurich © Nelly Rodriguez


Conceived in response to an invitation to exhibit her photographs with gta, the show will comprise a series of them scaled up to become free-standing billboards that will be spread throughout the Department of Architecture’s hallways and foyers.  (more…)

Bordeaux, host to the BigMat ’19 International Architecture Award Ceremony

The awards ceremony will be held this Friday 22 November at “Palais de la Bourse” in Bordeaux (France) during the annual international congress of BigMat Group. The winners of the National Awards, the Youth Award and the BMIAA’19 Grand Prize will all be revealed in the ceremony.


BigMat International Architecture Award National Prize Trophy


The winners will arise among the 14 projects + 1 young mention selected by the members of the Jury out of the over 600 presented in this fourth edition of the Prize. President Jesús Aparicio and Secretary Jesús Donaire, along with the rest of the members of the jury: Stéphane Beel (Belgium), Petr Pelčak (Czech Republic and Slovakia), Philippe Prost (France), Paolo Zermani (Italy) and Fuensanta Nieto (Portugal and Spain) met in Madrid back in July in order to shortlist the projects for the 2019 edition of the BigMat Architecture Award. (more…)

“LAVA. Nature Meets Technology” at Architektur Galerie Berlin

The continued destruction of nature has led to growing skepticism towards the increasing domination of technology. This situation has given rise to a variety of movements such as “Neo Nature” or “Next Nature” which advocate a symbiotic relationship between humans and nature.


Life, 2019 © LAVA


LAVA sees itself as part of this development and aims to bring about new ways of perceiving building and space with the help of techniques that abstract natural processes. Their exhibition presents five projects currently under construction, each with a different focus. (more…)

“The Artek – Art & Technology” at Luigi Bailo Museum in Treviso

“The Artek – Art & Technology” exhibition will be presented at the Luigi Bailo Museum in Treviso from November 14th to December 8th 2019. The opening evening will take place on November 14th from 6.30 pm with the conference “Alvar Aalto and the intersection between art and technology” by Marianne Goebl, General Manager of Artek.


© Artek


A journey through the classics of Alvar and Aino Aalto, Ilmari Tapiovaara, Tapio Wirkkala, and Yrjö Kukkapuro, together with contemporary projects by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Hella Jongerius, Konstantin Grcic, Daniel Rybakken and Taf Studio, complete with drawings and photographic material; events relating to Artek and the international network of supporters who, with their influence, have contributed to the development of the company. (more…)