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.

 

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

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

 

In words of Souto de Moura, The Alto Douro wine region was listed as Unesco World Heritage Site in 2001 in the cultural landscape category. The construction of a hydroelectric power station to capture energy from the Tua river, a tributar on the right bank of Douro, put this classification at risk because of the visual and ecological impact it would have on the site. To moderate the negative effects of this infraestructure we developed a project that would minimize its impact on the environment. Our main concern was to eliminate all the aspects of a “building” that this construction involved, reducing its appearance to that of a “machine” inserted in the landscape”

 

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

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 whole of the winning projects are listed below:

BigMat International Grand Prize’19 (30,000 Euros)
Power Plant for the “FOZ TUA” DAM in Foz do Tua, Portugal, by Souto Moura Arquitectos S.A.

 

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


 

BigMat National Prize Belgium’19 (5,000 euros)
Refuge II: Temporary House in Nevele, Belgium, by Wim Goes Architectuur BVBA

 

Refugee II: Temporary House, 2015, Nevele, Belgium, Wim Goes Architectuur BVBA © Filip Dujardin


 

BigMat National Prize Czech Republic’19 (5,000 euros)
Kindergarten NováRuda in Liberec, Czech Republic, by PETR STOLÍN ARCHITEKT s.r.o.

 

Kindergarten Nová Ruda, 2018, Liberec, Czech Republic, PETR STOLÍN ARCHITEKT s.r.o. © Alexandra Timpau, Tomáš Malý


 

BigMat National Prize France’19 (5,000 euros)
The Chris Marker Student Residence in Paris, France, by Éric Lapierre Experience

 

The Chris Marker Student Residence, 2018, Paris, France, Éric Lapierre Experience © Filip Dujardin


 

BigMat National Prize Italy’19 (5,000 euros)
Belvedere per una persona / View for just one person in Rome, Italy, by Amanzio Farris Architetto

 

Belvedere per una persona / View for just one person, 2015, Roma, Italy, Amanzio Farris Architetto © Amanzio Farris


 

BigMat National Prize Slovakia’19 (5,000 euros)
Adaptation of the former factory Mlynica in Bratislava, Slovakia, by gutgut,s.r.o.

 

Adaptation of the former factory Mlynica, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia, gutgut, s.r.o. © BoysPlayNice Photography & Concept (Jakub Skokan & Martin Tuma)


 

BigMat National Prize Spain’19 (5,000 euros)
IMPLUVIUM_Community Center in Reinosa in Reinosa, Spain, by RAW/deAbajoGarcia

 

IMPLUVIUM_Community Center in Reinosa, 2017, Reinosa, Spain, RAW/deAbajoGarcia © Montse Zamorano


 

BigMat’19 Special Mention Young Architects (1,500 euros)
Balenmagazijn in Gent,Belgium, by TRANS architectuur stedenbouw

 

Balenmagazijn, 2015 Gent, Belgium, TRANS architectuur stedenbouw © Johnny Umans, Hannelore Veelaert, André Nullens


 

BIGMAT INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE AWARD

The BigMat Group was created in 1981 in a bid to bring together companies from different European countries and promote and foster cooperation and closer ties between them. The Group’s growth and progress over the years is a result of:

• Independence of the different business owners
• Spirit of excellence
• Desire to collaborate and share experiences
• Proximity to clients

The BigMat chain has over 892 sales outlets spread across seven European countries, namely Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Belgium. The Group’s global turnover exceeds 2 billion euros and its business is focused primarily on the construction trade. Clients can always rely on BigMat to support their architectural projects by supplying building materials and providing its invaluable expert advice.

The group provides direct support and consultancy in connection with restoration projects and new builds in a sector currently in the depths of recession, reflecting its tireless commitment to contemporary society. This attitude is embodied through sustainable development and social housing and also through new ideas on how best to structure and arrange cities and refinements to home design and living conditions. The group believes that architects play a key role and have a huge impact in this process of gradual transformation.

That is why we have chosen to hold the BigMat International Architecture Award’19 with the aim of recognising and rewarding architectural excellence, encouraging dialogue between all the different players involved in the architecture sector and championing high-quality construction. Close attention will be paid to those architectural works that have made a major contribution to contemporary architectural culture by drawing on timeless architectural designs and concepts to have endured the test of time. The panelists will also focus on how well the entries incorporate energy efficiency parameters, sustainable construction and the quest for greater comfort and habitability.