The National Architecture Award: a necessary claim

Carme Pinós. Foto: Antonio Navarro Wijkmark.
The National Architecture Award: a necessary claim
Marc Riera barcelona - 06/01/23

Rewarding and recognizing architecture is synonymous with valuing it, making it visible, bringing it closer to the people who, ultimately, enjoy it every day. It is also, and necessarily, the way to know the name and surname of the architects who designed it, planned it and executed it. In Spain, the National Architecture Award promoted annually by the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda is the highest distinction possible in the field of architecture.

The award is proof that architecture is culture, it's a city, it's society. And that it deserves to be recognized like poetry, theatre, research or innovation. For architects, it is the prize of the prizes in the Spanish state, the recognition of "a work or a career that has contributed in an extraordinary way to the enrichment of social, technological and sustainable aspects of Spanish architecture or urban planning inside and outside our borders.”

The Catalan architect Carme Pinós, winner of the 2021 national architecture prize, embodies all these requirements. It has been valued for its creative power, the excellent execution of its works – such as the Mercat de la Boqueria or the CaixaForum Cultural and Exhibition Center in Zaragoza – and above all the social responsibility and sustainability that permeates them, since it is able to make architecture dialogue with other disciplines. Pinós' career deserved this award.

The National Architecture Award treasures a list with eighty years of history in which names such as Enric Miralles, Oriol Bohigas, Lluís Clotet, Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza, Rafael Moneo and Carles Ferrater appear, among many others. Also because Pinós's work puts a feminine emphasis on the award, which has only been awarded to two other women: Benedetta Tagliabue, in 1995, and Matilde Ucelay, in 2004. Architects' associations have a duty, how can it be otherwise, to applaud and enhance the architecture made by our architects. For this reason, the president of the CSCAE, Lluís Comerón - who unfortunately left us a few months ago -, together with the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, the Arquia Foundation and the ETSA of Valencia, proposed Carme Pinós for the award with this aim: to value the remarkable footprint of its architecture in our society. In a recent visit to the College of Architects of Catalonia, Pinós wrote in the Golden Book: "We must understand that you cannot be an architect without a spirit of generosity and dedication."

From this generosity and this delivery is where the best architecture is conceived, that which is at the service of people and which, therefore, deserves to be vindicated.

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