Paula Rego Museum
The 2011 Pritzker Prize has been awarded to the Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, it was announced on Monday. While he is largely unknown in the United States and has built little outside Portugal, his understated modernist works have been widely published in European journals, and he has been an influential teacher at the University of Porto and as a visiting professor at Harvard and in Dublin, Zurich, Lausanne, Paris and elsewhere. The designation of this mid-career architect confirms the Pritzker's commitment to the more subtle values of craft, local scale, and sensibility over architectural extravagance in recent years.
Based in the northern city of Porto, Souto de Moura, 58, was overshadowed in his early career by Alvaro Siza, Pritzker winner in 1992, for whom he worked for five years and with whom he remains close (the two have collaborated on several projects and their studios share a Siza-designed building in Porto). But over the last decade, his work has evolved from the discrete, Miesian vocabulary of his early projects to establish a distinctive voice of his own.
His 1999 Courtyard Houses in Matosnhos, near Porto, with their high walls and interior courts and gardens, look like closed warehouse blocks from the outside, and could be seen to adhere to the severe restraint of Mies van der Rohe’s court-house typology in order to elude any trace of Siza's Baroque modernist lyricism. But in more recent works, including the 2004 Braga Soccer Stadium, the 2007 Burgo Tower in Porto, and the 2009 Paula Rêgo Museum in Cascais, all in Portugal, he has broken free of a strictly Miesian model without renouncing the strong, closed geometric forms, the honest use of materials, especially concrete, and the innate restraint of his early work, which allows his buildings to enter into dialogue with their surroundings.(...)
In its press statement, the jury for the Pritzker Prize describes the architect’s work as follows: “Eduardo Souto de Moura's architecture it is not obvious, frivolous, or picturesque. It is imbued with intelligence and seriousness. His work requires an intense encounter, not a quick glance. And like poetry, it is able to communicate emotionally to those who take the time to listen. ... His oeuvre is convincing proof of the modern idiom’s expressive potential and adaptability to distinct local situations."
Cinema house for Manoel de Oliveira
House in Bom Jesus
House in Serra de Arrabida
Eduardo Souto de Moura
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