Simplicity also wins architecture prizes

Prizes are just prizes, everybody wants one but they come when you are not expecting. It happened again and made us so proud of the Portuguese architecture and Souto de Moura's Golden Lion from the 16th International Architecture Biennale in Venice for the project "São Lourenço do Barrocal" in Monsaraz, Portugal, featured at Arsenal's large exhibition, with more than a hundred architects from around the world.

This is not new for Souto de Moura who already won the Pritzker Prize in 2011, but what made this Golden Lion so important was the simplicity of the representation, which comes down to two photographs framed by the natural light of one of the windows of the Arsenal exhibition space, and the simplicity of the work itself. 

 Francesco Gally/Bienalle Architettura 2018

Francesco Gally/Bienalle Architettura 2018

For the jury composed by Sofía von Ellrichshausen (architect), Frank Barkow (architect), the Australian curator Kate Goodwin (curator), Patricia Patkau (architect) and the Pier Paolo Tamburelli (architect and critic), the two aerial photographs "reveal the essential relationship between architecture, time and place" and the "free space appears unannounced, with clarity and simplicity".

Radical in its approach, but also humble, Souto de Moura recognized that
"this all comes from a tradition of Siza [Vieira], [Fernando] Távora and other architects", pointing out that Portuguese architecture has a "superior quality". 

Beyond the architecture of Souto de Moura, São Lourenço do Barrocal also counts with the contribution of interior design studio AnahoryAlmeida, the landscape architect: João Gomes da Silva and the project engineering: Afaconsult. Photos from Nelson Garrido.