First time award has gone to more than one architect

Spanish architects Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta have been awarded the 2017 Pritzker Prize.

The three have worked together since founding their firm RCR Arquitectes, in their hometown of Olot, in the Catalonia region of Spain, in 1988.

Previous winners of the award - widely-considered to be the biggest prize in architecture - have included British architects Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid and Richard Rogers.

Pigem said: “It is a great joy and a great responsibility. We are thrilled that this year three professionals, who work closely together in everything we do, are recognized.”

It is the first time three architects together have been honoured with the prize and the second time Spanish architects have won the award – after the win of Rafael Moneo back in 1996.

Tom Pritzker, chairman and president of prize sponsor the Hyatt Foundation, said: “Their works range from public and private spaces to cultural venues and educational institutions and their ability to intensely relate the environment specific to each site is a testament to their process and deep integrity.”

The firm’s projects include the La Cuisine Art Center (Nègrepelisse, France, 2014), La Lira Theatre Public Open Space in collaboration with J. Puigcorbé (Ripoll, Girona, Spain, 2011), and the Bell-Lloc Winery (Palamos, Girona, Spain, 2007).

The award will be made in Tokyo on May 20.


From the Pritzker statement

Jury chair Glenn Murcutt, who won the Pritzker in 2002, said: “They’ve demonstrated that unity of a material can lend such incredible strength and simplicity to a building. The collaboration of these three architects produces uncompromising architecture of a poetic level, representing timeless work that reflects great respect for the past, while projecting clarity that is of the present and the future.”