When the Pritzker Architecture Prize for 2017 was announced earlier this year, the honour went to not one architect, but three, Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes – a first in the prize’s history.
The three laureates, while relatively lesser known in the architecture world, were recognised for their seamless integration of the interior with the exterior; their acknowledgement of the past while utilising techniques that look to the future; and their impeccable use of modern materials such as recycled steel and plastic. Their simple yet modern forms exist in perfect harmony with their surroundings. The trio were also commended for their attention to local culture, with each of their projects being unerringly specific to the site in question.
This year marks the second time a Spanish architect was awarded the prize, the first being Rafael Moneo in 1996. Hailing from Olot in the Catalonian region of Spain, the three have been working together since 1988, eventually establishing their headquarters in Barberí Space, a former foundry. While they’ve worked on many projects in their hometown of Olot – from cultural institutions and public buildings to restaurants and private residences – they’ve also reached further afield throughout Europe.
Swipe through some of their most notable works below:
Bell–Lloc Winery, Spain, 2007
El Petit Comte Kindergarten, Spain, 2010
Soulages Museum, France, 2014
La Lira Theater Public Open Space, Spain, 2011
La Cuisine Art Center, France, 2014
Les Cols Restaurant Marquee, Spain, 2011. Photography: Eugeni Pons
Sant Antoni – Joan Oliver Library, Senior Citizens Center and Cándida Pérez Gardens Spain, 2007
Row House, Spain, 2012
Barberí Laboratory, Spain, 2008
Tossols-Basil Athletics Track, Spain, 2000
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Photography: Hisao Suzuki
Lead image photography: Hisao Suzuki (project) and Javier Lorenzo Domínguez (portrait)