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The ultimate recognition for Catalan architecture: RCR Arquitectes, winners of the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2017

Integration with the place; a complete redefinition of the user’s relationship with nature, with his or her own body, with intimacy, with natural rhythms; and the consideration of the city as a landscape are some of the concepts that have led the team at RCR Arquitectes to win this year’s Pritzker Architecture Prize.

The jury highlighted their deep bond with Olot, 'resisting the call of the metropolis in favour of remaining closely connected to their roots', creating 'buildings and places that are both local and universal at the same time'. They also lauded their approach to projects through the history, natural topography, customs and cultures of the place.

RCR Arquitectes is a team with a vocation for building who have developed a unique oeuvre in the field of construction, industrial design, landscaping and land management. Works such as the Els Tossols-Basil bathing pavilion, the Els Tossols athletic track, the Parc de Pedra Tosca and various interventions in the restaurant Les Cols, all located in Olot; the La Lira cultural centre in Ripoll; the Bell-Lloc winery in La Fosca; and the Soulages Museum in Rodez, France, are all austere structures that have little impact on the surrounding landscape, which has often been recovered, upgraded, cleaned and brought to its maximum expressive potential. The work of RCR Arquitectes also stands out for their skilful mastery of steel, a material they have used to integrate all the elements of a construction project, from the structure itself to the furniture, the enclosures and the installations, with results that combine tremendous austerity with a surreal beauty.

Based in Olot, where they have lived and worked since the practice’s creation in the 1980s, this recognition of RCR Arquitectes is the first time a Pritzker Prize has been awarded to Catalan architecture. The architecture of RCR Arquitectes, who trained at the El Vallès School of Architecture, is deeply rooted in the architecture of Catalonia, which is finally receiving the ultimate accolade after exerting a strong influence on international architecture for many decades and forging a legacy that has consistently given rise to electrifying architectural movements every few years, from Catalan Art Nouveau to the Olympic movement to the School of Barcelona and including figures such as Gaudí, Sert, Coderch, Bofill and Bohigas. RCR Arquitectes and, though them, Catalan architecture, are to be congratulated.

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Media:

"RCR, el primer Pritzker català: "Cal tenir arrels i cal tenir ales", Llàtzer Moix, La Vanguardia
"La força universal dels olotins RCR guanya el Premi Pritzker", Antoni Ribas, Diari Ara
"El Premio Pritzker 2017 recae en el estudio catalán de arquitectura RCR", Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, El País
"Premi a una arquitectura extraordinària", Jordi Badia, Diari Ara
"D'Olot al món!, les reaccions al Premi Pritzker", Diari Ara

"El estudio catalán RCR Arquitectes gana el premio Pritzker 2017", Vanessa Graell, El Mundo
"Un estudi català guanya els Nobel de l'Arquitectura", Declaracions de Lluís Comerón, degà del COAC, RAC 1
"L'estudi olotí RCR fa història", Telenotícies TV3
"Coneixem els arquitectes de l'estudi RCR, d'Olot, premiats amb el Pritzker", Els Matins, TV3
Entrevista a Carme Pigem, La Ventana, Cadena Ser

1/03/2017
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