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Pritzker Prize 2017 Winner: Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta (RCR Arquitectes)

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2017 by vincentloy

The recipient of this year’s Pritzker Prize, the world’s most prestigious honour to architect, is a little less known. The recipient goes to not only a single person this year, but three, who works under one office; RCR Architects. They are Rafael Arana, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta. Well, it’s not about popularity and the ‘star’ appeal to win this honour. It’s about one’s significant contribution to the field of architecture to be able to receive this award.

Here are an article from Dezeen (original source: https://www.dezeen.com/2017/03/01/key-projects-pritzker-prize-laureates-rcr-arquitectes/) that introduces us to this award-winning architecture office, RCR Arquitectes:

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Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta all studied at the School of Architecture in Vallès, and set up their practice in their home town of Olot, Catalonia, in 1988. Their work ranges from public and private spaces to cultural venues and educational institutions, each designed to closely relate to the environment of its site. The three architects started working locally, designing an athletics track for the town in 2000 before creating their own office in an old foundry there eight years later. RCR Arquitectes’ other projects in Olot include a private house and a restaurant.

Many more of the studio’s projects over the past 10 years have also been located in Spain’s Girona province, ranging from a winery to a kindergarten and a public theatre. Later the firm began building slightly further afield – completing an art centre and a museum in France in 2014. Often collaborating with other architects, the trio uses materials like recycled steel and plastic. The Pritzker jury described their projects as “beautiful and poetic”. “Each building designed by these architects is special and is uncompromising of its time and place,” said the jury citation. “Their works are always the fruit of true collaboration and at the service of the community.” “They understand that architecture and its surroundings are intimately intertwined and know that the choice of materials and the craft of building are powerful tools for creating lasting and meaningful spaces.”

See 10 key projects by RCR Arquitectes below, in roughly chronological order:

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Tossols-Basil Athletics Track, 2000, Olot, Girona, Spain

Looping through two clearings in an oak forest, the running track avoids the trees and is coloured green to blend with its surroundings. The natural topography of the site provides stands for spectators, while a small pavilion comprising two Corten steel volumes includes a bar and storage for the football field.

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Bell–Lloc Winery, 2007, Palamós, Girona, Spain

A descending pathway with angled steel sides funnels visitors down from opposite directions to the entrance of the winery. Once inside, the material also creates a vaulted ceiling over the wine production machinery and barrel storage areas, where gaps in the roof allow slithers of light into the underground spaces.

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Sant Antoni – Joan Oliver Library, Senior Citizens Center and Cándida Pérez Gardens, 2007, Barcelona, Spain

Situated in Barcelona’s dense Eixample district, this cultural venue was intended to break the continuity of its historic street. A bridging section of the front building – which houses the library – provides public access underneath to a courtyard behind, where a low-slung volume wraps around the edge.

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Barberí Laboratory, 2008, Olot, Girona, Spain

RCR Arquitectes transformed a former foundry in their home town into their own offices and studio. Elements of the original building, like crumbling walls and a steel structure, were preserved. They were then paired with huge expanses of glass to create light-filled workspaces.

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El Petit Comte Kindergarten, 2010, Besalú, Girona, Spain
In collaboration with Joan Puigcorbé

Gradients of colourful plastic create a rainbow effect across this kindergarten building. A courtyard at the centre lets children play outside in a protected environment, while the plastic allows coloured light to flood the spaces inside.

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La Lira Theater Public Open Space, 2011, Ripoll, Girona, Spain
In collaboration with Joan Puigcorbé

To form a covered public space for theatre productions, the architects built a slatted-steel box, with angled sides and open ends, over a plaza sandwiched between two old structures. The volume faces a river and is connected to the opposite bank via a bridge made from the same material.

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Les Cols Restaurant Marquee, 2011, Olot, Girona, Spain

Swooping over this restaurant is a lightweight structure made from thin metal pipes, with translucent plastic stretched across the top. The canopy evokes the experience of dining al fresco, and extends beyond the enclosed space to protect those who are actually eating outside.

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Row House, 2012, Olot, Girona, Spain

When renovating this house in their home town, the architects exposed the underside of its tiled roof and concealed circulation on either side behind thin vertical louvres. In the central space – illuminated by a giant glass wall at the back – contemporary insertions form a sunken kitchen and dining level, with two separate mezzanines for lounging and sleeping above.

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La Cuisine Art Center, 2014, Nègrepelisse, France

Tucked inside the stone walls of a historic chateau, rooms made from steel and glass wrap around three sides of the building’s internal perimeter. These spaces host exhibitions, conferences and workshops dedicated to the art and design of food and cooking, and face a central courtyard that is used for larger events.

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Soulages Museum, 2014, Rodez, France
In collaboration with G Trégouët

Contemporary art exhibitions are housed within weathering-steel boxes that cantilever slightly from a small slope. The galleries are linked by glazed corridors and bridges, forming a route through the museum.

After receiving this prestigious honour, this Spanish firm along with these three leading architects shot to fame immediately in world of architecture.

(Images and information in this post are from the following source (also stated earlier): https://www.dezeen.com/2017/03/01/key-projects-pritzker-prize-laureates-rcr-arquitectes/.)

 

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Trip to Swan Valley, Perth today.

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2016 by vincentloy

Me and my housemates went to the Swan Valley today, a place I suggested since we have basically went to most of the interesting places in Perth that are not that far away earlier. Swan Valley is basically a region only 30 minutes away from Perth’s city and contains many plantation fields, wineries, breweries, distilleries, local-produce factories, farms (animals, lavender, cheese, fruits), restaurants and cafes. The downpour this morning didn’t dampen our spirit to start off the day by heading to the city to rent a car.

We got a nice car (with quite an expensive rate) and we spent the whole afternoon in the Swan Valley. The trip wouldn’t be successful if we didn’t stop by at the Visitor Centre near the entrance to the valley. The staff over there was very helpful on explaining some important places that we should visit in the valley along their recommended 32-km long food and wine trail. Wow…I didn’t expect the valley to be that big. We only covered a small part of it for our trip today. Their guide in pamphlet is very useful, especially the map.

First, we went to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory. We had our lunch there. I have tasted my best ever dark chocolate drink over there. We also did a quick free tasting of chocolates before we left. Our mission today is actually to get all the complimentary tastings without buying. They must be hating us but it’s not our bad since the complimentary tastings are provided and suggested everywhere in the valley. The chocolates are not bad (but not the best also that I have tasted) but I do enjoy their dark chocolates in tiny little pieces’ one. Just next door, we also visited the Providore Local Produce station where we get to taste interesting cooking ingredients like the sauces, spices, creams, olive oil, etc. My tongue felt weird after tasting some of that.

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Next destination is Lancaster Winery where they served complimentary tasting of wines and you can add it up with cheese if you like to. I don’t really like cheese and so I just ignored that part. One particular type of red wine we tried today is quite good and is not that sweet. We also tried white wine. It’s winter season now and so it’s not the best time to take pictures of the plantation farms since all the trees are dry now with nothing much to see. But it is still a beautiful sight for a vast field of plantation everywhere in the valley.

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Next, we went House of Honey to taste the honey of course. There are so many different kind of honey and their sweetness produced and on sale over there. There is even one particular one (I forgot the honey’s name) that has healing ability when applied on the skin. Interesting, but I worried it may heals quickly but ants will be crawling towards you. Haha…forget about it. We moved on to the Mondo Nougat and Chocolate and Morish Nuts. Both are side by side. Free tasting again and the staff were very friendly.

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The last destination in the valley that we covered is the Mandoon Estate and Homestead Brewery. We noticed there was some sort of a party going on there. It’s a beautiful place and we had beers over there. Nice environment with the plantation field again and frequent view of airplanes on the sky.

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Before we returned the car to the rental shop before calling it the end of the day, we went for a quick walk in Kings Park. I’m still not bored visiting the park (have visited it three times and is expected to visit the place again next week), mainly due to the magnificent city’s view from there. Back for my conclusion for the Swan Valley; it’s a great place to visit and most importantly, it’s free for all the tastings. All in one region: Swan Valley. The place is scenic and you must need a car to travel in there. You can also join in some tours provided if you reached there by public transport. For that, you have to ask for more information at the Visitor Centre. I had an awesome day there and would certainly love to go back there again in near future.

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