The architect Elisa Valero (Spain) won the sixth edition of the Swiss Architectural Award. The CHF 100,000 prize will be presented to the winner on 15 November at the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio, Università della Svizzera italiana. The ceremony will launch the exhibition of the works submitted by the candidates, which will remain open until 23 December 2018.
Elisa Valero (Spain) is the winner of the sixth edition of the Swiss Architectural Award: an international biennial architecture prize sponsored by the Swiss Architectural Foundation, with the collaboration of Università della Svizzera italiana – Accademia di architettura (Academy of Architecture), Mendrisio, and the support of the Fondazione Teatro dell’architettura and the Foundation for the Lugano Faculties of Università della Svizzera italiana.
The Swiss Architectural Award is one of the world’s most prestigious architectural awards, by virtue of an advisory committee consisting of internationally renowned architects and critics.
The Swiss Architectural Award aims to promote a kind of architecture that is sensitive to contemporary ethical, aesthetic and ecological issues and can facilitate public debate.
The prize, which amounts to 100,000 CHF, will be presented to the winner on November 15th 2018 at the Auditorium of the Theatre of Architecture (Università della Svizzera italiana – Accademia di architettura, Mendrisio), during a ceremony which will also mark the opening of the exhibition of the works submitted by the candidates.
Elisa Valero was selected among 32 candidates from 19 countries, thus winning the edition with the largest number of participants since the beginning of the award.
The Judges decided unanimously to grant the 2018 Swiss Architectural Award to Elisa Valero for the extension of a school building in Cerillo de Maracena (Granada, 2013-2014), for the experimental houses in Granada (2015-2016) and for the church in Playa Granada (2015-2016).
According to the panel, “Elisa Valero’s architecture is driven by a strong personal commitment and by an innovative research of construction solutions, which enable her to comply with the conditions required by functional programs and create very high-quality buildings, whilst making use of limited resources”.
The Judges appreciated how Elisa Valero’s work deeply reflects the objectives of the Swiss Architectural Award, a prize that aims to encourage public debate on the potential of architecture by involving three Swiss Schools of Architecture.
The jury of the sixth edition was chaired by Mario Botta, its members were Riccardo Blumer (Director of Accademia di architettura – USI), An Fonteyne (Professor at the Department of Architecture of the Zurich Federal Polytechnic University), Francis Kéré (Professor at Accademia di Architettura – USI) and Paolo Tombesi (Director of the Institut d’Architecture of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne).
The 2018 candidates for the Swiss Architectural Award were nominated by a committee of advisor comprising of Solano Benitez, Asunción (Paraguay); Ole Bouman, Rotterdam / Shenzhen (Holland / China); Angelo Bucci, São Paulo (Brazil); Gonçalo Byrne, Lisbon (Portugal); Jean-Louis Cohen, Paris (France); Luis Fernandez-Galiano, Madrid (Spain); Sean Godsell, Melbourne (Australia); Toyo Ito, Tokyo (Japan); Bijoy Jain, Mumbai (India); Shelley McNamara, Dublin (Ireland); Valerio Olgiati, Flims (Switzerland); José Maria Sanchez Garcia, Madrid (Spain); Li Xiaodong, Beijing (China).
The candidates at the 2018 edition of the Swiss Architectural Award were: Al Borde (Pascual Gangotena, David Barragán, Marialuisa Borja, Esteban Benavides, Ecuador); Arquitetos Associados (Alexandre Brasil, André Luiz Prado, Bruno Santa Cecilia, Carlos Alberto Maciel, Paula Zasnicoff, Brazil); Barozzi Veiga (Fabrizio Barozzi, Alberto Veiga, Spain); Baserga Mozzetti (Nicola Baserga, Christian Mozzetti, Switzerland); Baukuh (Paolo Carpi, Silvia Lupi, Vittorio Pizzigoni, Giacomo Summa, Pier Paolo Tamburelli, Andrea Zanderigo, Italy); Fernanda Canales (Mexico); ChartierDalix (Frédéric Chartier, Pascale Dalix, France); José Cubilla (Paraguay); Frida Escobedo (Mexico); Gong Dong / Vector Architects (China); H + F Arquitetos (Pablo Hereñu, Eduardo Ferroni, Brazil); Anna Heringer (Germany); Akihisa Hirata (Japan); Anne Holtrop (Bahrain); Hua Li / TAO, Trace Architecture Office (China); Kumiko Inui (Japan); Carla Juaçaba (Brazil); Ansi Lassila / OOPEAA – Office for Peripheral Architecture (Finland); Li Zhang / TeamMinus (China); Ling Hao (Singapore); Rozana Montiel (Mexico); Daniel Moreno Flores (Ecuador); onishimaki + hyakudayuki architects (Maki Onishi, Yuki Hyakuda, Japan); Orkidstudio Architects (James Mitchell, Carolina Larrazabal, Kenya); Oualalou + Choi (Tarik Oualalou, Linna Choi, France); PAO – People’s Architecture Office (He Zhe, James Shen, Zang Feng, China); James Russell (Australia); Sami Arquitectos (Inês Vieira da Silva, Miguel Vieira, Portugal); SO-IL (Florian Idenburg, Jing Liu, Ilias Papageorgiu; USA); Marina Tabassum (Bangladesh); TNA Architects (Makoto Takei, Chie Nabeshima, Japan); Elisa Valero (Spain).
Elisa Valero Ramos was born in Ciudad Real (Spain) in 1971, graduated from the ETSA (Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura) Valladolid in 1996. She completed her PhD at the ETSA Granada in 2000 and won a scholarship from the Real Academia de España in Rome in 2003. She is the author of five monographies, has worked as reviewer and lecturer and was invited by numerous architecture schools in Europe and by the UNAM in Mexico City. She is currently Professor of Architectural Design at the ETSA Granada.
This is how Elisa Valero describes her work: “At a moment in our culture when noise is enormously dense I have chosen an architecture that acts in silence, serenely and without drawing attention to itself. […] I am interested in living space, landscape, sustainability, precision and an economy of expressive resources. I am not interested in styles. I am more interested in books than in magazines, in consistency than in genius, coherency than artistic composition. And I understand originality as the rediscovery of the true meaning of things. I am interested in architecture rooted in the earth and in its own time. I accept the determinants of architecture as the rules of a very serious and enjoyable game and I try to play it in a coherent, rigorous way. While it is no longer stylish to speak of serving, I believe that an architect’s work is a quintessential service intended to make people’s lives more agreeable—a noble calling that seeks to make the world more beautiful and more human and to make society fairer. Architecture is no place for the nostalgic, it is a job for rebels”.