Eduardo Souto de Moura wins Pritzker prize 2011


2000-2003. Braga Stadium, Portugal.

Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura is this year’s Pritzker Prize laureate. (The Pritzker is something like the Academy Award of architecture.) It is the second time for Portugal, as Alvaro Siza, a mentor and collaborator of de Moura, received the prize in 1992.

de Moura is certainly not a starchitect, a household name. So who is this gentleman?

In the words of the Pritzker jury: “Eduardo Souto de Moura’s architecture it is not obvious, frivolous, or picturesque. It is imbued with intel- ligence and seriousness. His work requires an intense encounter not a quick glance. And like poetry, it is able to communicate emotionally to those who take the time to listen. His buildings have a unique ability to convey seemingly conflicting characteristics—power and modesty, bravado and subtlety, bold public author- ity and sense of intimacy—at the same time. For architecture that appears effortless, serene, and simple, and for the care and poetry that permeates each project, Eduardo Souta de Moura receives the 2011 Pritzker Architecture Prize.”

2005-2009 Paula Rêgo Museum – Cascais, Portugal

The formal simplicity and austerity of his buildings embody the fundamental tenets of modern architecture, which he faithfully followed even when modernity was considered out of fashion. The abstract forms are combined with complex references to the site, the location, the space and the concept, and also with the use of contrast: light and shadow, full and void, old andnew, natural and man-made. The sensibility that imbues his buildings is also evident in the expressive use of materials: concrete, stone, wood, copper.

The Paula Rego Museum and the Braga Stadium pictured above are two of his most striking and well-known buildings. However, I would rather focus on the conversion of a monastery and on two residences, and especially on their interiors and details.


Conversion of the Santa Maria do Bouro Convent into a State Inn, Amares, Portugal. (1989-97)

House in Serra da Arrábida, Portugal (1994-2002)



House in “Bom Jesus”, Braga, Portugal (1989-94)


Φωτογραφίες: Luis Ferreira Alves


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This article was written on 28 / 03 / 2011, by Natalia Alexiou, and is filled under architecture.

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