2011 Pritzker Prize: Eduardo Souto de Moura

Eduardo Souto de Moura, 2011 Pritzker laureate, in front of the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego. Photo by Francisco Nogueira.
, 2011 Pritzker laureate, in front of the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego. Photo by Francisco Nogueira.

Today, the Pritzker Prize laureate has been announced: Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura.

The 58-year-old architect based in Porto worked on his earlier years at Alvaro Siza’s office, another Pritzker Laureate (1992), and opened his own practice in 1980. Since then he has completed over sixty buildings, most of them in Portugal, and also in Spain, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Museu Paula Rego, Casa das Histórias, Cascais, Portugal by Eduardo Souto de Moura © FG + SG Fernando Guerra

Along his works we find iconic projects such as the impressive Braga Stadium (2004) and the recent Casa das Histórias Paula Rego.

“During the past three decades, Eduardo Souto de Moura has produced a body of work that is of our time but also carries echoes of architectural traditions. His buildings have a unique ability to convey seemingly conflicting characteristics — power and modesty, bravado and subtlety, bold public authority and a sense of intimacy —at the same time.”

- Lord Palumbo, Chairman of the jury

More projects by Eduardo Souto de Moura after the break:

Eduardo Souto Moura, Quinta do Lago, Algarve (1984-89)
Eduardo Souto Moura, Quinta do Lago, Algarve (1984-89)
Braga Stadium by Eduardo Souto de Moura (2004) © Luis Ferreira Alves
Braga Stadium by Eduardo Souto de Moura (2004) © Luis Ferreira Alves

His stadium in Braga, Portugal was the site of European soccer championships when it was completed in 2004, and gained high praise. Nearly a million and a half cubic yards of granite were blasted from the site and crushed to make concrete for the stadium. Precise explosions of a mountain side created a hundred foot high granite face that terminates one end of the stadium. Souto de Moura describes this coexistence of the natural with the man made construction as good architecture. In his own words, “It was a drama to break down the mountain and make concrete from the stone.” The jury citation calls this work, “…muscular, monumental and very much at home within its powerful landscape.”

Burgos Tower by Eduardo Souto de Moura (2007) © Luis Ferreira Alves
Burgo Tower by Eduardo Souto de Moura (2007) © Luis Ferreira Alves
Burgos Tower by Eduardo Souto de Moura (2007) © Luis Ferreira Alves
Burgo Tower by Eduardo Souto de Moura (2007) © Luis Ferreira Alves

Another of his projects, the Burgo Tower, completed in 2007, constructed in the city where he lives and works, Porto, Portugal, is described by the jury as, “…two buildings side by side, one vertical and one horizontal with different scales, in dialogue with each other and the urban landscape.” Souto de Moura commented that “a twenty story office tower is an unusual project for me. I began my career building single family houses.”

House Number Two, Bom Jesus by Eduardo Souto de Moura © Luis Ferreira Alves
House Number Two, Bom Jesus by Eduardo Souto de Moura © Luis Ferreira Alves

Souto de Moura has designed numerous residences, one of which, House Number Two built in the town of Bom Jesus, was singled outby the jury for its “uncommon richness throughout the subtle banding in the concrete of its exterior walls.” Souto de Moura’s comments on the project: “Because the site was a fairly steep hill overlooking the city of Braga, we decided not to produce a large volume resting on a hilltop. Instead, we made the construction on five terraces with retainer walls, with a different function defined for each terrace– fruit trees on the lowest level, a swimming pool on the next, the main parts of the house on the next, bedrooms on the fourth, and on the top, we planted a forest.”

Museu Paula Rego, Casa das Histórias, Cascais, Portugal by Eduardo Souto de Moura © FG + SG Fernando Guerra
Museu Paula Rego, Casa das Histórias, Cascais, Portugal by Eduardo Souto de Moura © FG + SG Fernando Guerra

Regarding the Casa das Historias Museum Souto de Moura stated “After the painter Paulo Regio chose me as her architect, I was lucky to be able to choose the site. It was a fenced off forest with some open space in the middle. On the basis of the elevation of the trees, I proposed a set of volumes of varying heights. Developing this play between the artificial and nature helped define the exterior color, red concrete, a color in opposition to the green forest. Two large pyramids along the entrance axis prevent the project from being a neutral sum of boxes.” The Paulo Regio Museum completed in 2008, is cited by the jury as “both civic and intimate, and so appropriate for the display of art.”

Cite: Basulto, David. "2011 Pritzker Prize: Eduardo Souto de Moura" 29 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=122929>

43 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down +5

    He was the first architect that ever inspired me. I’ve been a secret fan for almost a decade now, good to see him getting such a high honor.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      SAME HERE RON, MY FIRST STUDIO PROJECT WAS USING HIS WORK AS PRECEDENT STUDY. HIS WORK HAS GREAT QUALITIES AND BUILDS OFF A TENSION THAT WORKS, ESPECIALLY WITH HIS USE OF STONE WALLS.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down -8

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +5

      lost opportunity? this man is a true master of architecture. The fact that is aside from the star system does not mean he doesn´t deserve recognition. Too many zahas and morphosis have received the prize

    • Thumb up Thumb down +2

      If anything, the Pritzker Prize has been favoring the famous and the so-called “starchitects” way too much. Thank goodness in the last 2 or 3 years they have been more thoughtful in the selection of the laureates.

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        That’s why it’s called individual award. Only a star shines in that sky

    • Thumb up Thumb down -1

      why don’t you tolerate another opinion, evil architects?
      i think archdaily is the only site on the web which still keeps vote down option and shots down the comment. Abhiram was just presenting his opinion, for Christ sake!
      i won’t put my name – you’ll kill me :)

      • Thumb up Thumb down -1

        Nobody puts his/her name up on Archdaily. It would be suicidal. 90-95% of the comments are anonymous here. Not a very flattering stats I guess…

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    The selection board of the Pritzker Foundation continues to impress me … An architect with a surprising and extraordinary quality, that seemed to deserve greater attention. Justice was done!

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    The selection board of the Pritzker Foundation continues to impress me … An architect with a surprising and extraordinary quality that seemed to deserve greater attention. Justice was done!

  5. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Very interesting! And I must admit I’ve never heard of the man before, although I am looking his work up as I type.

    I’m wondering if Holl is out of the running now? Just curious, I remember he was a favorite in 2010.

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        Oops, I must’ve gotten lost on the way in. I’m looking for the Miss Sunshine pageant, Ballroom 2?

        What the hell is that even supposed to mean.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    Pena que quem trabalhe para ele receba para lá de alguns anos a recibos verdes, e seja promovido neste e noutros escritórios portugueses a precariedade laboral

    • Thumb up Thumb down +2

      Parabéns!
      Mas é uma vergonha, que com o seu conhecimento tenha um tal de Joaquim Portela que é quem lhe faz os projectos de Execução noutro atelier. Os seus funcionários vivem num regime de escravidão. Paga 500€ mês a trabalhar 12 horas por dia sem direito a fins de semana.
      Uma vergonha!

      Congratulations!
      But it’s a shame that with his knowledge he has a guy Joaquim Portela who is who makes the his Construction Documents in another studio. Their employees live in slavery. He Pays 500 € a month, working 12 hours a day without the right to weekends.
      Shame on you!

  7. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    Excellent choice. He truly deserves it for his body of work.
    My only concern is that the prize committee may have played it a little safe with this choice. Rather than taking a particular stance in regards to the future direction of architecture (ie. sustainability/ cultural reactions/ disaster relief/ formal innovation/ practice model innovation, etc etc etc) they chose an architect who pretty much everyone can agree on the beauty of their work in their mastery over the modernist aesthetic and paradigm. I can’t decide whether I think this is looking backwards rather than forwards and whether this prize should be a retrospective award or a catalyst for future initiatives in design.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    There doesn’t seem to be any doubt that Steven Holl will never win the Pritzker because of some underlying issue. There are really so few notable architects out there who haven’t yet won it who have a strong enough body of work worthy of consideration. For 9 years i’ve been asking myself who not Holl, why not Holl? The first 3, 4, 5, 6 years i kept telling myself “ok, maybe next year, could have been a fluke, he’ll win it next time”, but year after year the same. Is there some consistent member on the jury that has something against Holl or something? i mean, gimme a break, how obvious does this seem? not that i’m a Holl groupie, but i’d say the guy deserves it by now. I appreciate Souto Moura’s work, but not to the level of global influence that Holl’s work has achieved so far. I call for a revote. Anyone with me?

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Actually one of Holl’s most influential theorists and friends is Juhani Pallasmaa, which is now a member of the jury. There’s no one having such a problem with Holl, what happens is just that they truly belived Souto deserved the prize. Wether we like it or not Souto is a great architect, who really deserved to be laureate, as so many others like Ito, Holl or even Eisenman…

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Calendar may be tricky but it’s not like Holl is a stand alone victime of some evil consipration

      for instance look at Utzon and the time lapss between his major work and his pritzker.

      So be patient for Holl … and calling for a revote is a bit rude for such a great architecte as Souto de Moura.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Congratualtions to Moura. Personally i am just asking myself since years why never ever Calatrava got the prize. you don’t have to like his architecture on one hand, but without any doubt in this world he is a master in both fields: architect and engineer. seems not fair to me. Steven holl will get this prize anyway (but this i am not thinking since 8 years like “kolohe” is saying. this makes no sense to me, just because his recent work are getting better and better in soomehow. Moura’s work is doing the opposite direction for me. His work was much more inspiring me years ago, but i appreciate never the less that he got the prize now.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Congrats, the recognition of Portuguese architecture is a great moral boost for such conturbated times Portugal lives. One word of apretiation to the young architects that work day and night in such offices, providing a major service to stablished architects, and getting no recognition and a lousy pay check, if they get any payment at all.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Congratulations Master Eduardo S. Moura!!!
    It´s a pride for portuguese people.
    Thank you people of world!

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I believe it’s a well deserved award for a job well done over the years. much interest on the museum….it’s a nice architectural piece

  13. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    True Maestro and prize well-deserved, if not overdue. Branding him among other “star architects” is most unfair, as he certainly doesn’t apply identical “signature designs” to any site, and certainly doesn’t make crazy forms just for the sake of being interesting.

  14. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    we had an informal dinner with Mr Eduardo,8 October,
    In Mumbai ,got to know him a bit, he spoke about the trendy flashy stuff,and then simply called himself Normal ,doing architecture for Normal people!
    Very simple ,endearing man.

  15. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    We are pleased to see one of our biggest client winning this prize.
    We work with Souto Moura Studio in the development of 3D images to his projects.

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