Rafael Manzano Prize for New Traditional Architecture
Prize for Traditional Architecture
The Rafael Manzano Prize of New Traditional Architecture is mainly aimed to promote in Spain and Portugal traditional architecture as a tool for upgrading the contemporary practice, both in the restoration of architecture or urban ensembles and in new built works which, based on local traditions, are able to harmoniously draw on the context where they are built.
It was first awarded in 2012 in a ceremony held at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (Madrid). In 2017, thanks to the collaboration of the Fundação Serra Henriques and the Ordem dos Arquitectos, and with the high patronage of His Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic, the prize was extended to Portugal, being granted to practitioners in either of the two countries. Till 2021 it has been held each year and it will be biannual going forward.
Who is it organized by?
It is organised by INTBAU (the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism), with the collaboration of the Fundación Ekaba, the Fundação Serra Henriques, the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando and Hispania Nostra Association, and with the high patronage of His Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic.
Who is it addressed to?
This award does not intend to honor the architects whose works best represent the latest architectural trends, or those whose interventions involve avant-garde transformations of our heritage; on the contrary, it is addressed to those architects whose work has contributed to the preservation, continuation and adaptation to contemporary needs of the building, architectural and urban traditions which define the identity of the places where they were built.
Thus, they are practitioners who, instead of seeking notoriety and novelty through their works, play an important role which is not sufficiently honored because the results, often remain unnoticed, precisely due to their evident continuity with the past.
For what purpose?
This award is trying to correct this situation in both countries, honoring those who have been developing this kind of work, and helping to promote a better practice in the preservation works of our architectural and landscape heritage, while its particular traditional identity is more threatened than ever because of the progressive homogenization it is suffering.
The winner is awarded a €50,000 prize and a commemorative plaque, thanks to the generosity of the American philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus.
Laureates since 2012
Donald Gray was awarded the prize for his lifetime of work lending continuity to Spain’s architectural traditions, and for his constant efforts to integrate them into contemporaneous practises, to keep them alive not just by preserving existing urban ensembles, but also by using them as a reference to create other new buildings. Gray began working in the Costa del Sol when it was still a veritable natural paradise, proposing an elegant alternative to the unsustainable urban planning generally being adopted to meet mass tourist demand. He also worked to restore the crafts which had formed the region’s architectures, with his work in charge of the Lebrija Crafts School standing out in this regard. Settled later on in La Alpujarra, in Granada, Gray continued working from there till the very last day to preserve the unique identity and beauty of the towns of this region.