Introduction by the President of the Jury

Architecture is an action on earth face that necessarily brings changes of diverse nature: those inherent to the life cycle of the used materials, those that are generated on the territory by the constructions themselves and those produced by its occupation and use. That means that the act of constructing involves a great responsibility because of its consequences at short and long term. This affects seriously not only the environmental and energetic sustainability, but also our natural and historical heritage that is equally menaced and necessary.

This responsibility, as far as it concerns us as architects, should settle in the deepest of our culture. It has to be the origin of the awareness that leads the process of decision making and design. In current days this could be interpreted by many as an attempt to put limits to our individual freedom and to creativity. Referring to the first I would say that individual freedom should never be placed before common good, in the same sense as nobody is free to spread an illness or a plague. The matter in relation to creativity, should be to wake it within the knowledge state of our time. The same way mobility in the Middle Ages cannot be compared with mobility today, then, thanks to the development of knowledge and technology, the possibilities have grown exponentially and there are no limits concerning the ways, the intention or trip destination. All the same, the capacity to travel cannot be thought of forgetting the force of gravity and other physical laws, even if you have a great power of imagination. But if you respect physical laws you can even attempt to leave our planet. The decisions about the kind of journey will still depending on the individual visions, qualities and intentions.

We could say that architecture is the discipline that grants to construction the “right to exist”. The “right to exist” in the sense of being in the place to which it belongs, in an appropriate way, heeding the essential values of human being. That sets up the difference between “architecture” and “building”.

The basics of our discipline have not changed on what is essential concerning the respect of the human being towards nature and himself. Taking into account our knowledge and current circumstances, we owe respect to the inevitable intelligence with which primitive cultures face up to their existence.

Necessity drove them to be effective, both in the hunting and at the use of the resources they needed for the rest of its activity; from tools making to the construction of its huts. All its activity was always determined by its human dignity that could not allow itself any weaknesses, because in it, its existence and its belief was going. Creativity, knowledge and moral inseparably united.

Responsibility puts thought and creativity to the test; it demands a sharp and sensitive exploration of reality that should allow us to discover it with a new insight state; its new intelligence will satisfy our need of progress.

In this edition of the Price for Sustainable Architecture, the Jury has appreciated the high participation and the work delivered by the participants, and has assessed and judged the projects according their architectonic and technological quality as well as their economic and social impact.

The Jury has decided to grant two Golden Medals to two projects for its outstanding quality attending on the selection, approach and solution of both topics that treat complex matters of absolute actuality with wise move, efficacy and simplicity; also it has granted two Silver Medals to another two projects for its interest in the analysis and systematization of topics of general interest from which they propose concrete solutions, and others two Mentions of Honor for its interesting vision. 

Victor López Cotelo


The Jury

Prof. Victor López Cotelo, Chairman

Prof. Fritz Frenkler

Prof. Dirk Sijmons