Compostela-Xunta de Galicia prize jasur
Alvaro Siza, VI Prize Compostela-Xunta de Galicia
The Jury of the 6th. Compostela - Xunta de Galicia Prize, gathered in Santiago de Compostela on April 26, unanimously decided to award the Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza Vieira, for the quality of his architectural work, well spread all over Europe, and for his solidary and human architectural concept. The Jury was composed by the Rectors of Oulu (Finland), prof. Lauri Lajunen; Porto, Prof. Jose Angelo Mota Novais Barbosa (represented by the Vice-Rector Prof. José Alberto Nunes Ferreira Gomes), and Montesquieu Bordeaux IV, Prof. Gérard Hirigoyen (represented by the Presidency Executive Secretary, Mrs. Marina Valverde), on behalf of the Compostela Group of Universities; on behalf of the Regional Government of Galicia, the Regional Minister for Education and Universities, Celso Currás Fernández; the Director General for Universities, José Eduardo López Pereira and the Director General for Cultural Heritage, Angel Sicart. Manuel Fraga, President of the Galician Regional Government, presided over the Jury and Marta González, Executive Secretary of the Compostela Group, acted as secretary of the jury.
It is the first time that a Portuguese citizen is awarded with the Compostela Prize, which was so far presented to Jacques Santer, Vaclav Havel, Helmuth Rilling, Cees Nooteboom and Carla Del Ponte. The presentation of the Prize will take place during the General Assembly of the Group, to be held at Lisbon University from the 8th to the 10th September 2002. The Jury considered as an essential factor the special relationship that Alvaro Siza has with European universities, and most especifically with Porto University, where he is full professor at the School of Architecture.
Many candidacies were presented to the 6th Compostela Prize, among them another Portuguese, José Saramago; the European civil servant Irving Mitchell, an outstanding promotor of the Erasmus programme of student's mobility; the Catalan professor Miguel Siguan; the Rector of Prishtina University, Prof. Zejnel Kelmendi; the cinema director Krzyzstof Zanussi; the Rector of the Open University in Catalonia, Prof. Gabriel Ferraté Mora or the Master of the Trinity College, Cambridge and Nobel Prize of Economy Amartya Kumar Sen. It is the first time that non-awarded candidacies are made public, due to the modifications made in the rulements of the Prize. The Rector of Santiago de Compostela University, Darío Villanueva, was also presented as a candidate by Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland) for his continuous support to European university cooperation, and most especifically, for the support given to the activities of the Compostela Group of Universities during his eight years of term that are now coming to an end.
Alvaro Joaquim de Melo Siza Vieira was born in Matosinhos, Porto, in June 25, 1933. He studied in the School of Fine Arts in Porto and worked with the Portuguese architect Fernando Tavora between 1955 and 1958. He taught at the School of Architecture (ESBAP) from 1966-69 and was appointed Assistant Professor of Construction in 1976.
He has been a Visiting Professor at the Ecole Polythechnique of Lausanne, the University of Pennsylvania, the Los Andes School in Bogota and at the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University as Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor. He continues to teach at the Porto School of Architecture from Porto University.
Among many current designs, 1200 homes were built in Malagueira, Evora, with the designs for the Setubal College of Education, the Porto Faculty of Architecture, the Aveiro University Library and the Santiago de Compostela University's Faculty of Information Sciences. Designs include the Galician Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, the Porto Modern Art Museum and, recently, a major mixed-use development in Boavista, Oporto. He has been co-ordinating the Schilderswijk Zone 5 Renovation Plan in The Hague, Holland, since 1985, and is drawing up a scheme for blocks 6-7-8 in Ceramique Terrein, Maastricht. He is also supervising reconstruction of the fire-damaged area of Chiado in Lisbon. Other major works include the Praca de Espanha/Avenida Malhoa Master Plan in Lisbon and the design for the Meteorological Centre of the Olympic Village in Barcelona.
The Portuguese Department of the International Association of Art Critics awarded him the Prize for Architecture in 1982. He received an Award from the Portuguese Architects Association in 1987.
In 1988 he was awarded the Gold Medal for Architecture by the Colegio de Architectos, Spain, the Alvar Aalto Foundation Gold Medal, the Prince of Wales Prize in Urban Design from Harvard University, and the European Architectural Award by the EEC/Mies van der Rohe Foundation, Barcelona. In 1992 he was awarded the Pritzker Prize by the Hyatt Foundation of Chicago for his lifelong achievements. In 1993 he was awarded the National Architecture Prize by the Portuguese Architects Association. Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Valencia (1992) and by the Ecole Polythechnique Federale of Lausanne (1993).