Paulo Mendes da Rocha: project for the University of Vigo
The Architecture World -more accurately, the Hyatt Foundation from Chicago- have decided to award the Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha, age 77, with the prestigious Pritzker Prize, considered to be the "Nobel of Architecture", and worth more than €116,000.
Opposite to the irrational and questionable architecture popularized in the last years by architects such as the last exponents of the "Five Architects" -Richard Meier and the infamous Peter Eisenmann- Mendes da Rocha has committed himself to a brave and poetic architecture, from the early works to his last interventions and projects such as the University of Vigo (Spain), with a special emphasis in the relations with the physical and human environment. His architecture hopes to be, in his own words, "a complete fusion of science, art and technology to celebrate the dignity and intelligence of the human being" Among his most famous works we find the Brazilian Museum of Sculpture (1987) and the FIESP Cultural Centre (1996)
Mendes da Rocha is the second Brazilian architect who earns the Pritzker, since Oscar Niemeyer, the exuberant architect of Brasilia , won it in 1988. Nevertheless, Mendes da Rocha represents a very different version of the Brazilian architecture after the Modern Movement, more moderate and rational compared to the exuberant sensuality of Niemeyer.