Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta have been named the recipients of the 2017 .
Founded in 1979 by Jay and Cindy Pritzker and funded by the , the prize honors a living architect or architects whose work demonstrates a combination of talent, vision, and commitment to humanity and the built environment. The three architects, who are from Olot in the Catalonian region of Spain, have worked together since founding RCR Arquitectes in 1988. According to the foundation, their work demonstrates an unyielding commitment to place and its narrative that, in harmonizing materiality with transparency, creates an emotional and experiential architecture. The firm’s notable projects include La Cuisine Art Center (Nègrepelisse, France, 2014); Soulages Museum, in collaboration with G. Trégouët (Rodez, France, 2014); and La Lira Theater Public Open Space, in collaboration with J. Puigcorbé (Ripoll, Girona, Spain, 2011). This is the first year the prize has been awarded to three architects working collaboratively.
"Mr. Aranda, Ms. Pigem, and Mr. Vilalta have had an impact on the discipline far beyond their immediate area," said Hyatt Foundation board chair Tom Pritzker. "Their works range from public and private spaces to cultural venues and educational institutions, and their ability to intensely relate the environment specific to each site is a testament to their process and deep integrity."
"[W]e live in a globalized world where we must rely on international influences, trade, discussion, transactions, etc. But more and more people fear that...we will lose our local values, our local art, and our local customs," the 2017 jury citation states. "Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta...help us to see, in a most beautiful and poetic way, that the answer to the question is not ‘either/or’ and that we can, at least in architecture, aspire to have both; our roots firmly in place and our arms outstretched to the rest of the world."
"It is a great joy and a great responsibility," said Pigem. "We are thrilled that this year three professionals, who work closely together in everything we do, are recognized."