Alumnus Santiago Cirugeda Becomes First Spaniard to Win Global Award for Sustainable Architecture
ESARQ School of Architecture Alumnus Santiago Cirugeda recently became the first Spaniard ever to be honoured with the LOCUS Foundation’s Global Award for Sustainable Architecture.
For 15 years, Cirugeda had been raising legal, urban and social questions from the Recetas Urbanas collective. After receiving the award, he said that “this will serve as a reminder to those who want to keep me from carrying out certain kinds of projects in Spain that in other places, on a global level, those same kinds of projects are valued. Thank you very much, we’re going to use this the best we can.”
Marie-Hélène Contal, director of the French Institute of Architecture, one of the institutes associated with La Cité, discussed how Cirugeda has transformed the profession since 2007. She also highlighted his history of activism, along with his strategy for sharing experiences and confronting economic transition, which is centred on the environment and equipment, as well as on cheap architecture, something already considered extraordinary. Contal explained that Cirugeda puts on performances, encourages collectives, associates with lawyers and computer scientists, publishes manuals and makes sure that the process he has put in motion can be passed on to other architects and other people.
The LOCUS foundation’s Global Awards for Sustainable Architecture recognize the work of architects and designers who tackle the economic, environmental, social and cultural challenges that are often invisible to contemporary societies. The award is given to those who hope to forge a new definition of progress and proper balance between human beings and the environment.
Over 50 architects and collectives from 30 countries have already received the award, which was created in 2007 by La Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris at the urging of architect Jana Revedi, a lecturer at the Swedish Blekinge Institute of Technology.