Winners Announced of BigMat International Architecture Award 2021

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Xaveer De Geyter. Xaveer De Geyter Architects

Xaveer De Geyter Architects is a Brussels/Paris - based office practising architecture, urbanism and landscape design founded in 1988 by Xaveer De Geyter (1957) after his experience as project architect for OMA/Rem Koolhaas.

During the thirty years of its existence, XDGA has managed to build up a significant portfolio and obtain worldwide recognition thanks to its unique approach, diversified expertise and international team (54 collaborators from 11 countries).

XDGA counts to this day five monographs, numerous awards (Mies Van der Rohe Award, Bigmat Award, Flemish Culture Award for Architecture) and three travelling solo exhibitions.

XDGA’s most relevant realised projects include, amongst others: the Subway Station and Public Square Place Rogier in Brussels (2015), the new Headquarters for the Province of Antwerp (2019) and the Multipurpose School Building in Ghent (2020).

Ongoing projects comprise: the extension of the Fine Arts Mueum of Tournai, the development of Three City Blocks and a Mixed-use Building in Brussels.

Petr Janda. petrjanda/brainwork

Petr Janda is an architect and an artist. He graduated from the Faculty of architecture at Czech Technical University in Prague (School of prof. Jan Bočan) and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (School of Monumental Art of prof. Aleš Veselý). In 2008 he founded his own studio petrjanda/brainwork. He frequently participates in architectural competitions and exhibitions (also as a jury member), he has won several awards (Grand Prix of Architects 2007, BigMat 13‘– Memorial to victims of communism in Liberec etc.). Between 2011 and 2014 he was a member of the board of Czech Chamber of Architects and a chairman of the Promotion of architecture working group. He has been engaged in revitalization of the Prague riverfront since 2009 and in 2017 he became the main architect of this area.

They develop a wide range of projects, from art (memorials) to a non-traditional exhibition in the National Museum in Prague, underwater observatory in Norway and individual housing projects. They have just finished a significant project of Prague riverfront revitalisation.

They look for authenticity hidden in every task. They always start from scratch, trying to avoid usual architectural cliché and reinvent the core basics in slightly different shades and moods.  Their approach is based on interconnecting physical and metaphysical layers of the project, resonating of form and content and engaging sculptural methods with the conceptual tendencies. They consider initiation of projects to be part of their work, reflecting not only architectural, but also programme, content and social aspects. They do not work with usual inspiration or archetypes. For a long time, they have been using the subliminal method of nomadic thinking, which G. Deleuze and F. Guattari defined with this impressive metaphor:

The nomad “sets out to the desert. He leaves the camp and starts a journey through the lands, watching the movements on sky. In the morning he leaves the territory towards a new land and in the evening, he re-settles each time he unfolds his carpet on it… These movements and processes are expressed by the rhythm of walking, which imprints the landscape in the pilgrim and vice versa. The nomad and the philosopher (and the architect), like all people, keep inside the lands in which they grew up, wandered and dreamed of.”

Their projects are the result of such work; and their interpretations as authors stays mostly hidden giving space to every visitor for their own reading.

João Luís Carrilho da Graça

João Luís Carrilho da Graça. Born in Portalegre (Portugal, 1952), he graduated in Architecture at the Superior School of Fine Arts in Lisbon, in 1977, and since that moment he has run his own office. Between 1977 and 1992, he was an assistant at the Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University of Lisbon and since 2001 he has been a visiting professor in the Architecture Department of the Autonomous University of Lisbon and the University of Évora since 2005. He has developed pedagogical activity In different universities, seminars and conferences around the world.

An important figure in contemporary Portuguese architecture, his numerous works include the Lisbon School of Music, the Information and Documentation Center of the Palace of Belém, the Pavilion of Knowledge of the Seas of the Expo of Lisbon'98 and the Museum of Orient

His work has received numerous international prizes, among them the SECIL Prize of Architecture, by the University of Studies of Communication and Media (1994); The Valmor Prize (1998) and the FAD Prize (1999), for the Pavilion of Knowledge of the Seas in the World Exhibition; The Valmor Prize (2008), by the Music School of Lisbon; The Prize Piranesi of Rome (2010), for the museum of the archaeological zone of the New Castle St. George Square; The Frate-Sole European Prize for Sacred Architecture (2012) by the Church of San Antonio in Porto Alegre, and the AIT Transport Award (2012). In addition to several nominations for the European architectural award "Mies Van der Rohe".

He has also received several awards for his complete work, such as the International Prize for Art Critics (1992), Order of Merit of the Portuguese Republic (1999), the Premio Pessoa (2008), the distinction of Knight of Arts and Letters of The French Republic (2010), the Medal of the French Academy of Architecture (2012) and the recognition of the Royal Institute of British Architects (2015).

Arturo Franco

Arturo Franco. Architect, critic and editor. As a critic and editor, his work has been focused on the exploration of contemporary Latin-American reality as well as intervention in heritage International PhD.

He is a professor of Analysis, theory and critique of architecture at the Polytechnic School of Architecture in Madrid (ETSAM) and has acted as visiting professor at many international universities. He also writes architecture reviews as a critic for ABC newspaper. He directed the Arquitectura COAM magazine (published by the Madrid architects’ association) from 2008 until 2012, and is now the director and editor of rita_ (linked to architecture schools of Spain and Latin-America) and the digital platform redfundamentos.

He boarded at the Real Academia de España (Royal Academy of Spain) in Rome 2013-2014. (AECID), Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Intern in ART_EX 2014-2015 program. AECID. Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

His work has been acknowledged by the Swiss Architecture Awards (2010); the great FAD award of Spain and Portugal (2012); a first prize by the Madrid City Council (2007); the Madrid Architects’ Association (2014, 2011 and 2007); the Galicia Architects’ Association (2002); the Latin-American Biennales of Cadiz (2012) and Rosario (2014); the Spanish Ministry of Public Works (2003); the Natural Stone Awards (2004); the Hispalyt Awards (2007); Arquia Proximas (2008); the FAD Awards (2014, 2012 and 2010); the ENOR Awards (2011 and 2007); the Saloni Awards (2010 and 2008); the Construmat Prize (2011) and the BAM Award (2012). 

Jiří Weinzettl. Atelier 111 architekti

Atelier 111 architekti. Their first collaboration as Atelier 111 dates back to their studies at Faculty of Architecture of Czech Technical University in Prague. Their first success, a special prize in an open architectural competition for treatment of urban space in the city of Tábor in 2002, gave them passion and motivation for further projects. In following years their studio began to expand. Through cooperation with experienced colleagues, they enriched our professional skills. Aside from architectural design of residential, public and industrial buildings, they have been focused on projects of biogas plants since 2006. 

In 2010 they founded the Johann Hochreiter company which soon became one of the most important suppliers of biogas plants in the Czech republic. They were greatly enriched from our experiences gained during construction management of technologically complex power plants, as well as in the implementation of their other projects. They offer our services in the field of project design and related administrative activities, assistance in tender for contractors, cooperation and supervision in implementation of construction

Team. Michal Hamada, Veronika Indrová, Barbora Weinzettlová, Jiří Weinzettl

Benoit Jallon, Umberto Napolitano. LAN Architecture

Benoit Jallon. 18th May 1972 Grenoble (fr). Fascinated by the body’s structure with its logical organisation, layers and strata, Benoit Jallon first turned to medical studies. However, his need for involvement and creativity soon led him to begin studying architecture. He graduated from the Villette School of Architecture in 2001 with a special mention from the jury. Curiosity and a thirst for knowledge have led him to travel widely, particularly in Italy.

Umberto Napolitano. 27th November 1975 Naples (it). Umberto Napolitano began his architectural studies in Italy and completed them in France at the Villette School of Architecture where he graduated in 2001 with a special mention from the jury. He rapidly developed a critical approach to the separation between theory and practice. In parallel with his architectural education, he also worked with a number of architects. His involvement in Franco-American workshops has given his work an international flavour and allowed him to absorb other cultures and skills.

LAN (Local Architecture Network) was created by Benoît Jallon and Umberto Napolitano in 2002. LAN has received several awards: the Nouveaux Albums de la Jeune Architecture (NAJA) prize awarded by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (2004); the International Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum and the European Urban Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies, the Archi-Bau Award, the Special Prize at the 12th World Triennale of Architecture, Sofia (2009); the AR Mipim Future Projects Award and the Europe 40 Under 40 Award (2010). In 2011 the office was awarded at the LEAF Awards with the Best Sustainable Development in Keeping with its Environment prize and at the SAIE Selection Awards.


Ricardo Bak Gordon. Bak Gordon Arquitectos

The studio Bak Gordon Arquitectos was founded in 2002 by Ricardo Bak Gordon (1967). He graduated in 1990 from Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade Técnica de Lisboa. During his studies he also attended Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto and Politecnico di Milano. He was teaching at the Integrated Master Degree (MSc) in Architecture at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Lisbon between 2009 and 2019, and at the Escuela de Arquitectura da Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, between 2017 and 2019.

He was also a Visiting Design Critic between 2015 and 2017 at Harvard GSD, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He lectured (and/or attended as a visiting teacher) at several universities and institutions such as Universidad de Navarra, Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, IUAV di Venezia, and Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona.

His activity as an architect has been developed since 1990, and in the year 2002, he created the studio Bak Gordon Arquitectos, where currently works.

He was the author of the Portugal Pavilion in ExpoZaragoza 2008, the Portugal Pavilion in São Paulo Biennale 2007, and the exhibition project of Lisbon International Architecture Trienal 2007. He has designed, in co-authorship, the new National Coach Museum in Lisbon.

He has built work both in the private and public domain, which stands out as processes in schools, carried out in Portugal and Switzerland.

His work as an architect was present in several exhibitions in Portugal, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Macau, South Korea, and Japan; and was published in prestigious editions of the specialty.

He was a nominee for the Mies van der Rohe Award in 2009, 2011, and 2022; winner of the FAD Prize 2011 (Barcelona, Spain), BIAU Prize 2012 (Cádiz, Spain), CICA Prize BA2015 (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and APCA Prize (São Paulo, Brazil). He was one of Portugal’s representatives at the Venice Biennale in 2010, 2012, and 2018, and in the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial. His work integrates the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) architecture collection.

In 2019, he was awarded a prize by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) for his work as a whole.

In 2021 he was awarded the international prize BIGMAT and in 2022 the Portuguese National Prize for Architecture FORMA.

Marta Peris, Jose Manuel Toral. peris+toral

peris+toral.arquitectes. Founded in 2005 by Marta Peris and Jose Manuel Toral, both graduated from ETSAB, peris+toral.arquitectes is an architecture practice based in Barcelona, which combines its professional activity with the academic one. They are currently working in different projects, both in housing and public space, while working as teachers in the  Faculty of Architecture in Barcelona (ETSAB) and IED.

Their work has been published in architecture books and magazines, nationally and internationally, and exhibited in UIA Tokyo 2011, París 2009 and the Venice Biennal 2000. Theorically, the practice has published articles both in architecture books and magazines, among which Arquitectura COAM,  Ed. Fundamentos and  DC Papers are to highlight. Their work has been recognized with different awards such as AJAC Joves Arquitectes 2011, FAD 2009 award fianlists,  Saloni d’Arquitect award fianlists.

2021  Winner. Premio Europeo di Architettura MATILDE BAFFA UGO RIVOLTA 2021. 85 Viviendas sociales en Cornellà
2021  Gold Award. BEST ARCHITECTS 22. 85 Viviendas sociales en Cornellà
2021  First Prize. Premios MAPEI a la Arquitectura Sostenible 2021. 85 Viviendas sociales en Cornellà
2021  Winner Jury's TOP PICK. BLT Built Design Awards - Social Housing. 85 Viviendas sociales en Cornellà
2021  Winner. THE PLAN AWARD 2021 - Social Housing. 85 Viviendas sociales en Cornellà
2021  Winner Best of best. ARCHITECTURE MASTERPRIZE AMP 2021 - Residential Multi Unit. 85 Viviendas sociales en Cornellà
2021  Winner ex-aequo. Premio CATALUNYA CONSTRUCCIÓ 2021 - Innovació a la construcció. 85 Viviendas sociales en Cornellà
2021  Winner. Premio A+ by DAIKIN  - Vivienda plurifamiliar. 85 Viviendas sociales en Cornellà
2021  Winner. XV Premios NAN Arquitectura y construcción 2021 - Residencial. 85 Viviendas sociales en Cornellà
2021  Winner. Premio de opinión, PREMIO FAD DE ARQUITECTURA. 85 Viviendas sociales en Cornellà
2021  Awarded. Arquitectura y Urbanismo, BEAU XV. 85 Viviendas sociales en Cornellà

Alberto Bottero, Simona Della Rocca. BDR bureau

BDR bureau is a Turin-based architectural firm founded by Alberto Bottero and Simona Della Rocca in 2016. It develops projects ranging from the temporary dimension to the urban research through public and private competitions and assignments. The studio pays particular attention to the architecture of re-use and the re-adaptation of living, work and educational spaces.

BDR bureau’s projects originate through a broad interpretation of the sites and a deep understanding of the context, with the capability of transforming limits into opportunities. Each project experiments with spatial solutions based on the idea of an open, simple and innovative architecture that meet the evolving needs of our times.

The studio has received awards in various international competitions, including: Torino Fa Scuola (2017), Kodrina masterplan (2016), Esporre il Compasso D’oro (2014), YAP MAXXI (2013). Many of its projects have been exhibited at international level (MAXXI, Rome; MoMA, New York; Istanbul Modern, Turkey; Constructo, Santiago of Chile) and published in various magazines.

BDR bureau has also participated in two editions of the La Biennale di Architettura in Venice: in 2016 (Venice Pavilion, with a vision on the future of Porto Marghera) and in 2018 (Italian Pavilion, with a research project on the re-use of the railway yards).

The studio’s work has been extensively featured in magazines and publications, including: Unbuilt Rome, Piccole Utopie/Small Utopias by Fondazione MAXXI, Domus, Dezeen, Il Sole 24 Ore, La Stampa, La Repubblica, Casabella, Living – Corriere della Sera, and many others.

Anna Bach, Eugeni Bach. Anna and Eugeni Bach

Anna & Eugeni Bach is an architecture studio founded in 1999 by Anna Bach and Eugeni Bach. The study operates in a broad spectrum of design, from urban planning and architecture to interior and object design.

Anna Bach, Nummi, Finland, 1973. Architect by the Helsinki University of Technology, 2001. Visitant professor at 'Taller Vertical' in ESARQ UIC, Barcelona, directed by Duncan Lewis (1999). PDI Professor in EINA – Univeristy Center of Design and Art in Barcelona, Universitat Autónoma de Bellaterra, Barcelona (2008 – currently).

Eugeni Bach, Barcelona, Spain 1974. Architect by the ETSAB, UPC, 1999. Visitant professor at 'Taller Vertical' in ESARQ UIC, Barcelona, directed by Duncan Lewis (1999). Proffesor in the Mies van der Rohe Chair, ETSAB UPC, under the direction of David Chipperfield (2001). Projects Proffesor in La Salle School of Architecture, Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona (2005 - currently).

Anna Bach

Anna Bach, Nummi, Finland, 1973. Architect from the Helsinki University of Technology (2001) and Master in Project Theory and Practice from ETSAB, UPC. She is a PDI professor at EINA, Barcelona University Center for Design and Art, UAB. His work has been awarded, among others, with the International FAD Award, the FAD Ephemeral Work Award and the FAD Opinion Award on four occasions, as well as Finalist and Selected in the Spanish Biennial and the Ibero-American Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism, Nominated for the European Architecture Mies van der Rohe and exhibited in venues such as the Cité de l'Architecture in Paris or the Spanish Pavilion at the XV Venice Biennale.


Eugeni Bach, Barcelona, Spain 1974. Architect by the Higher Technical School of Architecture of Barcelona, UPC (1999), Professor of Projects at the ETSAB UPC and the Master EPAI of the ETS Arquitectura La Salle, URL. His work has been awarded, among others, with the International FAD Award, the FAD Award for Ephemeral Work and the FAD of Opinion on four occasions, as well as a Finalist and Selected in the Spanish Biennial and the Ibero-American Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism, Nominated for the Award of European Architecture Mies van der Rohe and exhibited in venues such as the Cité de l'Architecture in Paris or the Spanish Pavilion at the VII and XV Venice Biennale.




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