The “DNA of national architecture” as the prize is named, was developed as a golden opportunity to show the current reality of the discipline. This was the spirit felt at the awards ceremony held last August at the Great Hall of the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism of the University of Buenos Aires (FADU-UBA). During the ceremony, Architect Adolfo Mondejar, among many present, showed that the value of the award was to “examine the architecture of the provinces in the interior of the country in order to find very well crafted works” thus defining a new national architecture while giving many professionals the rare opportunity to compete nationally.
However the ARQ Awards also had its international stage when the panels exhibiting all finalist works was displayed at the Argentine pavilion of the XII International Architecture Biennial in Venice.
As mentioned in my last post, the first prize went to the Puerto Roldán House, designed by the studio of Maite Caballero and Gerardo Fernandez. The studio’s Santa Fé chapter also won the Minor Scale Award last year. This work, as discussed in the pages of ARQ, is not limited to the needs of architectural programs, but also for advancing a discourse of architecture, and urban issues currently affecting the state of Argentine cities.
As always, awards can miss lots of things and leave very interesting and important works neglected, or as I mentioned in a previous post, completely miss the point by awarding works that oppose the current paradigms of our work as Architects. If you consider the winning work of this edition: an individual house in a gated community on the outskirts of a city, proposing it as the example of good Architecture in Argentina is completely miss all the development of the architect’s profession in this country and worldwide.
Is this type of award an opportunity to further discuss architecture in Argentina and worldwide? Or is it an opportunity to award works that do not actually reflect the “best” of what Architects can do?
Credits: Data and images linked to sources.