TEN YEARS OF BARCELONA ARCHITECTURE
“The Decada prizes were created with the express intention of offering an alternative to so many prizes in which a jury with shared responsibility judges very recent works, many far away and not visited in person, being guided, more often than not, only by photographic documentation. So the essence of the Década prizes consisted of: judging works that were finished ten years earlier, with a single judge, within a restricted area that makes it possible to pay a leisurely personal visit to each of the short-listed works. These awards honour not only the prize-winning buildings and architects but also the judges invited to each edition, all of them international architects whom I admire and respect, and not just for their professional career. I have to note here that four of the ten judges have been honoured by the Pritzker Prize and that two of them have received it after receiving our invitation.
After ten years of existence we have decided to bring this initiative to a close, not only because of the financial difficulties affecting our sponsors and the Foundation itself, but also because we were running out of admired architects whom we could invite. Nonetheless, we are sure that the Década prizes will continue to stand as a lasting testimony to ten years of architecture in Barcelona.”
Oscar Tusquets Blanca
THE FOUR COMMANDMENTS OF THE DECADA PRIZES
1- An architectural work can only be assessed some time after having been built.
Hence, the Década prizes are awarded for works built ten years ago. It’s a question of assessing how a building has aged, but also how relevant to the present a project conceived ten years ago continues to be.
2- An architectural work can be assessed only in its context and by visiting it in person. To facilitate this direct knowledge, the Década prizes are restricted to the municipality of Barcelona, corresponding with the area for which prizes were formerly awarded by the City Council.
3- Any construction may be architecture. The Década prizes do not distinguish between interiors, buildings, restorations or urban spaces.
4- The jury has a single member. A single architect of proven international status will take the decision; personally, free of pressures and commitments. The Oscar Tusquets Blanca Foundation does not select a work; it chooses the architect responsible for the choice.
(Browse through each edition of the prizes by way of the years in red above)