Arquitectura Viva
Friday, February 28, 2020

José María Sánchez García, winner of the BSI Swiss Architectural Award

The Extremaduran José María Sánchez García was announced the winner of the fourth BSI Swiss Architectural Award, a distinction given by the BSI Architectural Foundation, co-sponsored by the Federal Office for Culture in Bern and the Academy of Architecture of the Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano, and organized by the Archive of the Modern in Mendrisio. Previous awardees are the Solano Benítez of Paraguay, Diébédo Francis Kéré of Burkina Faso, and Bijoy Jain’s Studio Mumbai in India. Sánchez García is the first European to receive the prize which, coming with 100,000 Swiss francs, seeks to recognize architects under 50 who have made “a significant contribution to contemporary architecture, in particular by demonstrating environmental awareness and thus helping to improve the quality of life of humandkind.” In the words of Mario Botta, chairman of the BSI Swiss Architectural Award jury, the works presented by José María Sánchez García «are evidences to the maturity of an architect who, though under the age of 40, is able to work with rigour and precision in a wide variety of contexts, from restoring archaeological sites in urban areas to building sports facilities in a striking landscape. His works are both well-measured and powerful at the same time, devoid of formal complacency. He is able to give order and shape to a location while highlighting its specific features. The formal reduction that he creates is accompanied by a great sensitivity in interpreting the site, thereby opening up a rich dialogue. He has won this award among very strong competition coming from a wide range of contexts and styles, which serves to confirm the validity of the selection procedure, based on the nominations provided by the advisors, and the truly international character of this award».

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