Winners of Pritzker architecture prize 'dialogue' with nature
Inspired by home nature
The winners' firm, RCR Arquitectes, has completed projects in Belgium, France and as far as Dubai, but the bulk of their work has been in Spain, much of it in Catalonia, a fiercely autonomous region where many want independence.
"Their works range from public and private spaces to cultural venues and educational institutions, and their ability to intensely relate the environment specific to each site is a testament to their process and deep integrity," said Tom Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the prize.
Pigem and Vilalta, who are a couple, graduated from the Valles School of Architecture near Barcelona in 1987. They partnered with Aranda - who was also just out of university - to set up shop in Olot.
"Olot, it's our little world," Vilalta told AFP in 2014 when the Soulages Museum was inaugurated.
Influenced by the modern Barcelona designs that burst into the limelight during the 1992 Olympic Games, they also cite painters like Mark Rothko and Pierre Soulages, and Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida as sources of inspiration.
Japan's traditional architecture has also influenced their work.
Their buildings reflect the simplicity and colors of their region, such as the omnipresent dark steel in their work that calls to mind volcanic rocks.
The prize will be awarded to the three Spaniards in Tokyo on May 20.