Once again, KALAM participates in the Rafael Manzano International Awards for New Traditional Architecture that have taken place at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid.

Since 2012, this prize has been awarded annually with the intention of diffusing and recognising the relevance of traditional architecture applied both in renovation and restoration works, including in new constructions. Since 2017 and with the support of the Fundaçao Serra Henriques and the Ordem dos Arquitectos, and with the High Patronage of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Portugal, it has been delivered in Spain as well as in the neighbouring country.

In this edition, the Portuguese architects Antonio María Braga and Alberto Castro Nunes were the ones awarded with the prize. In addition to their works, the jury highlighted their commitment to the use of traditional building techniques and materials in order to respect the specific condition of the place.

These include: The Courts of Vila Nova de Foz Cõa, the National Moving Image Archive, the Odrinhas Archaeological Museum (Sintra), the Odrinhas School of Arts and Crafts, the headquarters of the Portuguese Cinemateca in Lisbon, and the Portel Public Library. These are characterized by using materials and classic construction elements to provide firmness, functionality and balance to their works.

The award is promoted and organized by INTBAU (International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism), with the support of The Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust and KALAM through its EKABA Foundation. In addition to the collaboration of Portuguese institutions, they also support the Europa Nostra award and the Real Academia de San Fernando, the venue where the award ceremony is held.

In addition, this year the Richard H. Driehaus Medal for the Preservation of Heritage has been awarded for the first time. The work of Antonio Almagro and Antonio Jiménez over the years has been recognised for their labour in Albarracín. Antonio Almagro began working on the recovery of Albarracín in 1971, through a meditated, sustainable process that respects the urban fabric, its buildings and the traditional techniques used in the area. In 1996, the Albarracín Foundation was created, directed from the very beginning by Antonio Jiménez, who, through reaping the fruits of two workshop schools, bets on the active and practical training of students who collaborate in the very conservation of this population. Both have contributed significantly to the recovery not only material of this historic site but also economic and social, highlighting how it has maintained its demography, something unfortunately infrequent in an interior Spain very threatened by depopulation.

In addition, on the 17 and 18 of October, a series of conferences entitled New Vernacular Architecture was held at the Higher Technical School of Architecture of the Polytechnic University of Madrid. This International Seminar was divided into four sessions around this type of architecture, its place in the contemporary world and the traditional trades of construction, with the participation of relevant voices in this field.

Information on the Rafael Manzano Prize