Lacaton & Vassal wins 2017 BigMat Grand Prize for Architecture

The FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais art center, completed in 2013 by the French architects, follows the office building by Alberto Campo Baeza and the kitchen tower by Xaveer De Geyter as Grand Prize of the biannual award.

The third edition of the BigMat International Architecture Award rewards European architecture with 1 Grand Prize, 6 National Prizes, 6 Category Prizes and one Special Mention for Young Architects. Besides, this third edition, it has been released a new feature that is the Public Prize, in which the Panel of Judges has no say but it is the public who decide the winner.

The awards ceremony took place yesterday, November 24th, at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy, in the presence of the architects competing for the Grand Prize, the members of the international panel of judges and the companies making up the BigMat Group. The selected 14 finalists were chosen from the initial selection of 87 participating teams of architects disclosed last July.

Out of a list of almost 900 projects from 7 European countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Slovakia, Portugal and Spain), the panel of judges chaired by Jesús Aparicio and comprising Xaveer de Geyter (Belgium), Henrieta Moravčíková (Czech Republic + Slovakia), Marc Barani (France), Francesco Isidori (Italy), Paulo David (Portugal + Spain), and awards secretary Jesús Donaire, decided to give the BigMat ’17 International Architecture Award to the French National Fund for Contemporary Arts building ‘FRAC’ in Dunkirk, by French architects Lacaton & Vassal.

The project by the award-winning architects comprises the renovation of a large existing warehouse in the port of Dunkirk, as well as the construction of a new building standing beside it, equal in volume but with a different spatial quality and materials. In words of the architects, “the new building juxtaposes delicately without competing nor fading. The duplication is the attentive response to the identity of the hall. […] Under a light and bioclimatic envelope, a prefabricated and efficient structure allows for free, flexible and evolving platforms, with few constraints, fit to the needs of the program. The transparency of the skin allows to see, as a background vision, the opaque volumes of the artwork archive.”

The whole of the winning projects are listed below:

Grand Prize:

  • BigMat ’17 International Architecture Award Grand Prize (30,000 euros)
    FRAC (Regional Contemporary Artwork Collection) in Dunkirk, France, by Lacaton & Vassal.

National Prizes:

  • BigMat ’17 National Prize in Walloon and Brussels City regions of Belgium (5,000 euros)
    “A Building-Square” in Herstal, Belgium, by Multiple Architecture & Urbanisme.
  • BigMat ’17 National Prize in the Czech Republic (5,000 euros)
    The Prototype Of A House In Posazavi, Czech Republic, by A69 – Architekty
  • BigMat ’17 National Prize in Italy (5,000 euros)
    Law Court Offices In Venice, Italy, by C+S Architects.
  • BigMat ’17 National Prize in Portugal (5,000 euros)
    Abade Pedrosa Municipal Museum in Santo Tirso, Portugal, by Alvaro Siza Vieira + Eduardo Souto De Moura.
  • BigMat ’17 National Prize in Spain (5,000 euros)
    Royal Collections Museum in Madrid, Spain, by Mansilla + Tuñón Architects.
  • BigMat ’17 National Prize in Slovakia (5,000 euros)
    Footbrige Sulin, Slovakia, by Zerozero.

Category Prizes:

  • BigMat ’17 Architecture Category Prize in France (1,500 euros)
    86 Lodgements in Lyon, France, by Éric Lapierre Experience.
  • BigMat ’17 Architecture Category Prize (1,500 euros)
    Public Condenser in Saclay, France, by Muoto Architecture.
  • BigMat ’17 Restoration Category Prize (1,500 euros)
    Arquipélago Contemporary Arts Centre in Ribeira Grande, Portugal, by João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto Lda Menos É Mais.
  • BigMat ’17 City And Landscape Category Prize (1,500 euros)
    House In Alfama in Lisbon, Portugal, by Pedro Matos Gameiro.
  • BigMat ’17 Sustainability And Innovative Use Of Material Category Prize (1,500 euros)
    Factory Of Electrical Assembly in Spain, by José María Sánchez García.
  • BigMat ’17 Restoration Category Prize (1,500 euros)
    Consolidation And Adaptation Of The Ancient Convent Of Santa María De Los Reyes And Its Gardens in Spain, by Mgm, Morales De Giles Arquitectos S.l.p.

Special Prizes:

  • BigMat ’17 Public Prize (1,500 euros)
    Quinta Da Tilia in Ponta Delgada, Portugal by Pedro Mauricio Borges.
  • BigMat ’17 Honorific Mention For Young Architects 
    Black Flying House in Bohemia, Czech Republic, by H3t Architekti.
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