AHI Architectural Heritage Intervention

“Contributing to enhancing our heritage, as the way forward for 21 st Century architecture is our raison d’être; to emphasize a diverse, rich vision that necessarily complements the intervention is our mission, and achieving it with reflexive and purposeful efforts is the challenge”.

This project, founded in, and directed since, 2011 by Ramon Calonge, Oriol Cusidó, Marc Manzano and Jordi Portal, architects and members of the Group of Architects for the Defence and Intervention in Architectural Heritage (AADIPA), has, through the years become a platform that includes four actions that are both independent and transversal.
The European Award, a biennial event that brings together and showcases the multiple approaches of intervention in Europe.

The International Biennial, a framework that serves to compare and gain closer insight of quality interventions in architectural heritage in non-European countries.

The digital Archive, a live and open window that provides a panoramic view of interventions in the history of our surroundings.

The Forum, a meeting place where you can participate in on-going debates about the main preoccupations and lines of thought about interventions in architectural heritage in Europe.

Jury Veredict 2021

Jury Veredict 2021

01 July 2021

Barcelona, 16 June 2021

Gathered here today at the headquarters of the Association of Architects of Catalonia (Plaça Nova, 5, Barcelona) are the juries of the four categories of the European Award for Architectural Heritage Intervention, composed of the following members:

Category A (Intervention in Built Heritage)
António Jorge Fontes. Architect. Portugal
David Lorente. Architect. Spain
Marco Antonio Garcés. Architect. Spain
Category B (Exterior Spaces)
Delphine Péters. Architect, Belgium*
Olga Felip. Architect. Spain*
Isabel Aguirre. Architect. Spain
Category C (Urban Planning)
Sascha Wienecke. Architect. Germany*
Sebastià Jornet. Architect. Spain*
Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea. Architect. Spain
Category D (Disclosure)
Peter Cachola. Architect. Germany
Laida Memba. Architect. Spain
Joan Olona. Architect. Spain
Furthermore, the Belgian architect Francis Metzger, together with the members of the management team of the Award —Ramon Calonge, Oriol Cusidó, Marc Manzano and Jordi Portal—, will act as the jury in the selection of the Special Mention for Restoration.
 *The jury members Delphine Péters, Sascha Wienecke, Olga Felip and Sebastià Jornet are participating remotely.
During the month of May, the juries of the four categories studied, evaluated and analysed the documentation of the 294 submitted entries (202 in Category A, 49 in Category B, 14 in Category C and 29 in Category D), in accordance with the criteria listed in the terms and conditions of the Award.
On the basis of this initial evaluation, in categories A and B the jury met online to draw up shortlists of 16 and ten works, respectively, which were announced on 20 May 2021. The finalists and winners of both categories will be decided today. Meanwhile, in categories C and D, the finalists are the entries that have obtained the highest score in accordance with the categories and points listed in the terms and conditions of the Award. The classification of this initial evaluation does not determine the winners.
In Award categories A, B and D, due to the large number and high quality of the entries, the jury has decided to select five finalists (including the winner). Meanwhile, in Category C, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Award, four finalists have been selected. As far as the Special Mention for Restoration is concerned, given the high quality of the interventions and the broad spectrum of opinions and criteria, two winners have been selected.
In Category A (Intervention in Built Heritage), following initial deliberations, the jury shortlisted the following 16 entries:
In Category B (Exterior Spaces), following initial deliberations, the jury shortlisted the following ten entries:
In Category A (Intervention in Built Heritage), after carefully analysing and discussing the 16 shortlisted works, the jury has decided to declare the following five entries as finalists: 

Having analysed the 202 entries in this category, the jury wishes to place on record the high standard of many of the entries and the difficulties involved in identifying the best ones, given the striking differences between programmes, conditioning factors, clients, etc. After an intense debate, it has identified five projects which embody and represent different ways of undertaking heritage intervention, standing out from the rest:
First of all, the Brasserie Gallia, by Maxime Jansens Architecture and Erwan Bonduelle Architecture, is a project that stands out among a group of works that represent the domestic sphere. It combines an architecture that is humble, frugal, sober, reversible and ingenious with an informed approach to sustainability. As a result, it is capable of balancing energy needs and availability through the use and activity of the site.
The Hotel Nomad intervention project, by Buchner Bründler Architekten stands out among a group of works that highlight the difficulties involved in working in the business sector. Taking an interesting original building from the 1950s, the intervention preserves its core values, restoring those that were hidden and adding those that were necessary. Although the result may appear to be a new creation, the project has used the same material, spatial and lighting attributes that were perceived in the original work.

Meanwhile, the Helsinki Olympic Stadium, by k2s architects and Arkkitehdit NRT, has also managed —through architectural restoration— to reclaim a symbol of the country’s collective memory. By means of a technically rigorous solution and the discrete architecture of the extension, which is subordinate to the whole, the project succeeds in consolidating the best values that the historical process of the building has gradually acquired over time; not only the original values but also all the historical phases.

The BIC Monastery of San Pedro de Eslonza, by Rodríguez Valbuena Arquitectos, stands out among the works that intervene in archaeological heritage. By means of highly controlled, minimal interventions, it succeeds in restoring the historical interpretation of the ruins of a monastery. The work carried out on the ground consolidates the spaces, while through the incorporation of structural shoring elements, the life of the ruin is consolidated. Furthermore, it has managed not to conclude the process, pointing precisely and intelligently to future phases.

Meanwhile, the jury states that its decision to select the project of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts (KMSKA) in the city of Antwerp, Belgium, by the KAAN Architecten firm, is based on its evaluation of two particular aspects: on the one hand, the fact that the complexity and large scale of the project have not impeded the firm from resolving the modernisation of the building in a unitary, respectful manner; and, on the other hand, that the need to incorporate new volumes has not altered the exterior and interior perception of the museum, while adapting to and fitting in with the new needs. Furthermore, although the project redefines the museum as a whole, the perception and authenticity of the building have not been altered, despite the contrast between areas. In fact, in some of the areas, the utmost respect is shown towards the existing elements, while in other areas the new additions coexist harmoniously with the existing elements.

In Category B (Exterior spaces), after carefully analysing and discussing the ten shortlisted works, the jury has decided to declare the following entries as finalists:
The jury wishes to place on record that its selection of the finalists and the winning project from the ten shortlisted entries has been based on the following criteria: respect for the pre-existing elements of the site where the intervention has taken place, the choice of suitable materials in respect of the site, the attention to detail in defining the project, and the capacity to integrate social uses in the chosen solution.

In Category C (Urban Planning), the following entries have been declared as finalists:
005C_Urban planning favours heritage (Vic City Council)
009_Study of the urban landscape of the La Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample neighbourhood. (Sara Bartumeus, Anna Renau, Rosa Escala)
013_Special Urban Plan for the walled village Mas de Bondia (Territoris xlm)
014C_Preliminary study for the restoration of the Canal de la Infanta and Rec Vell (Old Irrigation Canal) (Eva Jiménez Gómez, Xavier Llobet i Ribeiro, Ferran Sagarra i Trias)

The jury has distinguished these projects for their rigorous study of the intervention spaces and for having a very energetic and social vision of planning; a cross-cutting vision that lends itself strongly to the materiality of the settings. The chosen finalists are divided between those which involve more comprehensive work, encompassing both the study and the normative proposals, and those which go deeper into the analysis and study of the setting. They are all of an extremely high standard.

In Category D (Disclosure), the following finalists were chosen: 
  • 007D_Two Houses (Verena von Beckerath)
  • 012D_DOCOMOMO Iberian Records: documentation and dissemination of the Modern Movement (Iberian DOCOMOMO Foundation)
  • 016D_Good practices in volunteering for European Cultural Heritage (European Heritage Volunteers)
  • 020D_Industrial Heritage of Tbilisi (MUA)
  • 023_Re-Edificatoria (Adrià Goula)

The jury states that it has considered it necessary to detect different ways of appreciating heritage, which innovatively succeed in preserving it and which incorporate the criterion of reaching a broader public in their dissemination strategy. That is how some aspects of heritage reveal themselves to us in ways that go beyond architecture itself and the transfer of their knowledge.

Having reviewed and re-examined the aforementioned selection of finalists, the jury hereby decides on the winner in each of the four categories of the Award. The jury of each category issues the following verdict:
In Category A the jury has decided to declare the following entry as the winner:
172A. Royal Museum of Fine Arts, KMSKA(KAAN Architecten
In Category B the jury declares the following entry as the winner: 
Of the five finalists, the most outstanding entry is the Plaza de la Sinagoga (Synagogue Square) project in Onda, Castellón (Spain), by El fabricante de espheras, Grupo Aranea and Cel-Ras Arquitectura, an intervention in an 11th- and 12th-century archaeological heritage site listed as an asset of cultural interest since 1967. This project, carried out at a very run-down site, successfully showcases the remains that have been found —ancient Arab palaces or the ruins of a Christian church—, showing their historical urban importance while managing to adapt the site as a meeting space. Another outstanding aspect of the project is its solution for integrating the different levels, restoring old walls and creating shady areas by playing with the light generated by the large metal structure in the centre that connects the upper level. Meanwhile, the strategic planting of trees softens the materiality of the constructed elements, generating welcoming areas for relaxation, while the austere lines and materials are naturally integrated in the urban setting. The result is an archaeological site that has become a living, modern space.

In Category C the jury declares the following entry as the winner:
009_ Study of the urban landscape of the La Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample neighbourhood (Sara Bartumeus, Anna Renau, Rosa Escala)

The jury has decided that the award goes to the Study of the urban landscape of the La Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample neighbourhood in Barcelona, by the architects Sara Bartumeus, Anna Renau and Rosa Escala. This project stands out for the singularity and sensitivity shown in the approach to a historical space, attaching importance not so much to physical buildings but rather to their negative, to collective memory and to the relations generated around the gaps and the landscapes created there. The study applies a rigorous methodology in order to address the quality of the urban landscape of this part of the city, in which social values are intertwined with the significance of singular emergences acting as condensers of activity, over a territory with an evolved urban isotropy, paying special attention to the porosity of a fabric with a high urban compactness.

In Category D the jury declares the following entry as the winner:
007D_Two Houses (Verena von Beckerath)

The winning entry is Two Houses, by Verena von Beckerath. The jury has rewarded the idea of showcasing a piece of history, of how a group of Japanese architects who studied at the Bauhaus in the 1920s later transmitted in their own country the architectural knowledge they had acquired, and how their students, in the 21st century, receive and make their own a heritage that goes beyond architecture itself.
That is why this methodology should be acknowledged with an award as an example of how heritage should be transmitted.

 Special Mention for Restoration
The Award management has incorporated the Special Mention for Restoration, which from all the submitted entries goes to the intervention which, from a technical and methodological perspective, has stood out most for its quality, precision and respect.

044A_Casa Batlló (Xavier Villanueva, Ignasi Villanueva, Mireia Bosch and Ana Atance)
065A_Tower of the Church of Santa María Magdalena (Pedro Rodríguez Cantalapiedra)

Having carefully analysed all the entries in all the categories, in this edition it has been decided to give this award to two projects whose programmes share the characteristic of offering an accessible, restored space that respects the identity of the work. The first entry, the Casa Batlló project, by Xavier Villanueva, Ignasi Villanueva, Mireia Bosch and Ana Atance, offers a technically high-quality and respectful restoration that enables the resurgence of an initial project that had partially disappeared, successfully reclaiming an altered work. The second project is the Restoration of the Tower of the Church of Santa María Magdalena in Matapozuelos (Valladolid), by Pedro Rodríguez Cantalapiedra. This intervention, which is also of an extremely high technical standard, enables an interior part of the building to be revealed by means of an ascent to the tower that offers a new use: the enjoyment of the unparalleled panoramic view of the setting. In short, this work exemplifies how the techniques, rigour and methodology involved in a restoration project can be more easily appreciated if the programme enables the general public to imbue the place with life.

The deliberations having concluded at 19:30, the present minutes have been read out and unanimously approved. Those present are thanked for their attendance and the session is ended.