The Rafael Manzano Prize of New Traditional Architecture is mainly aimed to promote in Spain and Portugal traditional architecture as a tool for upgrading the contemporary practice, both in the restoration of architecture or urban ensembles and in new built works which, based on local traditions, are able to harmoniously draw on the context where they are built.
This award does not intend to honor the architects whose works best represent the latest architectural trends, or those whose interventions involve avant-garde transformations of our heritage. On the contrary, it is addressed to those architects whose work has contributed to the preservation, continuation and adaptation to contemporary needs of the building, architectural and urban traditions which define the identity of the places where they were built.
Thus, they are practitioners who, instead of seeking notoriety and novelty through their works, play an important role which is not sufficiently honored because the results, often remain unnoticed, precisely due to their evident continuity with the past.
This award is trying to rectify this situation in both countries, honoring those who have been developing this kind of work, and helping to promote a better practice in the preservation works of our architectural and landscape heritage, while its particular traditional identity is more threatened than ever because of the progressive homogenization it is suffering.
The winner is awarded a €50,000 prize and a commemorative plaque, thanks to the generosity of the American philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus.
OIt is organised by INTBAU (the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism), thanks to the support of the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Trust, through a contribution to the Chicago Community Foundation for the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Fund, with the collaboration of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, the Fundação Serra Henriques, the Council of Architecture Institutes of Spain and Hispania Nostra and with the high patronage of His Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic.
It was first awarded in 2012 in a ceremony held at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (Madrid), where it has been held each year since then. In 2017, thanks to the collaboration of the Fundação Serra Henriques and the Ordem dos Arquitectos, and with the high patronage of His Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic, the prize was extended to Portugal, being granted to practitioners in either of the two countries.