Student Residence, Coimbra (Portugal)
The student hall of the University of Coimbra, by Manuel and Francisco Aires Mateus, has won the Iber-American Architecture & Engineering Biennial Award, an event first held in 1998 with aims of tightening the bonds between Spain, Portugal and Latin America in the construction field. The distinguished work – an elegant prism where the windows of the rooms hide behind wooden shutters that are aligned with the cladding of the facade – carried the day over eminent figures, Álvaro Siza or Alberto Campo Baeza among others. From a position independent of the Oporto School, these young Lisbon brothers have developed an intense activity in which small residential buildings are interspersed with a large number of educational commissions: besides the awarded project, the rector's office of the University of Lisbon, the Science Faculty of Luanda and the Central Pedagogical Unit in Coimbra represent a rich track record. Consolation prizes went to the cremation unit and temple of ashes in Medellín, by Mejía, Gaviria & Uribe; and the dwellings in Lantejuela (Seville), by Blanca Sánchez.