Spain’s Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (MITMA) has named the architect Emilio Tuñón the winner of the 2022 National Award for Architecture.
The National Award for Architecture, which comes with a money prize of 60,000 euros, is given by the ministry following a proposal presented by a jury composed of leading professionals, with Minister Raquel Sánchez as honorary chairperson.
In naming Emilio Tuñón Álvarez for the accolade, the jury gave particular importance to the coherence of his architectural work, which very naturally absorbs his theoretical concerns, his mastery of construction techniques, and his calling to be of service to society, and which can only be understood when regarded from the angle of his rigorous academic career. As a teacher he has managed to create a whole school, combining different generations of architects by virtue of his dedication and generosity.
The jury celebrates and highlights the quality and excellence of a built work – scattered throughout Spain and acclaimed worldwide – which has had a strong social impact thanks to the public component of his projects, most of them the outcome of open competitions.
His capacity to find references in culture – to look into the art world, literature, history, or music for paths with which to define his own professional practice – has been instrumental in bringing about this recognition of the cultural and social impact of his oeuvre.
On the jury sat: Alberto Campo Baeza, Carme Pinós, Blanca Muñoz, Miguel Ángel Alonso del Val, José María Sánchez García, Concha Barrigós, Rocío Pina Isla, Iñaqui Carnicero Alonso-Colmenares, and Marta Callejón Cristóbal.
Emilio Tuñón Álvarez (Madrid, 1958) obtained his architecture degree in 1981 at ETSAM and there pursued a PhD, which he earned with honors in 2000 (Cum laude). He is also a recipient of the Spanish Architecture Prize (2003), the Gold Medal for Merits in the Fine Arts (2014), the Contemporary Architecture European Union Award (2003), the Mies van der Rohe Award (2007), the Spanish Architecture Prize (2017), and the RIBA International Fellowship (2019).
He is a Professor of Design at ETSAM, the architecture school of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and has coordinated both its qualifying master program and its master of advanced architecture theory. He was a guest lecturer at the Städelschule in Frankfurt (1997-98), the Nueva Escuela de Arquitectura of the Escuela Politécnica de Puerto Rico (summer of 2000), and the École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (2005); a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts (2006); and a Jean Labatut visiting professor at the Princeton School of Architecture in Princeton, New Jersey (spring terms of 2008, 2009, and 2010).
In 1990 he and Luis Moreno García-Mansilla set up the architecture firm Mansilla + Tuñón Arquitectos. Together they built the Provincial Museum of Archaeology and Fine Arts of Zamora, the Swimming Center of San Fernando de Henares, el Museum of Fine Arts of Castellón, the Auditorium of León, the Documentation Center of the Community of Madrid, the MUSAC Center of Contemporary Art of Castilla y León, the headquarters of the Fundación Pedro Barrié de la Maza in Vigo, the twin houses in Tarifa, the City Hall of Lalín, the Hotel Atrio Relais Chateaux in Cáceres, and the Royal Collections Museum in Madrid.
Luis Moreno García-Mansilla died in 2012 and Emilio Tuñón opened Tuñón Arquitectos SLP in 2013. Among the works of Tuñón Arquitectos are: the new Arquia Bank headquarters in Madrid, the refurbished Casa Palacio Paredes Saaverdra in Cáceres, the Cottage of stone and recycled tiles in Laguna Negra, the Fundación Helga de Alvear in Cáceres, the Brick House in Madrid, the Stone House in Cáceres, and the Gasrtopavilion at ETH in Zurich.