Spanish Gold Medal for Architecture 2004
Luis Peña Ganchegui
Born in 1926 in Oñate (Guipúzcoa) and graduate from Madrid’s School of Architecture in 1959, Peña Ganchegui is the first Basque to receive the prize of the Spanish Council of Architectural Associations, whose list of awardees includes Alejandro de la Sota, Álvaro Siza or Miguel Fisac. Like many other Basques of the postwar generation, the Guipúzcoa architect turned his love for his native land into the leitmotiv of his professional and academic career, that he continues to date as professor emeritus of San Sebastián’s School of Architecture (founded to a great extent thanks to his efforts) and as member of the studio Peña Ganchegui y Asociados, true to the constructive tradition of the architect. Strongly opposed to modernity and forerunner of a new relationship with vernacular tradition, his oeuvre – aside from some works in Madrid and Barcelona and a house in Riaño (León) – is confined to the Basque Country, and to its capital in particular. In his Plaza del Tenis (1975-1976), prelude to El Peine de los Vientos by Eduardo Chillida, the sea will always be witness to the magic bond between architect and sculptor.