Faculty of Communications, Santiago
Álvaro Siza was feted once again with the Secil, one the most prestigious prizes of Portuguese culture, having already received it in 1997 for his meticulous work in the rebuilding of Chiado, after the devastating fire that destroyed this Lisbon quarter. This time the award was for a work carried out in Spain, the faculty of communication sciences in Santiago de Compostela. Situated in the so-called Burg of the Nations – a premise first built to accommodate pilgrims of the Jacobean year 1965 – the new school consists of a large linear volume containing nine amphitheater-shaped classrooms, to which are attached in comb-like manner a library and some sheds fitted out to be film studios, projecting rooms and sets. The volumetric assemblage and the complex geometry that are the Oporto master’s signature unfold in a work which joins other recent contributions to the city, namely the Galician Center of Contemporary Art and the Bonaval Gardens, which in 1997 were distinguished with the Manuel de la Dehesa prize, an award granted within the context of the IV Biennial of Spanish Architecture.