Every two years since 1993, the Spanish Association of Architecture Institutes has given the National Award for Architecture, which has over the years changed in sensibilities but always recognizes exceptional works, buildings that somehow innovate and are exemplary in construction quality.
This surely goes for the 2017 winners: the Royal Collections Museum in Madrid by Emilio Tuñón and Luis Moreno Mansilla, and the Convention Center in Palma de Mallorca by Francisco Mangado (see Arquitectura Viva 183 and 197). Beyond the size, volumetric presence, and also resort to lattice of both buildings, the jury chaired by Jordi Ludevid has known to acknowledge two intelligent ways of engaging in dialogue with urban surroundings. In the museum, topographical difficulties are used as opportunities to turn the mighty, rhythmic elevation into an element with the power to consolidate and reinforce the image of old Madrid’s long slighted and even maltreated western lip. In the case of the convention center, the matter of integrating the huge building along the first line of constructions along the coast was efficiently resolved by means of a strategy based on scale and materials.
There are two honorable mentions: Sala Beckett in Barcelona by Flores i Prats, and the Electrical Assembly Factory in Don Benito (Badajoz) by José María Sánchez García (see Arquitectura Viva 199 and 187).