De Krook architects win Pritzker Prize


The Catalan architectural firm that co-designed Ghent’s new library have won one of the world’s most prestigious architecture prizes

‘Emotional and Experiential’

The architects that co-designed De Krook, Ghent’s new library and multimedia centre, have won the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The prestigious award, sometimes referred to as “architecture’s Nobel”, is given annually by the Hyatt Foundation, based in the US city of Chicago.

RCR Arquitectes in Olot, Catalonia, were selected to receive the prize because “their work demonstrates an unyielding commitment to place and its narrative,” said the jury, “to create spaces that are in discourse with their respective contexts.”

This is exactly what Coussée & Goris Architecten, the Ghent firm that worked with RCR to design De Krook, were looking to do with the building. The design mimics “the rhythm of Flemish townhouses, an intricate game of squares and rectangles,” architect Ralf Coussée recently told Flanders Today.

RCR are responsible for many buildings across Europe, including the Soulages Museum in Rodez, France; the Barberí Laboratory in Olot; and the Joan Oliver library, senior centre and gardens in Barcelona.

“Harmonizing materiality with transparency, RCR Arquitectes seek connections between the exterior and interior,” said the Pritzker jury, “resulting in emotional and experiential architecture.”