New National Coach Museum, Lisbon - Portugal
Located in the Ajuda / Belém waterfront, in Lisbon, the New National Coach Museum is part of an initiative to promote cultural tourism in this area of the city, with a great historical value tied to its role in the age of the discoveries. For the first time, it will be possible to display a significant portion of the Portuguese coach collection (the largest in the world). The National Coach Museum has a collection that is considered unique because of the artistic variety of the magnificent ceremonial vehicles from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries that allows the visitors to understand the technical and artistic evolution of the means of transport used by the European courts until the appearance of the automobile.
The building was designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha, in association with architect Bak Gordon and engineer Rui Furtado's Afaconsult group.
Structurally speaking, the exhibitions pavilion concentrates its loads on fourteen pillars, on which four braced metallic trusses rest. The adjacent building is composed of a concrete framework which contains three independent prisms, covered by a metallic grid that lets natural light make its way into the building.
Paulo Mendes da Rocha (born October 25, 1928 in Vitória) is a Brazilian architect, honoured with the Mies van der Rohe Prize (2000) and the Pritzker Prize (2006). Paulo attended the Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie College of Architecture, graduating in 1954. Working almost exclusively in Brazil, Mendes da Rocha has been producing buildings since 1957, many of them built in concrete, a method some call "Brazilian Brutalism", arguably allowing buildings to be constructed cheaply and quickly. He has contributed many notable cultural buildings to São Paulo and is widely credited as enhancing and revitalizing the city. He was Professor at the Architecture College of University of São Paulo, known as FAU-USP, until 1998.
In announcing the jury’s choice, Thomas J. Pritzker, president of The Hyatt Foundation, said, “Mendes da Rocha has shown a deep understanding of space and scale through the great variety of buildings he has designed, from private residences, housing complexes, a church, museums and sports stadia to urban plans for public space. While few of his buildings were realized outside of Brazil, the lessons to be learned from his work, both as a practicing architect and a teacher, are universal.”
The 2006 Pritzker Architecture Prize Jury Citation refers: “…His signature concrete materials and intelligent, yet remarkably straight forward construction methods create powerful and expressive, internationally-recognized buildings. There is no doubt that the raw materials he uses in achieving monumental results have had influences the world over.
He has also proven his mastery of restoration and renovation, reaffirming his understanding and respect for his country’s legacy and his own belief in the relevancy of the architecture of our time. Mendes da Rocha looks at history as it relates to the future. He has dedicated himself to a search for a synthesis of design and form that is as beautiful as it is technically perfect.
In his own words, his definition of architecture is “…the transformation of nature, a total fusion of science, art and technology in a sublime statement of human dignity and intelligence through the settlements we build for ourselves…”
For additional information: http://www.pritzkerprize.com/laureates/2006