Other Initiatives

In addition to the Richard H. Driehaus Architecture Competition, INTBAU, thanks to the support of the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust, has developed the following projects, aimed at promoting the contemporary practice of traditional building, architecture and urbanism.

The Rafael Manzano Prize of New Traditional Architecture is mainly aimed to promote in Spain and Portugal traditional architecture as a tool for upgrading the contemporary practice, both in the restoration of architecture or urban ensembles and in new built works which, based on local traditions, are able to harmoniously draw on the context where they are built.

It is organised by INTBAU (the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism), thanks to the support of the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Trust, through a contribution to the Chicago Community Foundation for the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Fund, and the EKABA Foundation, with the collaboration of the Fundação Serra Henriques, the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, the Council of Architecture Institutes of Spain and Hispania Nostra Association, and with the high patronage of His Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic.

This award does not intend to honor the architects whose works best represent the latest architectural trends, or those whose interventions involve avant-garde transformations of our heritage, on the contrary, it is addressed to those architects whose work has contributed to the preservation, continuation and adaptation to contemporary needs of the building, architectural and urban traditions which define the identity of the places where they were built.

The Richard H. Driehaus Building Arts Awards are awarded in Spain to the main masters in the diverse traditional building crafts, those who have stood out in preserving and keeping them alive.

They are annually organized by INTBAU (International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism) thanks to the support of the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust, through a contribution to the Chicago Community Trust for the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Fund and with the collaboration of the Department of Building and Architecture of the Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure, the Department of Beaux Arts and Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, the Rafael Manzano Prize and the Council of Architecture Institutes of Spain.

Traditional building works have been grouped for these awards into four categories, each one of them awarded an annual prize of €10,000 and a commemorative plaque. In order to increase the number of proficient building arts practitioners the jury will select one of the four awardees to train an apprentice for one year, granting this master support of up to an additional €10,000 if the agreed results are achieved. In selecting this awardee the jury will consider the greatest need among the categories and the most likely potential for long-term success. At the same time, the trainee, who will be selected among all possible applicants, will also receive economic support during the trainee’s training. This support will amount to a total of up to € 8,000, also if the agreed results are achieved.

The National Network of Traditional Building Masters  is a national directory of the main masters who still are active. On this platform a great number of these craftsmen can already be located, as well as showcasing their most outstanding works, the techniques they use, and most importantly, their contact details.

The directory makes these crafts more accessible to society as a whole, thus contributing to the knowledge and appreciation of them. In addition, thanks to the visibility that it provides to the masters included in it, it helps their work become increasingly in demand and, with this thus supports the continuation and transmission of their work. No less important, are those architects or technicians who must face the task of restoring a patrimonial property, or new construction, in environments of significant value; the directory will be enable them to locate the best experts with greater facility in order to satisfactorily realize the work.

In both the new traditional architecture, and the restoration of historic buildings, it is generally problematic sourcing the appropriate craftsmen for each piece of work in the region where it is done. Often, the widespread ignorance of these trades adds to the lack of diffusion of small companies, which cannot compete with the advertising presence and accessibility within the large industry; especially on the Internet, where having a good and well positioned webpage is usually out of reach. This encourages the choice of industrial and standardized products and techniques that are foreign to local cultures and economies.

This project aims to help correct that situation by providing those masters with greater visibility on a national level. This project is not conceived as a simple directory of craftsmen in construction, but also a pedagogical database, explaining the different processes of each of these arts in varying geographical regions of Spain. It has been sought that the professionals involved specify their techniques, systems and tools so that they are accessible and can thus be recognized and valued in their right measure, without being confused with vulgar substitutes.