Royal Academy Architecture Prize 2020
For three years, the Royal Academy Architecture Prize has been awarded to an individual whose work inspires and instructs the discussion, collection or production of architecture in the broadest sense.
Winner: Cristina Iglesias
The winner of this year’s Royal Academy architecture prize – Cristina Iglesias – invites us to look, not just at buildings, but at the spaces between them.
With cities home to more and more people, generous public space is increasingly necessary for reflection and respite. Iglesias’s works exist in dialogue with the buildings around them, but go further in inviting their audiences – city dwellers – to contemplate their surroundings through the introduction of running water and naturalistic imagery reminiscent of fallen leaves.
Works by Cristina Iglesias
She has had the opportunity to work with some of the most important architects of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, creating sympathetic works that reward sustained reflection.
At the Centro Botin, her work Desde lo Suberraneo (2017) circles Renzo Piano’s dramatic 2017 building. In Toledo, she takes on a dramatically different context with Tres Aguas (2014) sitting within a reclaimed water tower, a convent and the town hall square respectively. And in Madrid, Threshold-Entrance (2006-7) establishes a new dynamic between public space and the interior of the Prado Museum.
These interventions are representative of a body of work that is carefully and compellingly reshaping the way city inhabitants experience their urban environments. Her work inspires new ways for thinking about architecture, wherever they emerge.