Eduardo Souto de Moura (born 25 July 1952), the Portuguese architect that won the 2011 Pritzker Prize, is known for designs that are formally simple yet serious and at times, dramatic, created through his thoughtful use of colors and materials. His architecture is both versatile and consistent, contextual yet universal, and rarely affected by current trends or styles.
Born in Porto, Souto de Moura enrolled at the School of Fine Arts in Porto, studying sculpture and later transferring to architecture at the University of Porto—a decision he credits to a meeting with the artist Donald Judd. While still a student, Souto de Moura interned in the studio of Álvaro Siza, where he worked for five years until starting his own practice in 1980, following Siza’s advice. Although his early career included mostly private homes, as his career has progressed Souto de Moura has been commissioned for larger public buildings, including the Braga Municipal Stadium (2004), the Burgo Tower (2007), and the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego (2008).
Souto de Moura has been described as “neo-Miesian,” something he addressed in an interview with El Croquis by saying “I find Mies increasingly fascinating… There is a way of reading him which is just to regard him as a minimalist. But he always oscillated between classicism and neoplasticism… He was already so modern he was ‘post.'” This tension can also be seen in Souto de Moura’s work, as he balances materiality and minimalism, plastic form-making and abstraction.
In 2011, he was awarded the Pritzker Prize; the jury praised Souto de Moura for “his unique capacity to embrace reality while employing abstraction,” noting that Souto de Moura’s architectural language “transforms physicality into the metaphysical.”
See all of Eduardo Souto de Moura’s work featured on ArchDaily via the thumbnails below, and further coverage via the links beneath those: