2017 prize Water, architecture and the town

Water, today a precious and strategic resource, has long been present in towns and cities in the form of rivers and canals, lakes and fountains. A presence giving rise to works of architecture and public spaces… to watermills and bridges, to reservoirs and aqueducts, to pools and fountains, to supply systems and distribution networks. Water is also intimately linked to parks and gardens, the inspiration for landscaping and an entire architecture that highlights its presence (waterfalls, grottos, ponds, etc.)

Many towns are also linked directly to the shores of seas, oceans and large lakes, giving rise to a variety of architecture associated with leisure resorts and maritime activities (quays, warehouses, dockyards and slipways).

Today, growing ecological awareness and the fight against waste has placed water back on the agenda. Towns are opening up old canals that had been filled in and, more generally, architecture and landscape projects include requirements in favour of recycling water.

The 2017 EUROPEAN PRIZE will reward architecture, urban projects, and developments closely linked to water and its uses. This could, for example, be the highlighting of existing or new constructions (mills, reservoirs, dockyards, warehouses, engineering works), the creation of new neighbourhoods or improvements in which water is a notable feature, the reopening of urban canals and improvement of quaysides and banks, or exemplary and original projects for recovering and reusing rainwater and runoff water.

A special prize will be awarded to one or several imaginative projects on the theme of "water and the landscape, architecture and the town." The scale, subject, programme and location of these projects is for each participant to decide.




Lauréline Tissot
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European Prize of Architecture Philippe Rotthier

Established in 1982 by the architect Philippe Rotthier, this triennial prize rewards works of collective and cultural value with regional roots and using natural and sustainable materials that draw on the genius of the European town and a dialogue with the past and with history.

The prize-winning works are selected by juries composed of leading European figures and have included the writers Adrien Goetz and Françoise Lalande, the journalists Sergio Frau and Katia Pecnik, the designer Matali Crasset, the historians Bruno Foucart, Charles Jencks and David Watkin, the artist Bernard Métais, and the architects Anna Heringer, Christian Biecher, Ben Bolgar, André Jacqmain, Léon Krier, Michael Lycoudis, Dimitri Porphyrios, Paolo Portoghesi, Rudy Ricciotti and Oscar Tusquets.

Juries, chaired by Maurice Culot, have often chosen to select sometimes little known works and to recognise original approaches, such as those by François Spoerry and his lacustrine architecture, by Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil for his mosques and Eusebio Leal Spengler for the restoration of the city of Havana or by the film-maker Emir Kusturica for his Küstendorf village in Serbia. Owns and institutions have also been awarded the Philippe Rotthier Prize, including Bayonne, Le Plessis-Robinson and Val d’Europe in France, Palermo in Italy, Poundbury in the United Kingdom, Dresden in Allemagne, and the Äkroken campus in Sweden.

Philippe Rotthier, Prize founder

Maison à Santa Eularia (Ibiza)


Philippe Rotthier was born in 1941. After qualifying as an architect, in 1964 from the École de la Cambre in Brussels, Philippe Rotthier worked with the architect André Jacqmain and in 1967 was a founding member of the Atelier d’Architecture de Genval. In 1973, he settled on the island of Ibiza where he built and renovated 80 houses in the vernacular style. His method of architectural design and production have been the subject of a number of publications (Ibiza. Le Palais Paysan, 1984; Maisons sur l’île d’Ibiza, 1990; Architectures Arquitecturas Ibiza, 1997; XXX à Ibiza, 2003).

In 1982 he founded the European Prize for the Reconstruction of the City and in 1986 the  Fondation pour l’Architecture in Brussels.

In 1985 he founded the Talles d’Estudis de l’Hàbitat Pitiú in San José that works to protect the traditional Ibiza habitat.

Since 2006 he has divided his time between Ibiza, Brussels and Polynesia where, on a  motu on the island of Tahaa, he built his own home using local materials.

In 2011, he founded the Architecture Museum – La Loge in Brussels, dedicated to contemporary creation.