Aprendiendo de las Cuencas receives the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/ Europa Nostra Awards 2015

The research carried out by Nacho Ruiz Allen and Sara López Arraiza resulted in an exhibition co-produced by LABoral and SabadellHerrero and a publication about the research and the exhibition

Published: Apr 14, 2015
Aprendiendo de las Cuencas  receives  the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/  Europa Nostra Awards 2015

'Aprendiendo de las Cuencas', view of the Exhibition. Photo: LABoral/ Enrique G. Cárdenas

The European Commission and Europa Nostra announce today at noon the awarding of EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards to the project Aprendiendo de las Cuencas, a research carried out by the architects Nacho Ruiz Allen and Sara López Arraiza about the cultural landscape of the Mining Valleys of Asturias. This work resulted in an exhibition produced by LABoral and SabadellHerrero that was showcased in Gijón and Oviedo between September 27, 2013 and February 23, 2014.

The research by Nacho Ruiz Allén and Sara López Arraiza, who also curated the exhibition, resulted in the book Aprendiendo de las Cuencas. Hacia una puesta en valor del Paisaje Cultural de las Cuencas Mineras Asturianas. This work, like the exhibition, offers a new perspective of the cultural landscapes generated as a consequence of the mining activity.  This landscapes have undergone a strong industrialisation process that have altered them in a short period of time. In a few decades, the have gone from being natural valleys with economic and social structures to containing growing urban concentrations of unexpected density. This has resulted in the proliferation of deeply heterodox building models. They feature hybrid architectures, mutant artifacts that, despite being invisible because they are marginalised, now-a-days they can offer very interesting architectural lessons.

The project has received the Award in the Research section and according to the European Commission and Europa Nostra, “The jury was much impressed with this publication focusing on the history of a complex and unorganised landscape. It sets an example for other European regions that have undergone a similar change process as consequence of a fast industrialisation and lack of development planning, followed by a sharp decline. The feeling of a double loss, firstly of an idyllic rural area and, secondly, of a great industrial prosperity is fully reflected in this book with a celebration of the richness of architectural diversity.”

Together with Aprendiendo de las Cuencas, other two Spanish projects have been recognised with this award: The Cathedral of Tarazona and the Salt Valley of Añana, Basque Country, both in the Conservation category.

Information on the exhibition
http://www.laboralcentrodearte.org/es/recursos/exposiciones/cuencas

More information on the 2015 Awards:
Aprendiendo de las Cuencas
:
http://www.europanostra.org/awards/169/

Presentations of each winning project
http://www.europanostra.org/laureates-2015/

Context. The EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards was created in 2002 by the European Commission and Europa Nostra. This award recognises and fosters the best practices in heritage conservation, as well as its management, research, education and communication. Thus, bringing the cultural heritage closer to European citizens and strengthening its recognition as strategic resource for the European society and economy. A total of 415 projects have been awarded in the last 13 years.

Specialist Juries, made up by independent experts from all over Europe assess the nominated projects and choose 30 winners in the four categories: Conservation; research and digitization; dedicated service; education, training and awareness-raising. All the laureates receive a  plaque or trophy.  The Grand Prix laureates also receive €10.000 each.

The awards are presented to the winners at a major public event, which is held each year in a different European city . Olso will host the ceremony of 2015, as part of the European Heritage Congress organised by Europa Nostra in this city (10-14 June). This project is sponsored by the EU programme Creative Europe, the Directorate of Cultural Heritage and the Council of the Arts of Norway(Riksantikvaren), as well as Oslo's City Hall, among many other Norwegian public and private sponsors.

These awards have been supported by the EU Culture programme (2007-2013) and they are currently supported by the Creative Europe programme (2014-2020). Europa Nostra, is the European Federation of NGOs related with Heritage. With its wide paneuropean network of members (organisations and individuals), partners and associated entities from over 40 countries, Europa Nostra represents a rapidly growing citizens’ movement for the safeguarding of Europe’s cultural and natural heritage .  Founded in 1963, Europa Nostra is currently recognised as the most representative and influential heritage organisation in Europe.

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