The 2010 winner of the Driehaus Prize—the traditionalist’s answer to the Pritzker Prize—is Rafael Manzano Martos. The 73-year-old Spanish architect’s practice has focused on historic restoration, primarily in southern Spain, in and around Seville and Córdoba. Many of the structures he has worked on date to the Moorish occupation of the country during the eighth through the 15th centuries, including the excavations of the City of the Caliphs in Medina Azahara, in Córdoba. (Click here to see an online gallery of Manzano Martos’ work.)
As the ninth Driehaus laureate, Manzano Martos is the first recipient to be honored for work that is primarily restoration rather than new construction. The Islamic flavor to Manzano Martos’ work continues a theme set by last year’s award, which was given to Egyptian architect Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil.
Although the Driehaus often is considered something of a rearguard antidote to the better established Pritzker Prize—whose winner may get more prestige but receives only half of the Driehaus’ $200,000 honorarium—both Midwest-based programs are decidedly international in scope: Three of nine Driehaus winners have been American-born; for the Pritzker, the number is seven of 33.
The award will be formally presented at a March ceremony in Chicago. The 2010 Henry Hope Reed Award will be given at the same time to architectural historian Vincent Scully.