Press Releases


Santa Maria Cathedral invites international architects

01/12/05 Architects
participating in the “International Forum on Architecture and
Society-Cathedrals of the 21st century” include Shigeru
Ban, Carlos Ferrater and Patxi Mangado.

01/12/05 On 14 December
2005 the
Fundación Catedral de Santa María is bringing
prestigious international architects to the
Forum on Architecture and Society-Cathedrals of the 21st
organized with the collaboration of the Alava branch of the
Basque-Navarre Official School of Architecture, which is 75 years old
this year. This gathering is part of the “Encuentros con la
Catedral” (“Encounters with the
Cathedral”) programme
and will take place in the Europa Congress Hall from 17:00 to 21:30.

The forum will feature such architects as Shigueru Ban, World
Architecture Award Winner (2001) for the Japanese Pavilion at Expo 2000
in Hanover (Germany); Carlos Ferrater, National Architecture Award
Winner (2001); and Patxi Mangado, FAD Architecture Award Winner (2004)
for the Navarra Congress Hall and Auditorium. The debates will be
presented and chaired by the journalist Javier Rioyo, director and
presenter of the programme Estravagario on the La2 channel of
Televisión Española.

The prime objective of the forum is to reflect on the role of
contemporary architecture in today´s society, from the twin
perspectives of city planning, on the one hand, and its symbolic value
in differentiating communities or territories on the other hand. To a
large extent the great symbols of modern architecture are the
cathedrals of the 21st century.

Recovering the old ideal of placing architecture at the service of
society is one of the prime requirements of a profession that cannot be
allowed to develop away from the changing needs of the contemporary
world. In everyday situations, such as housing or workspaces, but also
in the most extreme, such as wars or natural disasters, it is evident
that one of the major goals of contemporary architecture is to detect
these social needs before they even occur, and to dovetail its
development with collective requirements.

The Fundación Catedral Santa María has organised
forum at a time of great vitality in the architecture of
Firstly, the restoration of the Cathedral de Santa María has
converted Alava into a reference point for the restoration and
conservation of architectural heritage. Secondly, major local, national
and international architects are participating in public and private
projects. Finally, Vitoria-Gasteiz is witnessing possibly the most
significant urban and structural development in its long history in
relation to the size of its population. In this light, there is a high
likelihood that this forum will convert the capital of Alava into a
stable and permanent home to current and future architectural debate.

The “International Forum on Architecture and
of the 21st century” is open to professionals and
general public alike. Everyone is free to sign up via
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or by phoning 945 255 135.