Jury report Euregional Prize for Architecture 2020 By Andrea Prins
The first prize goes to a project located in Maastricht (NL). It was in many ways outstanding; being also the best poetic or dream-like and - at the same time - actual project. The project starts from a master plan for an urban development at the site of an old quarry. The master plan uses the level differences left behind by the exploitation and proposes a linear assemblage of high-rise buildings, accommodating diverse functions. The awarded project, that could be called a “Theatre for Death”, allocates a new version of a cemetery inside one of the towers. It is composed of rooms each evoking a different way of dealing with death and mourning (the cold chamber, the theater, etc.). As these rooms pile up vertically and are interconnected by intricate circulation areas, each individual burial ceremony can be scripted differently along specific rooms, according to a chosen sequence. The jury is astounded by the research that stretches from indigenous rituals to more Western, recent versions of death-related ceremonies. The way these rituals are translated into architecture, demonstrates the acute sensibility of the author and his poetic talent to get hold of death. Moreover, by choosing to position this facility, dedicated to the dead, in the midst of the city, next to housing and other ancillary facilities, the project raises the question of how to spatially merge life and death. Or, how to integrate death into our daily lives, a question that the current sanitary crisis has brought violently to the fore.
The first prize goes to Kurvantai Zaitov - A Ritual theatre (UHasselt)
Jury: Johannes Böttger (chairman), Bart Biermans, Nadia Casabella, Julien Déom, Jan Peter Wingender
Jury secretary: Andrea Prins Heerlen, 21 November 2020
Link EAP Juryrapport: https://schunck.nl/en/architecture-en/eap/eap30/jury/