José Cruz Ovalle receives the Spirit of Nature Architecture Award 2008

16 September 2008

José Cruz Ovalle receives the Spirit of Nature Architecture Award 2008

The wood architecture award amounting to 40,000 euros is given by the Wood in Culture Association during a gala event in Lahti tomorrow.
According to the President of the Jury of the Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award, Professor and Architect, Mr Matti Rautiola, the basic themes throughout all Cruz Ovalle’s production are sensitivity and poetry, but at the same time also rationality.
“A building by José Cruz Ovalle creates an environment where the architecture simultaneously introduces an amicable microclimate, a flowing symphony of spaces, carefully considered material solutions and a place for encounters,” says Rautiola.
The Award is granted for architectural merit to individuals or groups who have shown a skilled and creative use of wood in their work. The jury notes that wood plays a central role in Cruz Ovalle’s architecture.
Even in buildings made of stone, most surfaces that can be touched consist of beautiful wood. In addition to his own home, he has designed several excellent examples of structural wood architecture, including facilities for a timber company and for several wineries.
’The structural use of wood contains an expressive strength that takes it beyond the indispensable basic solution and transforms it into poetry of technical perfection,” notes the jury.

Wood material affords freedom
The freedom afforded by wood as material has encouraged José Cruz Ovalle to use it in both large and small projects. ’The material shows its splendour from the very day a column rises up or a beam is put in place. One can no longer differentiate between the structural work and the finishing,” Cruz Ovalle says.

José Cruz Ovalle was born in 1948 in Santiago de Chile. He began his architectural studies in 1968 at the Catholic University of Chile (Universidad Católica de Chile).