Uruguayan architects Gómez Platero has won the ‘monuments’ category at the 2021 International Architecture Awards with its World Memorial to the Pandemic.
The firm’s design, selected out of 800 entries from 46 countries, consists of a 40m-diameter circle of prefabricated concrete undergirded with Corten steel on a coastal location in Montevideo.
The architect describes it as “a fortress of solitude, remembrance and grief … nestled between the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life and the meditative serenity of the sea”.
Martín Gómez Platero, the lead architect on the project, said: “We started working on the project at the beginning of a pandemic, which we thought would be shorter than it was, and it completely transformed our way of living and working from the very beginning.”
“Teams, used to sharing many hours a day, began to see each other virtually for a few minutes a day. It was then that the idea arose to commission a thought-provoking exercise so that the entire team of designers could work together across the physical distance. They all began to design, first sketching on their own and then working together to optimise the proposal.”
Gómez Platero has previously designed a wide range of projects, ranging from hotels and transport terminals to commercial, residential and industrial building is over 30 cities in 11 countries. Its present schemes include mixed-use buildings in Mexico, Guatemala, Uruguay and Ecuador.
The International Architecture Awards is organised by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design. It recognises new buildings, landscapes and planning projects.