RCR Arquitectes, a creative architecture studio founded in Olot in 1988 by Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta, has been recognized with national and international awards. Most recently, the 2017 Pritzker Prize. Since 2008 they have had their headquarters at Espai Barberí, a former an art foundry.
Rafael Aranda (1961), Carme Pigem (1962) and Ramon Vilalta (1960) attribute their early success to a first prize victory in a 1988 competition, in which they designed a lighthouse in Punta Aldea by reflecting on the essence of the typology. To date, they have participated in important exhibitions including the III Salon International de l’Architecture in Paris in 1990; the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2016; MoMA’s On-Site: New Architecture in Spain, New York, 2006; Global Ends at Toto Gallery MA in Tokyo, 2010; and RCR Arquitectes. Creativitat compartida in Barcelona, 2015, Madrid, 2016, and Donosti, 2017. Since 1989, Aranda, Pigem and Vilalta have served as consulting architects for the Natural Park in the Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa. They taught urban planning, landscape architecture and design studio courses at the Vallès School of Architecture (ETSAV) from 1989-2001, and they have served individually as jury members for degree projects at ETSAV and the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB). In 2012, they began an international summer workshop at their studio in the Barberí Laboratory. In 2013 they created the RCR BUNKA Foundation to support architecture, landscape, arts and culture throughout society.
They have been awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2017; the Médaille d’Or from the French Academy of Architecture 2015; they have been named Officier and Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government 2014 and 2008; International Fellows by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 2012; Honorary Fellows by the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) 2010; and they are recipients of the National Culture Award for Architecture 2005 granted by the Catalan government (Generalitat de Catalunya).