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The Spanish architects’ office Nieto Sobejano has been awarded the 2015 Alvar Aalto Medal. The office and its founding architects, Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano, received special praise for their in-depth understanding of local culture and the contexts of their design briefs.

The internationally renowned firm, Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, has offices in Madrid and Berlin, and employs some forty people. In business for thirty years, the architects’ office has handled varied assignments, but it specialises in exhibition and museum buildings, and demanding renovations and extensions.

“Nieto and Sobejano were key names in the new wave of Spanish architecture, which emerged in the late 1970s. The roots of their architecture lie in Spain, and its multi-layered history and culture. Their works speak a silent language, proving that the precondition of meaningful architecture is an in-depth understanding of local culture and the context of the design brief,” the medal jury notes in its citation.

The members of the 2015 jury were the architects Rainer Mahlamäki (Finland), Simo Freese (Finland), Wessel de Jonge (the Netherlands) and Dorte Mandrup-Poulsen (Denmark).

The Alvar Aalto Medal, presented every three years, is awarded to an architect or architects’ office with outstanding merit in creative architecture. The medal is awarded for a career, not for one particular building or project. The medal was awarded for the first time in 1967, and the recipient was Alvar Aalto.

The bronze medal was designed by Alvar Aalto. The amphitheatre shape, which forms the basis for the relief figure on the medal, is a recurrent motif in Aalto’s architecture.

The medal committee includes representatives from the Alvar Aalto Foundation, the Finnish Museum of Architecture, the city of Helsinki, the Finnish Society of Architecture, and the Finnish Association of Architects, SAFA.

Alvar Aalto Medal recipients:

1967 Alvar Aalto
1973 Hakon Ahlberg (Sweden)
1978 James Stirling (England)
1982 Jørn Utzon (Denmark)
1985 Tadao Ando (Japan)
1988 Álvaro Siza (Portugal)
1992 Glenn Murcutt (Australia)
1998 Steven Holl (USA)
2003 Rogelio Salmona (Colombia)
2009 Tegnestuen Vandkunsten (Denmark)
2012 Paulo David (Portugal)
2015 Nieto Sobejano (Spain)

More information:
Director Tommi Lindh
tommi.lindh (at)
tel. +358 44 562 1625

Press Images:
Communications Annukka Pakarinen
annukka.pakarinen (a)
tel. +358 50 381 0143