Established in 1982 by the architect Philippe Rotthier, this triennial prize rewards works of collective and cultural value with regional roots and using natural and sustainable materials that draw on the genius of the European town and a dialogue with the past and with history.
The prize-winning works are selected by juries composed of leading European figures and have included the writers Adrien Goetz and Françoise Lalande, the journalists Sergio Frau and Katia Pecnik, the designer Matali Crasset, the historians Bruno Foucart, Charles Jencks and David Watkin, the artist Bernard Métais, and the architects Anna Heringer, Christian Biecher, Ben Bolgar, André Jacqmain, Léon Krier, Michael Lycoudis, Dimitri Porphyrios, Paolo Portoghesi, Rudy Ricciotti, Oscar Tusquets and Roland Castro.
Juries, chaired by Maurice Culot, have often chosen to select sometimes little known works and to recognise original approaches, such as those by François Spoerry and his lacustrine architecture, by Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil for his mosques and Eusebio Leal Spengler for the restoration of the city of Havana or by the film-maker Emir Kusturica for his Küstendorf village in Serbia. Owns and institutions have also been awarded the Philippe Rotthier Prize, including Bayonne, Le Plessis-Robinson and Val d’Europe in France, Palermo in Italy, Poundbury in the United Kingdom, Dresden in Allemagne, and the Äkroken campus in Sweden.
Philippe Rotthier was born in 1941. After qualifying as an architect, in 1964 from the École de la Cambre in Brussels, Philippe Rotthier worked with the architect André Jacqmain and in 1967 was a founding member of the Atelier d’Architecture de Genval. In 1973, he settled on the island of Ibiza where he built and renovated 80 houses in the vernacular style. His method of architectural design and production have been the subject of a number of publications (Ibiza. Le Palais Paysan, 1984; Maisons sur l’île d’Ibiza, 1990; Architectures Arquitecturas Ibiza, 1997; XXX à Ibiza, 2003).
In 1982 he founded the European Prize for the Reconstruction of the City and in 1986 the Fondation pour l’Architecture in Brussels.
In 1985 he founded the Talles d’Estudis de l’Hàbitat Pitiús in San José that works to protect the traditional Ibiza habitat.
In 2011, he founded the Architecture Museum – La Loge in Brussels, dedicated to contemporary creation.
Since 2006 he has divided his time between Ibiza, Brussels and Polynesia where, on a motu on the island of Tahaa, he built his own home using local materials.