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INTBAU Spain is a bunch of the International Network of Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU), whose patron and founder is H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. INTBAU Spain already has over 500 members and organizes, supports or promotes a growing number of initiatives, including various awards, competitions, exhibitions, publications, seminars, workshops and projects.

INTBAU Spain was created by Javier Cenicacelaya, Alejandro García Hermida and Pablo Álvarez Funes in 2012 with the aim of generating and expanding a more operational and active network that brings together people and institutions that share INTBAU’s objectives in our country. Since its inception, this network aims not only to develop its own initiatives, but also to serve as a platform for collaboration and information exchange and to contribute to the promotion of other related initiatives organized by its members.

It promotes that traditional building, architecture and urban planning must not only be appropriately documented, studied, disseminated and preserved, but still constitute today an incomparable model for improving current practice in these fields.

Among other initiatives, we can highlight the following:


The National Network of Traditional Building Masters (www.redmaestros.com)

With assistance from the Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute (IPCE) of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, a national directory of best practices in the fields of traditional construction and restoration has been developed. It gathers individuals and companies developing an outstanding work in the various traditional building crafts, looking for those who excel in each region at preserving and maintaining them: redmaestros.com

The implementation of this project has brought many artisans together, in addition to also helping with fostering recognition and respect for these trades amongst the various agents who are responsible for preserving Spain’s heritage, and who can now use and recommend this tool for conducting their own activities.


The Richard H. Driehaus Building Arts Awards (www.premiosdriehausartes.com)

They are awarded in Spain to the main masters in the diverse traditional building crafts, those who have stood out in preserving and keeping them alive.

Traditional building works have been grouped for these awards into four categories, each one of them awarded an annual prize of €10,000 and a commemorative plaque: (1) masonry and stone masonry works, (2) wood works, (3) finishes and other traditional building works, (4) metal and glass works.


Donald Gray Apprenticeship Grants

In order to increase the number of proficient building arts practitioners, the jury of the previous awards selects yearly one of the four awardees to train an apprentice for one year, granting this master support of up to an additional €14,000. In selecting this awardee, the jury will consider the greatest need among the categories and the most likely potential for long-term success. At the same time, the trainee, who will be selected among all possible applicants, will also receive economic support during the trainee’s training. This support will amount to a total of up to € 12,000, also if the agreed results are achieved.


The continuity of traditional crafts are only secured if architects and builders are familiar with the quality and contemporary availability of what these masters can offer, and include them in their own projects and designs, so several initiatives have been implemented to honor and promote architects, builders and institutions both in Spain and Portugal, which through their practice provide a relevant contribution to that field, both in new works or in heritage restoration.


Richard H. Driehaus Architecture Competition

The competition is conducted in two stages:

In the first phase, municipalities throughout Spain are invited to submit possible topics and sites for the competition. An international jury selects the three submissions that best meet the proposed objectives and criteria.

In the second stage of the competition, an international stage in this case, architects from anywhere in the world are encouraged to submit architectural and urban design proposals for any of the three sites that had been selected. A second international jury evaluates the proposals and selects the ones which best meet competition’s criteria, those upholding local architectural traditions, a sense of place, and contributing to make more beautiful, coherent, sustainable and socially integrating towns.

Designs using the materials and building techniques of the region, as well as prioritizing traditional solutions, are encouraged, as it is offering employment opportunities to regional building workers.


Rafael Manzano Prize for New Traditional Architecture

Since in 2012 this 50,000€ prize is mainly aimed to promote traditional architecture in Spain and Portugal as a tool for upgrading contemporary practice, both in the restoration of architecture or urban ensembles and in new works which, based on local traditions, are able to harmoniously draw on the context where they are built.

The Fundação Serra Henriques, the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando and Hispania Nostra collaborate in this initiative and it has the high patronage of His Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic.


Richard H. Driehaus Heritage Preservation Medal

The Driehaus Heritage Preservation Medal is a companion award to the Manzano Prize for New Traditional Architecture. As exemplified by the model of Richard Driehaus, the Medal will recognize entrepreneurs, developers, heads of foundations or other institutions that are making significant contributions to preserve and build upon heritage and architectural traditions in Spain and Portugal.


International Seminars

An International Seminar is yearly held at the Madrid Polytechnic School of Architecture. These conferences bring together renowned personalities of traditional architecture and outstanding building masters, along with an audience made up of students, professors and other professionals, always generating interesting debates.


Traditional Architecture Summer School

A 2-week long Summer School is held annually since 2014 in different cities of Spain and Portugal with the collaboration of diverse Universities and Institutions from all over the world. Participants have the opportunity to exchange ideas and work together with students and faculty of different nationalities in the study of local traditional urbanism, architecture and building details, the creation of a preservation and new traditional building patterns catalogue for the area and the design of upgrade proposals for different public places of the town. Experts in local vernacular architecture and building techniques lecture on diverse related topics, there are trips around to visit some building sites and workshops of local building masters.


Iberian Meetings

INTBAU Spain  collaborates closely with INTBAU Portugal, with which multiple joint initiatives are developed. The Iberian Meetings bring together numerous professionals from multiple nationalities to share various approaches to the theme chosen for each edition, always around traditional building, architecture and urbanism, from the point of view of both its preservation and  its use as a model for the best development of contemporary practice.



Annually, INTBAU Spain, thanks to the support of the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust and in collaboration with the Ministry of Transports, Mobility and Urban Agenda, the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Council of Architecture Institutes of Spain, organizes an exhibition that presents the results of the Richard H. Driehaus Architecture Competition and the Richard H. Driehaus Building Arts Awards. It includes the works of the awarded building masters, the tools they use and videos and pictures of their work and techniques

In addition, it collaborates in the organization of various exhibitions on the results of its different initiatives. They have been exhibited in venues such as the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid or the Casa da Arquitectura in Porto.


Workshops organized by Terrachidia

INTBAU Spain collaborates with the NGO Terrachidia in the Earthen Building and Restoration Workshops organized in Morocco. They work as an immersion in the culture of the Mhamid Oasis. During 10 to 15 days, the restoration of a relevant architectural heritage site is undertaken in collaboration with the local community and always using traditional techniques. Local building masters introduce participants from overseas to techniques such as adobe, rammed earth, earthen finishings or tadelakt. In parallel, the material and intangible heritage that has shaped its landscape for centuries is studied and documented.


Courses organized by the Research Center for Traditional Architecture (CIAT-UPM)

INTBAU Spain collaborates with the Research Center for Traditional Architecture (CIAT) of the Polytechnic University of Madrid. The CIAT carries out research, training and dissemination activities on the values ​​of traditional architecture and construction, the historic city, the cultural landscape and built heritage.


Courses organized by Homo Faber

Homo Faber is a project developed by Francisco Azconegui Morán and Mónica Martín Sisí that has more than thirty years of teaching and professional experience and focuses its work on the restoration and dissemination of traditional building crafts. Its objective is to transmit the good work of the past in order to undertake correct renovations and build new healthy, beautiful and sustainable homes.


Other initiatives with which INTBAU Spain collaborates or has collaborated

INTBAU Spain also supports or contributes to the promotion of many other workshops, seminars and conferences on topics such as heritage restoration, traditional and vernacular architecture, construction with earth and other traditional building techniques and local identity.

Among them, the VerSus, SOSTierra and ResTAPIA congresses, the Vault Workshops in Chiloeches and Guadalajara, and the Gothic Construction Workshops in Madrid could be highlighted.

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