A history of the doyen of European architectural and interior design awards
In the difficult post-war years, Spain suffered a dearth of both materials and projects and the régime imposed its brash Herrerian taste. A major part of the rationalist architects had been purged or had gone into exile. There were just two schools of architecture in Madrid and Barcelona, each producing around fifteen architects per year.
However, around 1955, a group of young Spanish architects began reintroducing modern and contemporary architecture, doing their best to learn and catch up with the times. Taking up the baton of the old Annual Prizes for Artistic Buildings awarded by Barcelona City Hall, which between 1899 and 1930 had rewarded the architecture and business premises of Barcelona, Fomento de las Artes Decorativas set up in 1958 the FAD Awards for Architecture and Interior Design, promoted by the architect Oriol Bohigas. They sought to recognise the fruits of that incipient contemporary architecture that was to attain such importance worldwide some decades later.
Since then, year after year the FAD Awards have been rewarding the best of Barcelonese, Catalan and Iberian architectural works. They have done so maintaining an independence and constancy, overcoming all kinds of difficulties, achieving the status of the oldest awards in Europe —and arguably the world— and one of the most prestigious.