Catalan firm RCR wins Pritzker Prize, considered architecture’s highest honour

March 2, 2017 05:22 PM | ACN

'RCR' Arquitectes, a studio based in the small village of Olot, 100 kilometres north of Barcelona, has been awarded the 2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize. The three locally-based architects, Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta are the first to share the prize, which is known internationally as architecture’s highest honour. “This is a dream we would have never dared to dream of”, stated Pigem. During its 30-year history, 'RCR Arquitectes' has carried out more than 60 singular projects, mainly in Catalonia but also in France and Belgium. Tom Pritzker, Chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, considered the winners’ work to have “had an impact on the discipline far beyond their immediate area” with projects ranging from public and private spaces to cultural venues and educational institutions. “They’ve demonstrated that unity of material can lend such incredible strength and simplicity to a building,” said Glenn Murcutt, Jury Chair.

Sismògraf Dance Festival breaks new ground with sold-out performances

April 4, 2016 06:40 PM | ACN

The eighth edition of the Sismògraf Olot Dance Festival, held in the Girona region, ended this this Sunday with a record-breaking 150,000 attendees, marking a 25% increase from 2015. The festival was made up of approximately thirty performances, most of them free and performed outdoors; of the eleven shows that were not free of charge, however, all were sold out. Entertaining the audience were 200 professionals, the number of which has also grown by 33% since last year. A quarter of these performers came from outside Catalonia, predominantly from England and Holland. Not only was there a first-time high in terms of attendance and performers, but the festival has also implemented an award, and is for the first time seeing a carry-over of shows related to the festival for the rest of the year.  

Minutes silence observed throughout Catalonia in tribute to Germanwings flight victims, many of them Catalans

March 25, 2015 09:50 PM | ACN

Town halls and the Catalan Parliament, but also private companies, public institutions and a high school related to the victims of the Germanwings aircraft have observed a minutes silence on Wednesday at noon, in tribute to the 150 people killed in the accident in the French Alps. At least 39 of the 51 victims with Spanish nationality were Catalans, although this figure is likely to increase in the coming hours. Many were businesspeople on their way to an agri-food fair in Cologne. Among the victims there was also a group of 16 high school students and 2 teachers from Germany, whom had spent an exchange week in Llinars del Vallès (Greater Barcelona). The high school that hosted them held a homage and mourning tribute. In addition, Barcelona's Liceu Opera Theatre also observed a minutes silence, since baritone Oleg Bryjak and mezzo Maria Radner, and her family, were among the victims.

La Garrotxa: a rough but welcome land

July 19, 2013 12:20 PM | Guido Cengiarotti

The tourist slogan for the north-eastern Catalan county of La Garrotxa is “Rough land” because of the touch of the area’s volcanic clay. Aside from that unappealing logo, La Garrotxa is one of the most interesting tourist zones not only in Catalonia but also in Spain. This volcanic area, the widest in the Iberian Peninsula, has numerous natural, cultural and gastronomic interests. Its privileged location, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees, makes the zone a perfect place for tourism in the heart of the countryside, allowing the visitor to forget about stress and discover unique landscapes, gastronomy, history and folklore.

Walking 100 km to bring water to Sahel

April 22, 2013 07:11 PM | Júlia Manresa

The third edition of the Intermon Oxfam Trailwalker has collected 620,000 euros to improve access to water in Sahel, Africa. The challenge consisted in walking 100 kilometres from the Pyrenees to the Costa Brava in less than 32 hours. 260 teams made up of six people participated, with the only previous requirement of bringing 1,500 euros each for the cause. 187 teams crossed the finish line and records were broken as the first team to arrive, “Kriter.net”, completed the challenge in 9 hours and 45 minutes, faster than any other team in all the Trailwalker events held in 12 different countries.

Catalan cooperative La Fageda awarded for its social integration work

May 11, 2012 09:58 PM | CNA / Laia Vicens

The BBVA bank rewards La Fageda with the 4th Integra Prize for offering quality employment for people with intellectual disabilities and mental disorders. Moreover, La Fageda carries out some care activities, like an occupational therapy service, assisted apartments for the workers, and different leisure activities. Nowadays, of the 287 people who work in La Fageda, 157 have some disability. The Catalan brand is famous for its quality dairy products.

Fired employee shoots and kills 4 people in Olot

December 15, 2010 09:47 PM | CNA / Xavier Pi / Tània Tàpia

In the Northern town of Catalonia, close to Girona, Pere Puig killed his employer and his employer’s son at a bar with a hunting riffle. Puig then left the bar and shot and killed 2 bank employees. The police arrested the man, who immediately confessed to the crimes. Puig had not been paid since May and was scheduled to be fired in the next few days. The Town Council met urgently and declared 3 days of mourning.