Gómez Platero’s Inspiring, Sensorial ‘World Memorial to the Pandemic’ Among Esteemed Winners at 2021 International Architecture Awards

The sustainable urban design and architectural firm’s sleek, arresting symbol for global unity takes home the “Monument” prize at the prestigious, 16th annual awards show

In what is an ultimate testament to the stirring, thought-provoking experience it is intended to provide, renowned urban design and architectural firm Gómez Platero’s “World Memorial to the Pandemic” has fittingly earned top honors in the “Monuments” category at the 2021 International Architecture Awards.

Organized by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, the International Architecture Awards annually recognizes the best, most significant new buildings, landscape architecture, and planning projects designed and/or built by the world’s leading architects, landscape architects, and urban planners. With its inclusion in the 16th annual awards show’s winners list, the “World Memorial to the Pandemic” has landed in very exclusive company, as it was among the honorees selected from a shortlist of over 800 entries from 46 countries.

Soon to be situated in an isolated yet inviting and panoramic portion of the Montevideo, Uruguay, coastline, the sleek, circular, and expansive structure was designed as a symbol of global unity and deep love for humanity. Measuring 40m in diameter at its base, the World Memorial to the Pandemic will serve as its own fortress of solitude, remembrance, grief, and reflection during the most trying of times.

As both a timely and timeless structure, the World Memorial will welcome visitors from around the globe to an arresting sensory experience, one that serves as a bridge firmly nestled between the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life and the meditative serenity of the sea. The monument also reflects Gómez Platero’s consistent eco-conscious approach to urban design and architecture. Not only will it be made from materials including the highly durable, low-maintenance Corten steel, but a high percentage of the structure is designed to be pre-assembled in the workshop for on-site assembly, in turn minimizing the impact on the natural environment.

Gómez Platero’s visionary Director and Lead Architect Martín Gómez Platero recalls the painstaking process of conceptualizing the World Memorial, one that heavily relied on adaptability, collaboration, and ingenuity. “We started working on the project at the beginning of a pandemic, which we thought would be shorter than it was, and it completely transformed our way of living and working from the very beginning,” he says. “Teams, used to sharing many hours a day, began to see each other virtually for a few minutes a day. It was then that the idea arose to commission a thought-provoking exercise so that the entire team of designers could work together across the physical distance: the design of the first large-scale memorial to the pandemic. They all began to design, first sketching on their own and then working together to optimize the proposal chosen as the finalist.” According to Platero, the project connected his team in a way that went far beyond the objectives that were set, resulting in a highly rewarding working experience.

Since it was first announced in fall 2020, the World Memorial to the Pandemic has garnered worldwide press attention and praise, earning feature coverage in highly regarded design and architecture publications including ICON, ION Architecture, designboom, Dezeen, Surface, and Archinect. Now as one of the winners at the prestigious 2021 International Architecture Awards, Gómez Platero’s World Memorial has proven even more valuable and fulfilling.

“It is an immense joy to receive this International Architecture Award,” Platero states. “Beyond the prestige of this award program for construction, landscape architecture and urban planning, which moves us greatly, to be acknowledged for a project such as the Memorial, which is so close to the hearts of all our collaborators, is especially significant for us. Projects like this bring us closer to our mission of making the world the best place to live, and the fact that they are being celebrated is a sign that we are on the right track. Awards like this revitalize us and motivate us to work harder every day to create better projects, better cities and, ultimately, a better future for everyone.”

The International Architecture Award further reinforces Gómez Platero as a premier Latin American urban design and architecture firm, one that has already been bestowed many honors including the Architectural Aesthetic Trends Award at the Latin American Real Estate Tech Summit, a LADI Award for Best Mixed-Use Project, and an Award for the Best Masterplan from BR Magazine.

With work ranging from hotels and transport terminals, to commercial, residential buildings, and industrial parks that spans over thirty cities in eleven countries, Gómez Platero, which itself is headquartered in the innovation hub of Montevideo, has made an indelible mark in architecture and design and played a pivotal role in championing the concept of “urbanism.”

Along with the World Memorial to the Pandemic monument, the firm continues its hard work with several projects lined up across Latin America including mixed-use buildings in Mexico, Guatemala, and in its native Uruguay, as well as a planned community in Ecuador.

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About Gómez Platero:

Gómez Platero is an award-winning global architecture and urban planning firm that seeks to improve the quality of life on Earth through sustainable architecture, specializing in hotels, corporate and residential buildings, commercial and sports centers, transport terminals, mixed-use complexes, and industrial parks. The Gómez Platero team is comprised of renowned architects and engineers as well as experts in technical engineering, landscaping, sustainability, and graphic design. They have offices in Guayaquil, México City, and Bogota as well as their headquarters in Montevideo and have created spaces across Latin America, including Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Mexico. Gómez Platero is dedicated to Making Earth the Best Place to Live.