The National Network of Traditional Building Masters, developed by INTBAU with support from the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust, has been awarded the Hispania Nostra Prize and a Special Mention from the Jury of European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards. Launched in 2002 by the European Commission, The Awards promote best practice related to heritage conservation, management, research, education and communication.
The National Network seeks to preserve, enhance and cultivate traditional Spanish building crafts. This important work raises the profile of small companies who find it difficult to compete with larger industries, especially online. Overall, the Network has helped to combat standardised products and techniques across Spain which are foreign to local cultures and economies.
As the title may suggest, this project involved the creation of a National Directory. This has kept the most qualified crafts people and companies from different trades in traditional construction and restoration all in one place. It also helps to structure the network so that people can search by region and area of expertise.
The Directory is public and accessible online at redmaestros.com, so that anyone who has an interest in making use of this service can find it easily. It aims to improve the visibility of practitioners, who often do not have the same marketing facilities or platforms to make themselves known. It also, rather ingeniously, exists as a source which aims to educate visitors on the different crafts, techniques and materials that shape the identity of each region. Indeed, the database is highly informative; it includes information on their methods and the tools so that they can be properly recognised and valued.
Overall, 400 professionals were selected from over 2000 applications. All the necessary information was gathered, and a personal profile was created within the web directory. Importantly, the database does not draw traffic from the artisan’s web pages, but promotes them; acting as a platform which advertises their contact details. Their work is thus made more accessible for the whole society.
This National Network of Traditional Building Masters has been developed by INTBAU, thanks to the support of the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust and the collaboration of the Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute (IPCE) and the Rafael Manzano Prize for New Traditional Architecture.