Prize on Modern Built Heritage

Purpose of the awards

The HERSUS Prize awards best-practices in Europe on sustainability and cultural heritage in architectural and urban design: in academia, professional practice, and institutions. Specifically, HERSUS Prizes deals with the subject of Modern Heritage, defined by UNESCO Modern Heritage Program as “Architecture, Town Planning and Landscape Design of the 19th and 20th Century.”


It is a fact that Humanity has built more during the last 200 years than through the rest of its long history. Despite being an integral part of our environment, this heritage is not well known and valued by society and institutions. This undervalue leads to an inadequate protection, making it vulnerable and in danger of disappearing.


In the frame of this problem of disproportion -not only in terms of geography but also in terms of time- identified by the UNESCO in the World Heritage List, its committee adopted the strategy of working to create a more balanced World Heritage List, promoting a proactive approach of identification and documentation of this absent or less represented heritage. In this context, at the beginning of the 21st Century, UNESCO in collaboration with ICOMOS and DoCoMOMO, started the specific Modern Heritage program as one of those less represented categories on which UNESCO and the member states must work. Twenty years later and on the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, the inclusion of this heritage remains slow and lacks an assessment of its own heritage specificity.


The main objective of HERSUS Prize is to contribute to a greater visibility and awareness regarding Modern Heritage by awarding projects and initiatives that approach Modern Heritage on innovative and sustainable ways.

Final prize

The awarded proposals will be part of both an itinerant exhibition and a catalogue, which will also contribute to reach a broader audience and to leave a trail for further research and action within Modern Heritage.