THE AUGUSTE PERRET PRIZE FOR TECHNOLOGY IN ARCHITECTURE

 

Named after Honorary UIA President Auguste Perret, renowned for his pioneering use of reinforced concrete and attributed triennially since 1961, the Auguste Perret Prize rewards architecture characterised by technological excellence.  Auguste Perret, born in Ixelles (Belgium) 1874 – 1954, was a French architect and pioneer in the use of reinforced concrete. Something of a maverick in his time, Perret was long denigrated by historians and theorists of the Modern Movement. It was only when the Modern Movement began to flounder that Perret truly emerged as one of the few architects who had anticipated the issues and limits of the Movement. Perret was one of the first architects to understand the potential of reinforced concrete, in the early 1900s.

Throughout his career, he remained partial to this inexpensive, robust material, while also championing principles such as the “unadorned style”, the post-beam-slab structure and the free plan. The coherence of his work, which spans more than half a century, reflects his desire to enshrine modern construction within a new architectural order defined as the School of Structural Classicism. Many perceive his work as a quest to democratise Modernity and improve the Movement’s viability in the long term; an architectural ideal that is best represented by his reconstruction of Le Havre city centre, which had been destroyed during WWII.

 

Past winners of the UIA Auguste Perret Prize have included Thomas Herzog, Shigeru Ban, Sir Norman Foster and Françoise Hélène Jourda.