To encourage merit, recognise talent and reward achievements of international consequence, the International Union of Architects (UIA) awards prizes every three years during the UIA World Congress of Architects.
The five UIA prizes are named for the Past Presidents of the UIA whose fame was founded on their ethics as well as on their mastery of their particular discipline. They recognise excellence in five specific architectural domains. The jury conferred the prizes to:
The Patrick Abercrombie Prize for Urban Planning and Design: L'AUC (France)
The jury attributed the prize to French architectural and urban planning firm l’AUC citing the team’s many projects that are reconstructions of existing buildings. “They transform old factories into ecological quarters, think about new types of community interactions and ways of being together. Their project ‘Base aérienne 217’ in Brétigny-sur-Orge reinvents ruined landscapes and includes regional city development, new thinking in city planning and complex possibilities for urban design in the 21st century”.
The jury also awarded an honourable mention to 300.000 Km/s (Spain) whose projects”have a good understanding of cities and give an approach to a number of central cities planning issues that need to be addressed today amid the race against time faced with climate change.”
The Auguste Perret Prize for Technology in Architecture: Philip F. Yuan (China)
The Prize was attributed to Chinese professor and architect Philip F. Yuan for his “ability to expand the boundaries of architecture by using digital technology, 3D printing and robotic construction, and who manages to keep his projects human-centred by taking into consideration local materials and working with the community.”
The Jean Tschumi Prize for Architectural Writing: Anne Beim (Denmark) and Vladimír Šlapeta (Czech Republic)
Above: Anne Beim (Denmark) and below: Vladimír Šlapeta (Czech Republic)
The prize was awarded to two architects. Danish architect Anne Beim was lauded as being an example of a holistic-thinking architect-academic who has made significant contributions through her writings that have influenced architects in Denmark, Scandinavia, and wider Europe.
Czech architect Vladimír Šlapeta, one of the leading theorists and historians with a special focus on the contributions of Central Europe to the history of the Modern Movement, was recognised for his “outstanding contribution to teaching, deanship, through his writings, museum exhibitions, catalogues, and keynotes on the achievements of the Czech avant-garde in an international context and on contemporary European architecture.”
The Robert Matthew Prize for Sustainable and Humane Environments: Hoàng Thúc Hào (Vietnam)
The jury chose to attribute the prize to Hoàng Thúc Hào’s whose projects “emphasise a sense of cohesion and a friendly environment for local people’s lives. His project ‘Worker Village’ reinvents the living standards of workers and encourages communication between neighbours with a shared courtyard and corridor and by inviting inhabitants to tend the gardens.”
The jury also awarded honourable mentions to two architects: Jalal Ahmed (Bangladesh) whose projects are “simple yet impressive projects that engage the people physically in planning new villages” and Song Yehao (China) who has designed “impressive structures for projects conceived for rural areas, which demonstrate innovative features and engage the community in the building process”.
The Vassilis Sgoutas Prize for Implemented Architecture Serving the Impoverished: Marina Tabassum (Bangladesh) and Đoàn Thanh Hà (Vietnam)
Above: Marina Tabassum (Bangladesh) and below: Đoàn Thanh Hà (Vietnam)
The jury awarded the prize to two architects. It was impressed by Marina Tabassum’s interrogation of a specific design problem and her innovation shown in coming up with a practical, technically well-resolved solution which is scalable by the ordinary person. She has made remarkable contributions in creating buildings in line with their natural environments and embracing the design challenges posed by the environment.”
It also lauded Đoàn Thanh Hà for his “impressive body of work which embodies the spirit of the prize. The innovation shown in every project demonstrates the architect’s commitment to creating an architecture which is of its place. This is done through the considered use of local materials, by engagement with local communities and by employing the local skills and craftsmanship within each community.”
Peruvian architect Belen Desmaison received an honourable mention for her engagement with an Amazon rainforest community in creating a sustainable solution to their way of living.
Chaired by UIA President José Luis Cortés, the jury met in Beijing, China, on 27-30 April as well as virtually on 5 May to evaluate the nominations submitted by UIA Member Sections. For each prize, the jury was joined by one of the laureates of previous iterations. The international jury consisted of members of the UIA Bureau and laureates of previous editions.
The UIA will award the Gold Medal and Triennial Prizes during the Prize Ceremony at the UIA World Congress of Architects in Copenhagen, Denmark.
To see all the UIA Triennial Prize Winners, visit the Winners’ Gallery. The images have been submitted by the UIA Member Sections that nominated the laureates. Photo credits should be attributed to each laureate’s architectural firm. The images should only be used in reference to the announcement of the laureates’ respective prizes.
To read the Jury report, click here.