The Harvard University Graduate School of Design announced Singapore-based American architect Erik L’Heureux as the recipient of the 2015 Wheelwright Prize. Hosted by Harvard GSD since 1935, the prestigious $100K travel grant became an open competition in 2013, thus allowing any individual early career architect from anywhere on the globe to send a competitive application.
Selected from three finalists, L'Heureux's winning proposal, "Hot and Wet: The Equatorial City and the Architectures of Atmosphere", examines traditional and modern building strategies in five dense cities in the equatorial zone -- a timely topic when rapid urbanization and climate change are on the rise. The prize will fund L’Heureux’s travel-based research over the next two years.
Read more about L'Heureux and some of his works below.
"Born in Jamestown, Rhode Island, Erik L’Heureux received his B.A. in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis in 1996 and his MArch from Princeton University in 2000. He went on to work for several architecture firms in New York, including Perkins + Will, GW Architects, and Agrest and Gandelsonas, and taught at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union.
After stints as a visiting fellow and lecturer at the School of Design and Environment at the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2003 and 2004, he decided to move to Singapore fulltime in 2007. In 2011 and 2012, he co-organized an international overseas architecture program between Washington University, the National University of Singapore, and Tongji University, researching the cities of Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore. He has received a Teaching Excellence award from NUS every year since 2008."
"'Hot and Wet: The Equatorial City and the Architectures of Atmosphere' focuses on the architecture of five dense cities in the equatorial zone: Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Pondicherry, India; Lagos, Nigeria; and São Paulo, Brazil. L'Heureux will examine traditional and modern building strategies that mediate extreme climate conditions while also addressing the mounting pressures of rapid urbanization and climate change."
"The 2015 Wheelwright Prize Jury— K. Michael Hays (Jury Chair), Craig Evan Barton, Preston Scott Cohen, Sarah Herda, and Elisa Silva—praised L’Heureux’s accomplishments as an architect, educator, and author, as well as his research project which will study 'modes of atmospheric calibration at the urban scale,' and architecture’s historic and potential response to a range of atmospheres (hot, wet, humid, breezy, artificial, hermetic, and more) while taking into account related social, political, and environmental concerns."
"His practice, Pencil Office, has realized an assortment of projects, including residences, restaurants, offices, and commercial and retail spaces, primarily in Southeast Asia. His project, a Simple Factory Building (completed in 2012), a 10,625-square-foot structure wrapped in a geometrically sophisticated sun-shielding veil, earned top honors in the 2013 World architecture Festival (WaF) Category Design award. He is also the recipient of the Futurarc Green Leadership architecture Merit Award (2013), AIA New York City Design Merit award (2012), and two AIA New York State Design awards (2007 and 2009). He has received the Teaching Excellence award from NUS every year from 2008 to 2013."
"In addition to teaching and practice, L’Heureux is an active writer and curator. He co-curated and designed the exhibition 1,000 Singapores: a Model of the Compact City for the Singapore pavilion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale (2010), which was recognized with the 2011 president’s Design award from Singapore. recently, he redesigned the exhibition for the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris, where it will appear from June to September 2015. His work and writings have been widely published and he isa contributing editor to Architectural Review Asia Pacific. His book 'Deep Veils', about building enclosures in tropical climates, was released last year by ORO Editions."
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