Jeanne Gang was recently named as Architect of the Year, making her one of the latest winners in the Architectural Review's 2016 Women in Architecture Awards. Taking place in time for Women's History Month, the awards program recognizes pioneering female practitioners for design excellence and longtime commitment to sustainability and positive impact to local communities.
Known for creating bold and sustainably-minded designs like the Aqua Tower, Gang won the jury's favor for her Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership project at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. Shortlisted nominees this year included Kazuyo Sejima and Tatiana Bilbao.
"The 2016 Architect of the Year award celebrates Studio Gang’s novel tri-axial Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College, Michigan. The first building purposed for social justice, Gang’s democratic and participatory design process involved the organization, students and public who now work from the Center. The visually open design — which is activated by natural daylight — encourages transparency and convening in new configurations.
The handicraft of the wood masonry used for the building’s exterior is highly sustainable and had not previously been used in the modern commercial arena. A low-tech and relatively inexpensive process, it stands apart from the move in architecture to lean on high-tech materials and 3-D printing. Moreover, the wood walls sequester more carbon than was released in building them, responding to today’s need to reduce carbon pollution."
So far, other Women in Architecture Awardees this year include Serpentine Galleries director Julia Peyton-Jones (Ada Louise Huxtable Prize); architect Odile Decq (Jane Drew Prize); and architect Gabriela Etchegaray, who recently won the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture.
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