To say the least, 2016 was one hell of a year for many people. Gratefully, the world is still full of inspiring folks, including talented architects and designers, who ceaselessly work hard toward a better future. The last 12 months on Bustler flashed by with a multitude of memorable structures brought to life from renowned and emerging practices alike. And several of those projects won accolades in some of architecture's most prestigious award competitions like RIBA's Stirling Prize or their very first International Prize, the Fuller Challenge, the Curry Stone Design Prize, and the Aga Khan Awards.
Bustler put together a round-up of our top award-winning projects from the past year, in no particular order. Check out our 2016 list below.
The IIT College of Architecture bestowed their second biennial Mies Crown Hall Architecture Prize to SANAA's meandering Grace Farms community center in New Canaan. The prize distinguishes the best architecture in the Americas.
Robert Konieczny/KWK Promes' National Museum in Szczecin won the coveted 2016 World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival, which took place in Berlin. Jury chair David Chipperfield described the museum as an “optimistic, poetic and imaginative” ode to the history of its location.
Over at the World Architecture Festival's just-as-competitive INSIDE interior design competition crowned the Black Cant System retail store as World Interior of the Year. Shanwei Weng and Jiadie Yuan of Hangzhou AN Interior Design created the chic, monochromatic interior for fashion label Heike.
Initiatives like the Rainforest Solutions Project show that compromise is attainable despite multiple clashing perspectives. The Project coalition spent nearly two decades developing a sophisticated legal and policy framework to tackle the persisting struggle over Canada's treasured Great Bear Rainforest, while negotiating the conflicting interests of multiple groups.
Designed byMexico City-based Escobedo Soliz Studio, the colorful“Weaving the Courtyard” installation brightened up the outdoor courtyard of MoMA PS1 this past summer. The site-specific intervention is uses the courtyard’s concrete walls “to generate both sky and landscape [...] suggesting the appearance of a unique topography."
After RIBA announced the shortlist piece by piece, the Murphy House was revealed as the 2016 House of the Year. Designed by architect Richard Murphy as his own personal residence, the Murphy House's interior consists of five levels, with hidden spaces and a quirky “Wallace and Gromit”-like jigsaw element of moving pieces and disappearing walls that charmed the jury.
Caruso St John was the lucky recipient of the RIBA Stirling Prize for their Damien Hirst's Newport Street Gallery. The Gallery won over a competitive shortlist that included WilkinsonEyre's revamped Weston Library at the University of Oxford and Loyn & Co's Outhouse.
The Shanghai Tower seemed to be a favorite for many a jury in architecture competitions this year. The designers of the staggeringly tall skyscraper scooped prizes in the CTBUH Tall Building Awards and the American Architecture Prize, and the tower was in a shortlisted photograph in the Arcaid Photography Awards. Among the other accolades the tower received this year alone, a monumental win for the project was the prestigious Emporis Skyscraper Award.
RIBA awarded its inaugural International Prize to the vertical Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) campus building in Peru.Open to architects worldwide, the Prize is RIBA's own recognition award for “civil architecture that empowers people and societies to innovate and to progress”.
The RIBA International Award committee thought the 30 longlisted projects were of such stellar quality that they decided to award a (not-so-distinctly-named) RIBA International Prize for Excellence to 21 projects, which would, of course, include a project by Zaha Hadid: the Jockey Club Innovation Tower.
BD magazine's yearly Carbuncle Cup singles out the worst new building in Britain, and the competition never fails to spark debate. This year's Carbuncle jury picked the new Lincoln Plaza in London for its dizzying melange of materials and patterns.
The triennial Aga Khan Awards for Architecture honor outstanding projects — including the Bait ur Rouf Mosque in Dhaka and the Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge in Tehran — that successfully addressed the needs and aspirations of its surroundings communities, especially where Muslims have a significant presence.
Throughout the Venice Biennale exhibition grounds, 63 countries showcased their unique architectural responses to the 2016 theme “Reporting from the Front”. After jury evaluations, Spain scored the Golden Lion for Best National Participation with “Unfinished”. Other winning participant exhibitions included those by Japan, Peru, Gabinete de Arquitectura, NLÉ, and Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo.
Projects designed by Moshe Safdie, Marlon Blackwell, and Bruce Mau were among the winners in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards. First launched at The White House in 2000, the awards distinguish innovation and public impact across 11 design disciplines.
Non-profit group SPARC was honored with the Curry Stone Design Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in social impact design, for their 30 years of advocating for the housing rights of India's urban poor — whether by lobbying for new housing laws or providing access to necessities like sanitation and savings strategies.
Be on the lookout for more of Bustler's 2016 year-end lists!
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