Whether through practice, scholarly research, teaching, or expertly juggling all three, these architects have had quite the year winning accolades, awards, and praises for their various achievements. As the year winds down, Bustler has put together a round-up of our top award-winning architects from the past year, in no particular order. Check out our 2017 list below.
Adam, who is the founder of ADAM Architecture as well as the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism, was named as the 15th Driehaus Prize laureate this year. Announced by the University of Notre Dame, the award honors a living architect for their long-term significant contributions in the field of contemporary vernacular and classical architecture.
The Architects' Journal announced the extremely deserving Denise Scott Brown as the 2017 recipient of the Jane Drew Prize, a lifetime achievement that recognizes an architect who, through their work, helped raise the profile of women in architecture. The awarding was, in part, a result of a grassroots effort to see Scott Brown recognized equally for her role in the work produced by Venturi Scott Brown, who was awarded the discipline’s highest honor, the Pritzker Prize, in 1991 while Scott Brown was snubbed.
This year's Pritzker Prize was quite the surprise. Presented to the three founders of RCR Arquitectes, it was the first time since the Prize's beginning that the award has gone to three individuals, one of whom is only the third female winner of the prize ever. Adding to the shock, the Catalonian trio had also been excluded from most experts' short lists of potential winners, who largely saw Sir David Adjaye as the 2017 frontrunner.
Sister publications The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal chose Gabriela Carrillo of Taller Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo as their Architect of the Year in the 2017 Women in Architecture Awards. The award, which recognizes design excellence in a built project completed during that year, was given to Carrillo for her Criminal Courts for Oral trials project in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán.
Women in architecture had a comparatively good year in 2017, racking up many of the field's biggest awards. For instance, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects were announced as the 2017 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture, the University of Virginia's highest external honor with previous winners such as Cecil Balmond and Toyo Ito.
2017 has been a great year for Diébédo Francis Kéré. Beyond designing this year's Serpentine Pavilion, the Berlin-based architect from Burkina Faso was honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters as their Brunner Prize recipient and he was named the Prince Claus Laureate for 2017.
The Harvard University Graduate School of Design awarded its coveted 2017 Wheelwright Prize to Samuel Bravo for his proposal “Projectless: Architecture of Informal Settlements," in which the Chilean architect will travel to Bangladesh, Nepal, and India as well as urban areas in Africa and the Amazon basin to study traditional and informal settlements. Check out our interview with Bravo on our sister site Archinect to find out more about his research plans.
The Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture awarded their top prize, the Design Excellence award, to Thomas Heatherwick this year. Recognizing individuals who display innovative and exceptional work, it is one of the highest awards that can be achieved in the field of architectural computing.
This year was kind to the Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, who was selected as the recipient of the first-ever architecture medalist for the Japan Art Association's 2017 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award—not too bad!
Toyo Ito was awarded the UIA's 2017 Gold Medal, the highest honor awarded to a living architect nominated by their peers; The Japan Institute of Architects had selected Ito, who beat out 46 other nominations for the top prize, as their nominee.
Regarded for her poetic approaches to architecture, French architect Manuelle Gautrand was named as this year's laureate of the European Prize for Architecture, awarded jointly by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design. Her Alesia Cinemas Theater project in Paris was also recognized this year with an AAP Award in 'Recreational Architecture.'
Chinese architect Zhang Ke of ZAO/standardarchitecture in Beijing was the recipient of this year's prestigious Alvar Aalto medal, which chose to focus on up-and-coming young architects for the foundation's 50th anniversary.
Gang had a busy 2017 with her massive Summer Block Party installation "Hive,"collaboration with performance artist Nick Cave, and her firm's selection as one of the seven exhibitors for the U.S. Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale. She has also been duly awarded. This year, the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning named her as the recipient of their Marcus Prize for Architecture and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada picked her as one of their honorary fellows.
Much to the delight of literally everyone, Neave Brown received RIBA's lifetime achievement award, the Royal Gold Medal. With the UK experiencing a great housing crisis, the revived interest in Brown's work, who was best known for his social housing projects, could not be more timely.
Shigeru Ban was selected as one of the winners of the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice for his continuous efforts in disaster relief and temporary structures that have provided shelter in the aftermath of natural disasters in places like Rwanda, Turkey, India, China, Haiti and Japan. Additionally, his Aspen Art Museum received an AIA Honors Award, one of the profession's highest recognitions.
The AIA bestowed its honorable 2018 Gold Medal this year to architect James Stewart Polshek, partner emeritus of Ennead Architects. The award distinguishes an individual architect or pair of architects for their lasting influence and significant contributions to the field.
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