The lucky protégés of the 2016-17 Rolex Arts Initiative have been revealed! Swiss architect Simon Kretz will get to work alongside David Chipperfield as the architecture protégé in the year-long mentorship. The prestigious Rolex Arts Initiative allows rising young artists worldwide to team up with globally esteemed professionals in their respective disciplines in Architecture, Film, Dance, Literature, Visual Arts, Music, and Theatre. Imagine exchanging ideas with figures like Peter Zumthor, Kazuyo Sejima, or Álvaro Siza, who have all been previously appointed as the architecture mentor. David Chipperfield received the mentorship honor last December.
In selecting his protégé, Chipperfield conducted one-on-one interviews with the three finalists, which included Kretz, Luis Callejas of Colombia, and Anna Puigjaner of Spain — who in fact, won the 2016 Wheelwright Prize just last week.
Gaining experience in Zurich-based firms as well as big-name practices like OMA Rotterdam, Kretz co-founded Christina Nater und Simon Kretz Architekten in 2010 and then he became founding partner of Christian Salewski & Simon Kretz Architekten in 2014. Currently, he is a Senior Lecturer at ETH Zurich's Department of Architecture and Department of Engineering.
Chipperfield cited Kretz for his ability to design at various scales and for his interest in designing projects that enhance the urban environment. Throughout the program, Kretz and Chipperfield will collaborate with each other for up to six weeks. Each protégé will receive 25,000 Swiss francs to support his or her participation in the mentorship, and an additional 25,000 Swiss francs for the realization of a new work by the end of the 2016-17 cycle.
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