The ninth annual Spotlight Prize has been awarded to the Finnish firm OOPEAA. The award, given by the Rice Design Alliance—a non-profit program connected to Rice University's School of Architecture—celebrates the work of emerging architects from the U.S. and abroad. Eligible candidates must be within the first 15 years of professional practice as the prize intends to highlight the work of exceptionally gifted architects at an early stage in their architectural careers. Previous winners have included Sou Fujimoto, Anton Garcia Abril, and LA Dallman among others.
This year's recipient, Anssi Lassila, founded OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture in 2004, and gained international recognition for his Kärsämäki Shingle Church. He is known for combining sculptural forms with traditional materials and innovative techniques, which in Finland, often means working with wood, a material Lassila has extensive knowledge of. He has won numerous awards over the years including the Finlandia Prize for Architecture in 2015, the 2016 Canadian Wood Design and Building Award, two American Architecture Prizes and has been shortlisted on occasion for the Mies van der Rohe European Prize.
He will visit Houston later this year to accept the prize and give a lecture on September 6th that is free and open to the public.
Check out more images of his work below!
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