Throughout the year, architects both established and emerging were awarded with the profession's highest accolades for their notable achievements, whether it was for architectural practice, research, teaching, or expertly juggling all three. In case you missed any of them, Bustler compiled a round-up of our top award-winning architects from the last 12 months, in no particular order. Check out our 2018 list below.
Nicholas Grimshaw, whose well-known work includes the International Terminal at London's Waterloo station and the inflatable, geodesic biomes at the Eden Project, won the Royal Gold Medal recipient for 2019. Awarded yearly by RIBA in recognition of a lifetime's work, it is considered the UK's highest accolade for architecture.
Denise Scott Brown makes our list once again as the 2018 Soane Medal laureate. Awarded by Sir John Soane’s Museum in London, the yearly medal recognizes influential architects that have significantly contributed to the field through their built work, education, history, and theory. Denise Scott Brown was honored for her “ideas and work as architect, planner, urbanist, theorist, writer and educator have had a global influence, transforming thinking about architecture and cities”.
French Pritzker-winning architect Christian de Portzamparc was named this year's Praemium Imperiale honoree in the Architecture category. "His imaginative architectural style is known for its distinctive features such as bold designs, an artistic approach and the creativity that comes from him also as a watercolor painter," reads the Japan Art Association's laureate description of de Portzamparc. "He is especially esteemed as a designer of concert halls and an urban planner."
With 35 years of notable work on buildings, precincts and even street furniture, Australian architect Alec Tzannes received the country's highest honor in architecture for producing work of great distinction and advancing the profession.
“Throughout his working life of over six decades [Yona Friedman] has been uncompromising in rigor and visionary in his thinking,” the 2018 Kiesler Prize jury stated. “He has been enormously influential as a ‘feasible utopian’ architect, urban theorist, designer and teacher. Friedman’s concepts for architecture are closely linked to the dynamics of social structures and to the changing necessities of the users therein.
Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa and American landscape designer Edwina von Gal received the 2018 Isamu Noguchi Award, which is bestowed to individuals whose body of work reflects a spirit of innovation, global consciousness, and a commitment to East/West cultural exchange like that of famed sculptor and designer Isamu Noguchi.
Russian/German architect Sergei Tchoban received the prestigious European award for his "powerful designs and a unique design vision that celebrates the best of modernist buildings that are internationally iconic, complex, enigmatic, provocative, and profoundly artistic."
For its fifth edition, Architectural Record's Women in Architecture Awards recognized the achievements of five American architects who have contributed to women's increasingly visible role in the field: Elizabeth Diller, Lisa Iwamoto, Upali Nanda, Peggy Deamer, and Ellen Dunham-Jones.
Joining a legendary roster of recipients, this year's prize winners included Anya Sirota, Bryony Roberts, and Alison Von Glinow and Lap Chi Kwong, to name a few. The 2018 “Objective” theme challenged entrants “to consider objectivity today as simultaneously elevated and undermined, in an era in which technology, science, and post-truths coexist. How do we define or understand architecture in a post-truth world?”.
Having a background in architecture, art and commercial photographer Benny Chan's photos reveal a unique understanding of space and structure. Earlier this year, Chan received the Julius Shulman Institute's 2018 Photography Excellence Award, which is presented to an early or mid-career artist whose work embodies the legacy of architectural photographer Julius Shulman.
Trained as an architect at London's Architectural Association School of Architecture, Kenneth Frampton received the 2018 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Architecture Biennale this past May. “His experience as a practicing architect has given him a deep understanding of the process of designing and crafting buildings. This makes him both more sympathetic and more critical of the various forms of the practice of architecture,” said 2018 Biennale curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara in their recommendation of Frampton.
Dulière was this year's Wheelwright Prize winner for her proposal “Crafted Images: Material Flows, Techniques, and Uses in Set Design Construction”, a project which aims "to examine construction methods and supply systems in the global film industry”.
Saucier + Perrotte Architectes was honored with the RAIC's highest prize for their timeless, high-quality work. The five-member prize jury described the Montreal practice as “ambassadors for Canadian architecture”.
Elle Gerdeman won the $38,500 Rotch Travelling Scholarship for her proposal “Pixels to Pulp”, in response to the project brief that imagined the consolidation of the Museum of Fine Art, Boston in a single building.
2018 Pritzker laureate Balkrishna Doshi is an architect, urban planner, and educator who has had a major influence in shaping Indian architecture and urban living throughout his 70-year career. “My work is the story of my life, continuously evolving, changing and searching…searching to take away the role of architecture, and look only at life,” says Doshi.
Dream the Combine's “Hide & Seek” took over MoMA PS1's courtyard this past summer after they won the 2018 Young Architects Program competition. "In recent years, Long Island City has become more vertical. With this project, MoMA PS1 will engage horizontally, inviting the neighborhood and our diverse audience to participate in and engage with our programs at eye level,” commented Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 Director and MoMA Chief Curator at Large, when Dream the Combine won the commission this past March.
Back in February, David Adjaye selected Mariam Kamara to be the architecture protegée in this year's Rolex Arts Initiative, which pairs talented, early-career artists to work on a collaborative project with recognized leaders in their respective disciplines. A practicing architect and educator, Kamara is dedicated to designing spaces and buildings that respond to the needs of people in her homeland of Niger and throughout Africa.
French architects Marc Breitman and Nada Breitman-Jakov received the $200,000 Richard H. Driehaus Prize, which honors living architects for their long-term significant contributions to the discipline and whose work has made a positive impact in “keeping with the highest ideals of classical architecture in contemporary society.”
The trailblazing Toshiko Mori was honored with the 2019 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education. “Toshiko is an indefatigable advocate of architecture in the broader halls of academia and a formidable institution builder whose determination, patience, and hard work have earned her the broad respect and admiration in academia at large, in the profession, and wherever she has been called to represent architecture,” wrote Jorge Silvetti (who received the 2018 Topaz Medallion) in his support of Mori’s nomination.
No stranger to prestigious architecture awards, Richard Rogers will be presented with the AIA's 2019 Gold Medal, their highest honor to an individual architect. “[Rogers] is the quintessential builder, committed to mastering the craft and technology of construction, harnessing it towards efficient buildings, and forging an expressive architectural language,” Moshe Safdie wrote in his support of Rogers' nomination. “Before it was fashionable, he was an environmentalist [...]”
Toronto-based architect Luc Bouliane was the recipient of the RAIC 2018 Young Architect Award, which recognizes architects 40 years or younger and intends to inspire other young architects to become licensed and strive for excellence in their work. The jury praised Bouliane for the “strong sculptural qualities” of his work, which draws inspiration from the geology of Northern Ontario where he grew up.
Five up-and-coming architecture practices were selected as winners in the AIANY's biennial 2018 New Practices New York portfolio competition. With the 2018 theme of Consequence, the competition sought architecture firms who “constructively and actively engage with their city, their society, and their context”, present new modes of thinking, and create opportunities for thoughtful architecture — during a time of political, social, economic, and cultural uncertainty.
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