2020 was an interesting year, to say the least. While a pandemic, social, and political unrest impacted nations worldwide architects and designers pushed through and continued to create memorable projects. From winning competition entries, academic research, or prestigious honors based on leadership and service this year helped produce amazing works.
In no particular order, our Bustler editorial team has compiled a list of highlights featuring award-winning architects and projects from 2020.
Yasmeen Lari, Pakistan's first-ever female architect, was named the 2020 recipient of the Jane Drew Prize, the Architects' Journal announced. The 79-year-old Lari was honored with the lifetime achievement prize for raising the profile of women practicing in architecture and design through her work.
Established in 1972, the award is named in honor of civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr. The AIA explains the award is presented to an individual or organization that "embodies social responsibility and actively addresses a relevant issue, such as affordable housing, inclusiveness, or universal access." The AIA announced Sablan as the recipient of the 2021 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award.
Widely regarded as architecture's highest recognition, the 2020 Pritzker Prize has been awarded to Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Dublin-based practice Grafton Architects. Farrell and McNamara are the 47th laureates of this prestigious honor and follow the most recent prize winners Arata Isozaki from Japan (2019), India's Balkrishna Doshi (2018), and Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta of Spain-based RCR Arquitectes (2017).
RIBA announced this morning that London-based architect David Adjaye has been selected to receive the UK’s highest recognition for architecture, the Royal Gold Medal. "It’s incredibly humbling and a great honor to have my peers recognize the work I have developed with my team and its contribution to the field over the past 25 years," Adjaye responded to the news.
The American Institute of Architects has named architect, educator, and sustainability pioneer Edward Mazria as the 2021 recipient of the AIA Gold Medal. In addition, the AIA Board of Directors today also honored Moody Nolan with the 2021 AIA Architecture Firm Award.
The Architecture Review and The Architect's Journal announce this year's winners for the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture and the winner for the MJ Long Prize for Excellence in Practice. The W Awards, formerly known as the Women in Architecture Awards, celebrate the commitment, talent, leadership, and outstanding work of women in architecture.
This year the Harvard University Graduate School of Design has awarded its coveted Wheelwright Prize to Daniel Fernández Pascual. The $100,000 fellowship funds travel-based research to support and investigate contemporary architecture and design. Fernández Pascual won the 2020 Prize for his research proposal: Being Shellfish: The Architecture of Intertidal Cohabitation.
This year's Fentress Global Challenge asks students to design new and innovative airport terminals. The competition's brief emphasizes that projects will be judged on their efforts towards sustainability, resiliency while tackling one of the following factors of an airport: mobility, urbanization, globalization, technology, flexibility, security, project feasibility, and passenger experience. The competition encourages entrants to "utilize forecasts for population, environmental conditions, modes of travel, and potential destinations in the creation of their concept." With over 100 submitted entries from over 15 countries, 22 student projects have been selected for this year's shortlist.
The Architectural League of New York announces the latest winners of their reputable Emerging Voices competition. The two-stage, invite-only portfolio competition distinguishes eight North America-based practices and individuals who not only have distinct design voices, but also demonstrate strong potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism.
This year's SEED Award winners represent projects that reflect justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within the realms of design, architecture, and land development in collaboration with NOMA and NAACP. Each project receives $1,000 and the opportunity to present their work at this year's NOMA National Virtual Conference during their Structures for Inclusion session.
Considered the highest recognition for Canadian architects and projects currently in the design and construction phases the 53rd annual Canadia Architect Awards of Excellence announces its 2020 winners. This year 132 entries were submitted and reviewed by the program jury. Across 5 categories 18 winners were selected.
The biennial International Highrise Award just announced this year's grand prize winner: Norra Tornen, a new two-tower residential development in the center of Stockholm. Standing 110 meters (32 floors) and 125 meter (36 floors) tall respectively, the prominent concrete structure with its facetted facade is currently the highest residential building in the city's center and the first realized project in Sweden for its architects, Rotterdam-based OMA.
Singapore's architectural design competition for the Founders' Memorial has picked the winning team: the submission by Japanese Kengo Kuma & Associates in collaboration with Singaporean firm K2LD Architects emerged victoriously from a field of five shortlisted proposals by unanimous jury choice as well as positive public feedback.
Blank Space announces the winners of its anticipated 2020 Fairy Tales competition, and boy, are they dystopian and gripping again. Themes of environmental collapse, existential crisis, violent realities, and prevailing uncertainty — reflections of these current times — dominated the top winning entries which impressed through creative storytelling and stunning illustrations. 1ST PLACE goes to "The Year Without a Winter" by Tamás Fischer and Carlotta Cominetti.
The annual Skyscraper Competition, hosted by eVolo Magazine, is always one of our favorite design challenges — showcasing disquisitive ideas that redefine vertical architecture and expand our established notions of the skyscraper typology. This year's winning teams from China, the United States, and Taiwan proposed a rapid-deployment healthcare skyscraper for epidemic outbreaks, a vertical park for recreational activities within high-density urban areas, and a vertical housing community for fishermen in climate change-stricken St. Louis, Senegal.
This year DesignClass created a local memorial competition to honors those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The competition brief explained, "This incredible loss is compounded for many families who were not able to say goodbye to their loved ones in person due to hospital safety measures or hold proper funerals because of the incredible scale of the situation." The Grand Prize winners are Liu Yihuan, Zhang Xingwang and Lin Zichun from Harbin Institute of Technology in Shenzhen.
If you haven't checked them out, here are Bustler's Top 20 Architecture Competitions of 2020!
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