2019 was another year full of competitions that challenged architects, designers, and students to put their skills to the test, whether it was coming up with a speculative response, submitting an academic research project, or bidding to realize a masterplan — or even doing all three. The last 12 months also saw many groundbreaking projects around the world receive the most notable accolades in the industry.
In no particular order (and as difficult as it was to narrow down!), Bustler compiled a short list of highlights of competition-winning projects and award-winning architects from 2019. Check them out below.
An extension to the historic National Gallery, the 120,000 square-foot Sainsbury Wing houses one of the world's most visited collections of early Italian and Northern Renaissance paintings. Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown's practice was selected to design the project after they won the second iteration of an international competition in 1985-86. Completed in 1991, the new Sainsbury Wing sparked heated debate among modernists, postmodernists, and the general public.
Maurice Culot is influential for being at the forefront of the creation of the modern traditional movement. His longstanding career as a teacher and theorist has had a far-reaching impact among generations of architects. The jury noted how Culot's work "made it possible to recover the knowledge of the elements and principles that have defined the best urban environments across time and place that was nearly lost [...] ”
2019 Women in Architecture Award winners
Early last year, Elizabeth Diller won the 2019 Jane Drew Prize, a lifetime achievement that recognizes an architect who, through their work, helped raise the profile of women in architecture. Renowned architectural photographer Hélène Binet received the Ada Louise Huxtable Prize, which recognizes individuals working in the wider architectural industry who have made a significant contribution to the field and the built environment. In March, Sheila O'Donnell of Dublin-based O'Donnell + Tuomey was named 2019 Architect of the Year, while Xu Tiantian of Beijing-based practice DnA won the 2019 Moira Gemmill Prize.
The Institution of Structural Engineers awarded James O’Callaghan — co-founder of British engineering design practice Eckersley O’Callaghan — with the Gold Medal for his creative, innovative use of structural glass; most notably in helping Apple's flagship stores become instant icons as some of the world's most extraordinary glass structures.
Praised by the Pritzker jury for his unconventional works, Arata Isozaki was recognized for his forward-thinking approach and transnational methodology that fused global and local influences and facilitated dialogues between East and West. The jury noted that Isozaki's “search for meaningful architecture was reflected in his buildings that to this day, defy stylistic categorizations, are constantly evolving, and always fresh in their approach.”
With hoards of submissions from over 65 countries, the winning entries of the anticipated Fairy Tales Architecture Competition explore current events and the creative process through thoughtful short stories and artwork. “This year's winners utilize the power of narrative to explore complex issues like immigration, pollution, climate change, sea level rise, and the longevity of human impact,” said Francesca Giuliani, co-founder of Blank Space, on the 2019 competition winners.
In eVolo's megapopular Skyscraper Competition, the jury selected three winners from Serbia, Poland, and the United Kingdom, as well as 27 honorable mentions. Among this year's winners are a vertical city-district in Belgrade that serves as landfill; another that cleans the air of heavily polluted areas; and a nature reserve skyscraper with research facilities, to name a few!
Jaeschke was selected for her proposal “UNDER WRAPS: Architecture and Culture of Greenhouses”, a project born from her long-term fascination with horticultural operations and the resulting relationships between plants and humans. Her previous work explores sustainability as a building-scale issue, and looks at how building regulations and new technologies shape environmentally-driven design.
In Phase Three of the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, NASA and partner Bradley University of Peoria, Illinois recently awarded a total of $700,000 to two winning teams. The $500,000 grand prize went to New York-based AI SpaceFactory, a multi-planetary architectural and technology design agency, for their proposal “MARSHA”. The second prize went to Pennsylvania State University of University Park, who received $200,000.
Born in Ensenada, photographer Livia Corona Benjamin depicts the social performance of architecture in her work. Focusing mainly on her native Mexico, her photos range from hypnotizing rows of seemingly vast housing developments to carefully framed group portraits of local residents.
Renowned Palestinian-Jordanian architect Rasem Badran was named the 2019 laureate of the honorable Tamayouz Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong commitment to making “our cities a better place for the people living in them,” said Ahmed Al-Mallak, Founder of the Tamayouz Excellence Award. Being involved in the students' reform movement against West German authoritarianism in the 1960s, Badran developed a deep understanding of how the built environment affects the emotional and psychological well-being of its users.
Born in Niamey in 1979, Mariam Kamara sees architecture as a means to serve communities and improve lives. With a seven-year career in IT and a master's degree in Computer Science, she switched to architecture and pursued an M.Arch at the University of Washington. Using her talent of observing and connecting with communities, Kamara's architectural work is strongly rooted in local context and focuses on responding to people's real needs and aspirations.
"Faced with a global climate emergency, the worst housing crisis for generations and crippling local authority cuts, Goldsmith Street is a beacon of hope," said RIBA President Alan Jones on the winning design. "It is commended not just as a transformative social housing scheme and eco-development, but a pioneering exemplar for other local authorities to follow."
Other notable RIBA award announcements in 2019 that you might have missed:
Grafton Architects named as 2020 RIBA Royal Gold Medal recipients; Cork House wins 2019 Stephen Lawrence Prize + Network Rail named RIBA Client of the Year; Winners of the 2019 RIBA President’s Medal for Research; The winning student architecture projects of the 2019 RIBA President's Medals
The National Pulse Memorial & Museum in Orlando will honor the lives of the 49 people killed and all those affected by the Pulse nightclub tragedy on June 12, 2016. The winning team includes Coldefy & Associés with RDAI, Orlando-based HHCP Architects, Xavier Veilhan, dUCKS scéno, Agence TER, and Professor Laila Farah. The proposal will serve as a starting point for discussion and as the basis for the final version of the memorial and museum.
The overall winning title from the World Architecture Festival went to LocHal and its design team Civic architects (lead architect), Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau, and Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse. The project was a former locomotive hangar dating from 1932 that was transformed into a public meeting place and new library typology that “capitalizes the existing structure, thereby greatly minimizing the amount of new structural elements”.
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