Carles Enrich Studio is winner of the AR Emerging Architecture Awards 2020
By Niall Patrick Walsh|
Friday, Nov 26, 2021
The winners of the AR Emerging Architecture Awards 2020 have been announced by The Architectural Review. Barcelona-based Carles Enrich Studio was awarded as overall winner, while Philippine-Norwegian practice Khadka + Furunes was awarded the Peter Davey Prize as the editors' choice.
The practices were selected from a shortlist of 16 young architects and designers from around the world, chosen in recognition of their potential to be "the architectural stars of tomorrow." Previous winners of the award include Shigeru Ban, Thomas Heatherwick, and Frida Escobedo.
Founded in 2013, Carles Enrich Studio focuses on interventions in Catalonia’s historical landscapes. Their celebrated works include the Merola Tower in Puig-reig, which saw a 13th-century stone tower reactivated by a contemporary timber structure. The firm’s previous accolades include nominations for the EU Mies Award in 2017 and 2019, and participation in the 2012 and 2016 Venice Biennale.
The award judges, which included previous Emerging Architecture alumni Manuel Aires Mateus, Sameep Padora, and Maria Smith, commended Carles Enrich Studio for reconnecting history with the future and for viewing heritage as infrastructure, “something dynamic and appropriated rather than museumified.”
“It is about reinterpreting rather than reconstructing, and it takes a certain form of freedom, and a lot of persuasive power, to do it successfully,” the judges noted. “[The practice’s portfolio] shows that big ideas can be built with minimal materials, that good architecture should imagine itself filled with life, and remind us that everything is ephemeral.”
Mexico City-based Taller Capital were highly recommended by the judges, who praised the studio’s ambition to weave new elements into design projects independent of the original commission, from rivers to communal spaces. Taller Capital’s urban-focused projects “intelligently navigate dichotomies between formal and informal systems,” the judges said, “proving that public space is transformative.”
Meanwhile, the Philippine-Norwegian practice Khadka + Furunes has been awarded this year’s Peter Davey Prize as the editors’ choice from the shortlist. Commending the practice, Architectural Review editor Manon Mollard praised Khadka + Furunes for their “quietly radical collaborative approach to practice and working with local people,” which Mollard said is “a model for collaborative working more broadly.”
As overall winner of the 2020 awards, Carles Enrich Studio will receive a £10,000 ($13,000) prize, while Khadka + Furunes will receive a specially commissioned trophy created from rammed earth designed by UK-based product designer Elliot Lunn.
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