Since 1981, the Architectural League of New York has invited young architects and designers to submit their theoretical or built work, which can be executed in any medium, to the Architectural League Prize Competition. The portfolio competition carries a legacy in contemporary architecture in that many now-well-known architects received the award early in their careers — like Billie Tsien, Steven Holl, Neil Denari, Frida Escobedo Lopez, Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott, and several more. North America-based designers who are out of school no more than 10 years are invited to submit their work.
Entrants had to consider how the 2019 theme of “JUST” applies to their approach to architectural practice, whether that's through experimental research, design advocacy, or advancing speculative and applied techniques in the discipline. According to the Architectural League, “JUST explores architectural action with the understanding that a multiplicity of coexisting and contradictory attitudes may be constructive, liberating, and justified’’.
After evaluating the submissions, the jury selected six talented recipients as the prize winners. In addition to receiving a $2,000 cash prize, the winners will deliver a lecture and exhibit their work at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at The New School starting in June.
Here are the winners!
Cyrus Peñarroyo - EXTENTS | Ann Arbor, MI
Bio: “Cyrus Peñarroyo founded Ann Arbor-based EXTENTS with McLain Clutter in 2017. The firm is ‘interested in architecture, urbanism, media, digital culture, and other instruments of life that can be impacted by design.’ Exploring contemporary digital tools, Peñarroyo works with exhibitions, temporary installations, and research-based projects. Peñarroyo is currently an assistant professor of architecture at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Ann Arbor.”
Virginia Black, Gabrielle Printz, and Rosana Elkhatib - feminist architecture collaborative (f-architecture) | Brooklyn, NY
“Founded by Virginia Black, Gabrielle Printz, and Rosana Elkhatib in New York in 2016, feminist architecture collaborative describes themselves as ‘a three-woman architectural research enterprise aimed at disentangling the contemporary spatial politics and technological appearances of bodies, intimately and globally.’ The collaborative works with temporary installations, exhibitions, performance, activism, writing, and research-based projects.”
Jennifer Bonner - MALL | Boston, MA / Atlanta, GA
“Founded in Atlanta in 2009 by Jennifer Bonner, MALL has recently expanded to Boston. The firm's mission states their commitment to “projects that re-appropriate history, hack typologies, reference cultural events, and invent representation.” MALL’s work includes research, installations, publications, and residential projects. Bonner is currently assistant professor of architecture and director of the Master in Architecture II Program at Harvard GSD.”
Mira Hasson Henry - Henry Architecture (HA) | Los Angeles, CA
“Mira Hasson Henry founded Los Angeles-based Henry Architecture in 2016. The practice draws on common building elements — including windows, cladding, and eaves — to explore topics like inclusion and identity. Through installations, performances, models, wallpaper, and photography, Henry examines the possibilities of different modes of architectural representation. She is currently a design faculty and DID coordinator at the Southern California Institute of Architecture.”
Rachel G. Barnard - Young New Yorkers (YNY) | New York, NY
“Rachel G. Barnard founded Young New Yorkers (YNY) in 2012 as a restorative justice project providing art programs to 16- and 17-year-olds prosecuted as adults by the New York state criminal justice system. By participating in court-mandated art programs, these young people (the program now includes participants up to the age of 25) are able to avoid spending time in jail, incurring other adult criminal justice sanctions, or having a lifelong criminal record. Since its inception, over 1000 participants have successfully graduated from the program.”
Gregory Melitonov - Taller KEN | New York, NY / Guatemala City, GT / San José, CR
“Gregory Melitonov founded Taller KEN with Inés Guzmán in 2013. Originally based in New York and Guatemala City, the office recently expanded to San José, Costa Rica. Taller KEN creates playful designs with social and cultural relevance, including commercial, public, residential, and institutional projects. In 2016, Taller KEN received an AIA New York New Practices Award.”
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