Three Finalists for 3rd RAIC International Prize

John Hill
28. May 2019
Thread: Artists’ Residence and Cultural Center, Senegal, by Toshiko Mori Architect (Photo: Iwan Baan, via v2com)

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has announced the three works of "socially transformative architecture" in the running for the 2019 RAIC International Prize.

The biennial RAIC International Prize (launched in 2014 as the Moriyama RAIC International Prize) is open to architects from anywhere in the world, with the goal of rewarding buildings that are "inspired as well as inspiring and reflect humanistic values of equality, respect, and inclusiveness."

Previous recipients of the prize were 2014 Winner: Liyuan Library in Beijing by Li Xiaodong (2014) and Fuji Kindergarten in Tokyo by Tezuka Architects (2017).

The three finalists for the 2019 RAIC International Prize (the winner will be announced at a gala in Toronto, Canada on October 25, 2019):

Baha’i Temple of South America in Santiago, Chile, by Hariri Pontarini Architects, 2016

"The Baha’i Temple of South America is designed to be a place of welcome and meaning for everyone. Its design aspires to commonality within diversity, and it has attracted over 1.4 million visitors since opening in Fall 2016. The temple is composed of nine cast-glass and marble wings, achieving a sense of weightless movement, light, and at the same time permanence. At the edge of the Andes, it was built to withstand a rugged climate and an earthquake zone. Its 14-year realization involved hundreds of local volunteers and a global effort, including fabrication in Canada and Germany, marble from a Portuguese quarry, and Chilean tradespeople."

Edificio E, Lecture Building, University of Piura in Piura, Peru, by Barclay & Crousse, 2016

"Edificio E reflects Peru’s national policy of encouraging low-income rural students to attend wealthy private universities, as well as the university’s program of social inclusion through education. The designers strove to create a non-hierarchical environment that fosters encounters among students from diverse backgrounds and their teachers. Located in a desert and dry-forest ecosystem near the equator, the building’s generous, open-air gathering spaces bring shade and cross breezes and create a sense of community."

Thread: Artists’ Residence and Cultural Center in Sinthian, Senegal, by Toshiko Mori Architect, 2015

"Located in a remote area near the border with Mali, the Thread cultural center is a community hub for a network of isolated villages, offering spaces for artists, performance, a public library, and agricultural training. Thread adapted traditional building materials and local roof designs to collect rainwater and serve as a water source during the eight-month dry season. It is built entirely from local materials, including bamboo and compressed earth blocks. The center has increased social cohesion and provided stability in a community of diverse ethnic groups."

Baha’i Temple of South America, Chile, by Hariri Pontarini Architects (Photo: doublespace photography, via v2com)
Edificio E, Lecture Building, University of Piura, Peru, by Barclay & Crousse (Photo: Cristóbal Palma, via v2com)
*The 2019 Jury:

  • Anne Carrier (Anne Carrier Architecture)
  • Stephen Hodder (Hodder Associates)
  • Barry Johns (Barry Johns Architects)
  • Eva Matsuzaki (founder of Women in Architecture)
  • Diarmuid Nash (jury chair, Moriyama & Teshima Architects)
  • Gilles Saucier (Saucier+Perrotte Architectes)

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