BVN and WOHA win RIBA awards

May 20, 2011
  • Article by Online Editor

Projects by BVN Architecture and WOHA have been included among the 13 winners of the Royal Institute of Architects (RIBA) International Awards 2011.

The Brain and Mind Research Unit – Youth Mental Health Building University in Sydney, by BVN Architecture, was the only Australian project to be named in the 2011 awards. Judges said of the project: “This building has a tough context… The architects have responded with a delightful mongrel of a building with the laboratories placed in a glass box, which is balanced on top of the two-storey retained building. The resulting composition is visually exciting and a major addition to the streetscape… This is intelligent and highly appropriate architecture.”

Singapore-based WOHA was also named, receiving two awards for the School of the Arts in Singapore and the Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali, Indonesia. The judges praised the Alila Villas for offering “truly sustainable tourism,” with locally sourced materials, recycled timber and bamboo “reducing the sense of conspicuous consumption that pervades most luxury resorts.”

UK practices awarded by RIBA include Foster + Partners for the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in the US, and David Chipperfield Architects for the Laboratory Building in Basel, Switzerland. Zaha Hadid’s Guangzhou Opera House was included on the list, for a design that is “as much about its internal places as its external forms,” while Hopkins Architects’ North College at Rice University in Richmond, US also made the list.

British firm John McAslan + Partners’ Iron Market in Haiti – a pro-bono project to restore the earthquake-damaged marketplace in Port-au-Prince – and Stanislavsky Factory in Moscow, Russia were also awarded. Also named was Rick Mather Architects’ Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the US, which re-engages with the street in a project of “masterful city-making”.

The Loft Gardens in Istanbul by Turkish firm Tabanlioglu, and the Galleria Centercity Department Store in Seoul, Korea by Amsterdam-based UNStudio – “an intriguing project [that] intelligently addresses the transience of our global shopping culture” – complete the list of awarded projects.

The RIBA International Awards are presented to architecture practices based outside the UK for a built project outside the UK, or to British practices working outside the European Union. All winners are eligible for the RIBA Lubetkin Prize, awarded to the best international building built by a RIBA member. The winner of the 2011 Lubetkin Prize will be announced in October.

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