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Architects unveil new international architecture prize




IN a move to set new global standard for architectural achievement, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched a major new prize to discover the world’s best new buildings and to celebrate the value of architecture to communities worldwide.

The RIBA International Prize will be awarded to the most significant and inspirational building of the year. The winning building will demonstrate visionary, innovative thinking and excellence of execution, whilst making a distinct contribution to its users and to its physical context.

The prize, which is a collaboration between RIBA International Prize and UIA (Union Internationale des Architectes), replaces the RIBA’s more limited Lubetkin Prize, which was only for buildings outside of the European Union by RIBA members and fellows. The Lubetkin was scraped in 2013. The winner of the first RIBA International Prize will be announced at a ceremony in London in December 2016.

Essentially, the RIBA Prize will be awarded to a building of any type or budget and in any country, which exemplifies design excellence, architectural ambition and which delivers meaningful social impact. The prize is open to any qualified architect in the world.

The winner will be chosen by a Grand Jury led by acclaimed architect Richard Rogers and including Nigeria’s Kunle Adeyemi, founder and principal of NLÉ and Philip Gumuchdjian, founder of Gumuchdjian Architects, Chair of RIBA’s awards committee.

RIBA’s rigorous judging process will see two expert panels of jurors visit each of the shortlisted buildings twice in person, before the Grand Jury selects six finalists to visit once more to decide on the winning building.

RIBA President Jane Duncan said:“We are thrilled to launch this new award to recognise and celebrate architectural excellence across the world. It is our intention that the RIBA International Prize will uncover the world’s most innovative and visionary architecture and spark local and global debates about the positive impact that well-designed buildings and places can have on their communities and environment.”

The Chair of the Grand Jury,  Rogers welcomed the Prize: “We look forward to establishing the RIBA International Prizeas a new standard by which to assess and promote design excellence on a global scale.”

Adeyemi said: “It’s a privilege to be a part of the inaugural RIBA International Prize grand jury, where we hope to discover the most exciting and ambitious buildings being created across the world. This is the first time RIBA have opened their awards to any architect from any country, and I look forward to exploring how this helps us learn how architects worldwide are responding to the unique challenges and opportunities of their local geographies with resourceful and innovative solutions.”

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