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Ensamble Studio to receive 2019 RIBA Charles Jencks Award

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today named Ensamble Studio as the recipient of the 2019 RIBA Charles Jencks Award.

15 October 2019


Charles Jencks sadly passed away on 13 October 2019.

Find out more about Charles, his work and his legacy in RIBAJ's obituary by Hugh Pearman.

Update ends

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (Wednesday 18 September) named Ensamble Studio, led by architects Débora Mesa and Antón García-Abril, as the recipient of the 2019 RIBA Charles Jencks Award.

Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa

The RIBA Charles Jencks Award is given to an individual or practice that has recently made a major contribution internationally to both the theory and practice of architecture. The award will be presented on Monday 4 November at the RIBA in London, including a lecture by Débora and Antón.

Ensamble Studio was founded in 2000 and now has offices in both Madrid and Boston. Works include Hemeroscopium House and Reader’s House in Madrid, The Truffle in Costa da Morte, Telcel Theater in Mexico City, Structures of Landscape in Montana (USA) and, more recently, Ca’n Terra in Menorca and Ensamble Fabrica in Madrid.

Débora joined Ensamble Studio in 2003 and is Ventulett Chair in Architectural Design at Georgia Tech College of Architecture. Antón received the Spanish Academy Research Prize in Rome in 1996 and has been a professor at the School of Architecture and Planning of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) since 2012.

Speaking about winning the 2019 RIBA Charles Jencks Award, Débora and Antón said:

“We have found an ever-expanding field for exploration and invention in architecture - one where every built work is just the beginning of the next project to come, in constant evolution and full of creative uncertainties. One that has the enormous potential to transcend our own actions and become part of bigger ideas, bigger endeavours and greater communities. The RIBA Charles Jencks Award has a challenging mission and a humbling list of recipients, so winning it is as surprising as encouraging. We receive it with great happiness and gratitude, eager to do much more and much better.”

Chair of the RIBA Charles Jencks Award judging panel and RIBA Director of Education, David Gloster, said:

“Débora Mesa and Antón Garcia-Abril are bold in their work, which explores the powerful combination of placemaking, functionality, refinement and beauty, in both urban and rural areas. Ensamble Studio is a highly collaborative practice built on the personal, professional and academic strengths of its staff and is a great example of using creative thinking to navigate architectural challenges.”

Tickets to attend the Ensamble Studio 2019 Charles Jencks Lecture are available here


Notes to editors:

1. For further information please contact or 020 7307 3813

2. Images of Ensamble Studio and their work can be downloaded here

3. The RIBA Charles Jencks Award is awarded annually to an individual (or practice) that has recently made a major contribution simultaneously to the theory and practice of architecture. Winners are invited to deliver a lecture at the RIBA. Charles Jencks was a landscape designer, architectural theorist and writer, best known for his writing on post-modern architecture and as Trustee and Co-founder of Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres with Maggie Keswick.

4. The 2019 Charles Jencks Award lecture will take place at the Royal Institute of British Architects, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD on 4 November. Tickets are available here

5. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Follow us on Twitter for regular RIBA updates

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