RIBA International Prize: the travel diary
Last year, hundreds of projects from 71 different countries around the world were entered for the RIBA International Prize 2018. We'll be naming the four projects shortlisted for the prize on 12 September.
As the announcement approaches, we take a behind-the-scenes look back at some highlights from the jury visits around the world, through which our judges identified the 20 RIBA Award for International Excellence 2018 winners earlier this year, and from which the four RIBA International Prize shortlisted projects will be selected.
The RIBA International Prize is one of the few global architecture prizes where every award-winning project has visited by jury members at least once. This principle is central to the prize's reputation for rigour and diligence. In 2018, judges travelled around the world to meet with local jurors, architects and clients and visit projects on the RIBA International List, carefully selected over three days of debate from the hundreds of entries.
Discover some of the highlights through the judges' own photos and notes.
Back in March, Amin Taha and Chantal Wilkinson travelled to Brazil to take a look at Rosenbaum and Aleph Zero's Children Village in Formoso do Araguaia, Tocantins. A two-day journey from São Paulo ended at this charity school, where they found pupils "so happy they helped design" their new "relaxed, comfortable and homely" boarding accommodation. The project creates more space and privacy while making use of natural light and cross ventilation, which makes the buildings cool and pleasant places to be.
Greg Penoyre and Marcus Lee traveled to Sri Lanka, where they saw feat.collective's Lanka Learning Centre and travelled by sea plane to visit Palinda Kannangara Architects' Studio Dwelling at Rajagiriya. They praised the "commendably simple palette of materials: concrete, sliding glazed screens, reclaimed hardwood and brick" that they found at the Studio Dwelling. They were struck by the Lanka Learning Centre's "innate ability to motivate and inspire."
Julia Barfield and Annalie Riches headed to Turkey and Japan, on a 10,000 mile round trip to explore Emre Arolat Architecture's "dramatic yet contemplative" Sancaklar Mosque, Hiroyuki Ito Architects' "meticulously detailed" Tatsumi Apartment House - with its 50m deep foundations - and Nikken Sekkei's Toho Gakuen School of Music, a "virtuoso understanding of the brief and needs of the clients and users".
Simon Allford and Amin Taha conquered new heights on the 50th floor infinity balustrade of LegoRogers' BBVA Bancomer Tower in Mexico City, "an elegant response to a key site in terms of its urbanism and its solution to the challenges of the architecture of tall buildings". Contemplating Louis Sullivan's famous assessment of skyscrapers as "a whole lot of floors", they noted how LegoRogers have responded to this challenge by offering "superscaled relief" through "five triple height sky lobbies that rotate around the four elevations, creating nine floor clusters around these external rooms"
These projects represent just a small slice of the many visits and jury meetings necessary to pull off one of the world's most ambitious architectural awards programmes. Which of the 20 RIBA International Award for Excellence winners do you think should be shortlisted for the RIBA International Prize? Will the Judges agree? Find out on 12 September.