RIBA hosts 2021 Global Architecture photography competition winners livestream with Iwan Baan

RIBA International held a livestream session with the head judge Iwan Baan and the four top winners from the RIBA 2021 Global Architecture photography competition. We took an in-depth look at each of the winning images and heard from leading architecture photographer Iwan Baan about his outstanding portfolio of work and how to create memorable and impactful architectural photos.

10 December 2021

On 25 November 2021, RIBA International held a livestream session with head judge Iwan Baan and the four top winners from the RIBA 2021 Global Architecture photography competition. After a warm welcome message from the Director of RIBA International, Azlina Bulmer, the event presented a recorded presentation from Iwan Baan. This was followed by a live presentation from the four top winners about their photographs.

RIBA 2021 Global Architecture photography competition winners livestream with Iwan Baan

Iwan Baan, Head of Jury is a Dutch photographer who focuses on images that show how individuals, communities, and societies create, and interact, within their built environment. He is the inaugural recipient of the Julius Shulman Award for Photography and has won numerous awards, including the Golden Lion for Best Installation at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. His clients include Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, Sou Fujimoto, and Herzog & de Meuron.

Iwan showcased the story behind some of his past famous projects, including constructing the National Olympics Stadium in Beijing between 2005 and 2008 for Herzog & de Meuron, National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) by Dutch architect Mecanoo, OMA’s Qatar Foundation Headquarters in Doha. He also talked about his recent ten year projects recorded in the book Dig it – Building Bound to The Ground, which acknowledges an effort to reconnect architecture and landscape and merge the building with ground.

While Iwan commented on the top four winning photographs from four international regions, he also shared his views on the theme of architecture and sustainability.

He commented: "There is a lot to learn from the old ways on how people used to build in often very difficult places but use the materials that are right there at that place, and how the materials can be used and reused…."

Following Iwan's presentation, the four winners from each region presented their winning photograph and showcased the story behind the photo, why, and where they took it.

Chen Guanhong – Top winner of RIBA 2021 Global Architecture photography competition from the Asia and Australia Region

Chen, an architect based in China, talked about his image, titled Landforms, which is an aerial view of the Vanke Liuxiandong Design Community in Shenzhen, China. The building won the Completed Buildings - Offices category at the World Festival of Architecture in 2019. In his presentation, Chen discussed how his photograph shows the return to nature achieved by the building's construction and creation of green spaces.

Yuri Palmin – Top winner of RIBA 2021 Global Architecture photography competition from the Europe region

Yuri joined the livestream from Russia to talk about his 30 years' of experience as an architectural photographer and his winning image, titled The Veretyevo Park (2021). The park, designed by Russian architect Alexander Brodsky is an intervention in a forested floodplain near Dubna in the Moscow region. Iwan also complimented Yuri on his work in demonstrating how the architecture "tries to touch nature as little as possible".

Yoann Plourde – Top winner of RIBA 2021 Global Architecture photography competition from the Middle East and Africa region

Yoann, who is a design architect based in the UAE, talked about his image, titled BREEZE OF HOPE, which was taken inside the Sustainability Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020. He discussed how the image sought to create "a sense of place" and shows how the building combined technology and centuries-old methods to create a contemporary form of sustainability.

Joel Alonso Rodriguez Davila - Top winner of RIBA 2021 Global Architecture photography competition from the Americas region

Joel, an architect, joined the livestream from Ecuador to discuss his image, titled Enlace sensorial, which was taken in the ecological reserve of Cotopaxi Park, Ecuador. He talked about how his lifelong interest in photography merged with his interest in architecture during his time at university which led to him opening a professional photography studio in 2018. Joel also discussed how photographing the Cotopaxi Park reserve helped to gain a better understanding of the use of natural materials in architecture.

Visit the RIBA 2021 Global Architecture photography competition page for more information about this competition and to see the winning entries.

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