The annual Pritzker Architecture Prize, aka the Nobel Prize of architecture, is considered one of the most prestigious international prizes in this field, along with the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Now there’s a new global prize that joins these two awards in terms of prestige.
While the Royal Institute of British Architects’ International Prize was only announced in December last year and doesn’t have the longer history of the other two – the Pritzker was established in 1979, the Aga Khan, 1977 – the institute’s reputation and history going back to the 19th century (1834, specifically) already bestow this latest prize with a measure of prestige.
Its other prizes tend to focus on British works, apart from its Gold Medal, which is awarded for an architect’s body of work rather than a single structure. The Riba International Prize is truly global: buildings of any type, size and budget by any qualified architect in any country are eligible, if they have been completed in the past three years.
The Prize will honour the “most significant and inspirational building”, one that “demonstrates visionary, innovative thinking and excellence of execution, whilst making a distinct contribution to its users and to its physical context”, according to a Riba press release.
The longlisted buildings – located in countries ranging from China and Colombia to Azerbaijan – will be further shortlisted to 20, after which six finalists will go before an expert judging panel led by world-renowned British architect Lord Richard Rogers.
Hundreds of entries were reportedly received from 50 countries for the award.
Varying in size and budget, the 30 selected buildings range from large urban infrastructure schemes to private homes, from cultural centres to civic spaces, and academic institutes to places of worship.
“We have been delighted with the response to our inaugural Riba International Prize, which has brought a huge range of exceptional entries from all around the globe. It will be fascinating to see insights from the judges and entrants into the power and value of great architecture, wherever you are in the world,” says Riba president Jane Duncan in a press statement.
Members of the jury include Billie Tsien, founding partner of New York-based Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects; Kunlé Adeyemi, founder and principal of NLÉ, an architecture, design and urbanism practice; Marilyn Jordan Taylor, dean of architecture at Pennsylvania University’s School of Fine Arts; and Philip Gumuchdjian, founder of Gumuchdjian Architects and Chair of Riba Awards.
The Riba International Prize is organised in association with the Union Internationale des Architectes, and its inaugural winner will be announced in December.
Here is a look at some of the 30 outstanding buildings that have been longlisted for the prize.