April 1, 2009
Eyes on Archiprix
Following the international competition to its South American destination
Every two years the world’s best graduation projects in architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture are presented at Archiprix International (this year 218 entered from 66 countries). Now in its fifth year, Archiprix International, which originated as a competition for only Netherlands-based schools more than 30 years ago (and still exists today), heads to Montevideo this week where the winners will be announced. While only a few of the finalists will receive awards, all of the 80 Uruguay-bound students will gain some valuable experience. They get an opportunity to participate in workshops led by former Archiprix winners, for instance.
This year’s theme, Port-City-Water-World, has the students working in teams to discuss the missed opportunities and future strategies to make Montevideo an important port harbor in Latin America. Lectures from local architects and faculty from the Universidad de la Republica Uruguay will give them the information they’ll need to work with (More to follow on the keynotes and results in an upcoming blog).
The weeks’ activities culminate in the Hunter Douglas Awards ceremony (the multi-national architectural products manufacturer has been the sponsor of Archiprix International for its last five editions). But the company provides much more than financial assistance; it brings seasoned architects and the Archiprix finalists together to learn from one another as well as from the architecture of the host country. The select group of architects is invited from countries where Hunter Douglas has had successful collaborations; other architecture tours have been conducted in Scotland, Turkey, and China. (See Hunter Douglas’ coverage of Archprix at archiprix.hunterdouglascontract.com.)
I’m excited to join the group of over 200 architects for a portion of this year’s program. I will be blogging this week from Buenos Aires and Montevideo (sadly, I missed the Brazil portion of this year’s excursion). My next couple posts will serve a variety of purposes: a mini-travelogue of what I see in Buenos Aires and Montevideo; an introduction to some of the Archiprix finalaists; a discussion of the workshop results; and, of course, an announcement of the winners.
In the meantime, browse Archiprix’s extensive website which highlights the finalists from this year as well as finalists from years past.