The 2011 ar+d Awards for Emerging Architecture are now open for entries.
Founded in 1999, it has grown to become the most popular and prestigious awards programme for young architects in the world, with a prize fund of £7500. The awards recognise excellence across a very broad spectrum and scale of design, ranging from landscape and urbanism, to products and furniture. Last year’s winning projects included a performance space on the remote Japanese island of Teshima, a pop-up restaurant in east London and a residence for Buddhist monks in Thailand.
In an architectural prize system still skewed in favour of honours for lifetime achievement, the ar+d Awards give young and often relatively unknown practices an invaluable impetus on their trajectory to wider success. The limiting age for entrants is 45, since architecture’s long education and training mean that it is often very difficult for young practitioners to express themselves clearly in built work before then. A key stipulation of entry is that all projects must be completed and built.
This year the international jury for the awards will include Junya Ishigami, the talented young Japanese architect whose work redefines the aesthetics of minimalism by playing with perception, materials and scale. He’s also the designer of an extraordinary installation currently on show at London’s Barbican Centre consisting of a single curved line of delicate 4m-high ‘columns’, which appear to be held in place by air and atmosphere alone. Ishigami describes it as ‘melting endlessly into space’ and only on closer inspection are the minutely fine and transparent structural components perceptible to the naked eye.
In the 2008 awards cycle, Ishigami was highly commended for his workshop in Kanagawa, so we look forward to his insights on this year’s entries. The full jury will be announced soon.