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Women in Architecture Awards 2017 shortlists revealed

We are delighted to announce the women in the running for the Architect of the Year Award and the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture

The shortlists bring together architects from the UK, Mexico, France, the USA and Canada.

In the frame for the Architect of the Year prize are: British architect Marks Barfield co-founder Julia Barfield, Mexican Gabriela Carrillo, Anouk Legendre of French practice XTU Architects and co-founders of US practice Leers Weinzapfel Andrea Leers and Jane Weinzapfel.

This annual award recognises excellence in design with an emphasis on a built project completed in 2016.

Celebrated in the Moira Gemmill Prize shortlist are four women who are using innovative architecture to effect social change.

The shortlist comprises: Ada Yvars Bravo of Mangera Yvars, Johanna Hurme of Winnipeg-based 5468796 Architecture, Jing Liu of New York’s SO-IL and Mexican architect Rozana Montiel.

The Moira Gemmill prize comes with a £10,000 fund and recognises talented architects under the age of 45. It is named in memory of the late Moira Gemmill, director of design at the V&A and latterly director of capital programmes at the Royal Collection Trust.

Christine Murray, founder of the Women in Architecture Awards and editor-in-chief of The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal, said about the shortlists:

‘These women architects are creating some of the most innovative and creative design work in the world today. It is a privilege to celebrate work from a broad range of countries – showing how great design touches all our lives.’

The Architect of the Year shortlist

  • Julia Barfield, Marks Barfield

Barfield is best known for her work on iconic city-branding structures, such as the London Eye observation wheel of 1999 – and is recognised in the shortlist for the BA i360 structure in Brighton, UK (highlighted in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s slenderest tall tower). Barfield also has a strong interest in community and place-making projects

  • Gabriela Carrillo, Taller de Arquitectura Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo

Carrillo has been shortlisted for her work on the Criminal Courts for Oral trials in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán in Mexico – which skilfully answers a brief to design flexible spaces, comply with strict security rules and improve transparency in the judicial process. The architectural practice is also known for its work on the Matamoros Theatre in Morelia, capital of Michoacán

  • Anouk Legendre, XTU Architects

Legendre has been shortlisted for her work on the Cité du Vin in Bordeaux, France – a dynamic place where wine-trail tourists can buy, consume and learn all about the culture and civilization associated with the beverage

  • Andrea Leers and Jane Weinzapfel, Leers Weinzapfel Associates

Leers and Weinzapfel have been shortlisted for their work on the East Regional Chilled Water Plant, Ohio State University, USA. The project is an elegant approach to a functional building which uses perforated aluminium panels to achieve a refined aesthetic


The Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture shortlist

  • Ada Yvars Bravo, Mangera Yvars Architects

Yvars Bravo’s impressive Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies in Doha, Qatar is one of the most socially impactful designs in Qatar. Part of Qatar Foundation’s Education City, a landmark co-educational assembly of international leading universities, the brief called for a University and the Campus Mosque, which would also be open to the public

  • Johanna Hurme, 5468796 Architects

Hurme is a conceptual and design innovator, working on a range of projects from Crossroads Garden Shed in Calgary and Migrating Landscapes – Canada’s official entry to the 13th annual Venice Biennale – to Winnipeg’s 62M Housing and Chair Your Idea, celebrating urban design

  • Jing Liu, SO-IL

Liu is recognised on this shortlist for her work on the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art in California. With this building, an extensive canopy appears to rise from the regimented agricultural landscape of inland California and hover in the air. It introduces a new architectural spirit to the campus of University of California, Davis

  • Rozana Montiel, Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura

Montiel’s perceptive projects include Veracruz Cancha (a sports court), San Pablo Xalpa Unidad Habitacional (housing unit) and Tepoztlan House, all in Mexico. Her sensitive engagements with communities activate simple architectural forms

The judging panel for the awards is chaired by AJ and AR editor-in-chief Christine Murray. It includes: Financial Times architecture critic Eddie Heathcote; architect and recipient of the 2013 Jane Drew Prize Eva Jiricna; AKTII co-founder Hanif Kara; chief executive of Maggie’s Laura Lee; the Science Museum’s Karen Livingstone; director of the Bartlett Bob Sheil; Open City’s Victoria Thornton; structural engineer Jane Wernick; Wilkinson Eyre co-founder Chris Wilkinson; and AJ architecture editor Laura Mark.

Last year Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang, was recognised with the Architect of the Year accolade for the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership in Michigan.

Previous winners have included: Pollard Thomas Edwards’ Teresa Borsuk; Mecanoo’s Francine Houben; Michál Cohen and Cindy Walters, founders of Walters & Cohen; and ABA founder, Alison Brooks.

Former winners of the Emerging Women Architect of the Year Prize include Gabriela Etchegaray, co-founder of Ambrosi Etchegaray (2016), vPPR founders Tatiana von Presussen, Catherine Pease and Jessica Reynolds (2015), sole practitioner and PhD candidate Julia King (2014), Spanish architect Olga Felip (2013) and Hannah Lawson, Director of John McAslan + Partners (2012).

The Women in Architecture Awards, in association with The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal, are in place to inspire change in the architectural profession by celebrating great design by women architects from around the world and promoting role models for young women in practice.

The winners of the prestigious awards will be announced at the AJ/AR Women in Architecture Luncheon at Claridge’s on 3 March.