Founded in 2007, The Swiss Architectural Award is promoted since the 2019-2020 edition by the Teatro dell’architettura Foundation and organised by the USI-Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio. In the jury, chaired by Mario Botta, are represented the three Swiss schools of architecture (Università della Svizzera italiana – Accademia di architettura; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne – ENAC, Section d’Architecture; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich – Departement Architektur).
The award is aimed at recognizing and spotlighting architects from all over the world that, through their own work, have made a significant contribution to contemporary architecture by showing a peculiar sensitivity to the environment and at the same time encouraging public debate on the role of architecture in contemporary society.
The prize amounts to 100,000 Swiss francs. Every 2 years, it is awarded to architects aged less than 50 who have realized at least 3 relevant works. The candidates are nominated to the jury by an international committee of advisors selected among architects and architectural critics of undisputed international reputation.
At the origin of the Teatro dell’architettura of the Università della Svizzera italiana, a tool designed to fuel disciplinary debate, to strengthen the educational offerings of USI and the Academy of Architecture in particular, and to encourage a wider audience to become more aware of the crucial issues of contemporary architectural culture, the Teatro dell’architettura Foundation promotes since 2019 the Swiss Architectural Award.
The Foundation is chaired by Mario Botta.