Second Edition 2009-2010
The second edition of the Swiss Architectural Award
Architect Diébédo Francis Kéré (Burkina Faso/Germany) has been named the winner of the second BSI Swiss Architectural Award.
The award, which totals CHF 100,000, was presented to the winner on 18 November at the Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio, Switzerland, at a ceremony that also marked the opening of the exhibition of works submitted by the candidates.
It is sponsored by the BSI Architectural Foundation, under the aegis of the Swiss Federal Office for Culture in Bern and the Accademia di architettura of Mendrisio (Università della Svizzera Italiana), in partnership with the Archivio del Moderno, Mendrisio. The purpose of the award, which is held every two years, is to draw the public’s attention to young architects from all over the world whose work has made a significant contribution to contemporary architectural theory and practice, and who have shown particular sensitivity to the landscape and environmental context.
The first award, which concluded in autumn 2008 with the victory of Paraguayan architect Solano Benitez, revealed an exceptional talent to the public and the specialist press, who had previously been practically unknown outside the Americas. It also offered an important snapshot of contemporary architecture, thanks to the exceptional quality of the candidates selected by the advisory committee, which comprises internationally-renowned architects and architecture critics.
Mario Botta, chairman of the jury, commented, “The architects selected for the BSI Swiss Architectural Award may be considered among the most significant players on the international scene today. The sensitivity they have gained through the transformations they have experienced in recent years, and the professional commitment that has taken them to the top in their own countries highlight their varying philosophies and real hopes, in contrast to the contradictions and confusion that are rife in the debates within the field.”
The second award has cemented this event’s position among the world’s great architecture prizes.
The jury unanimously voted architect Diébédo Francis Kéré (Burkina Faso/Germany) as the winner of the second BSI Swiss Architectural Award for his “exceptional capacity to create buildings that, while benefiting from the technical knowledge he gained while studying in Europe, are deeply rooted in the cultural tradition and social fabric of his country of origin, Burkina Faso, and are the result of local communities’ intense involvement”.
The award ceremony took place on 18 November 2010 at the Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio (Università della Svizzera italiana), when the exhibition has also been opened and the catalogue documenting the awards launched.