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The third edition of the Swiss Architectural Award

This year sees the staging of the third, international BSI Swiss Architectural Award. It is sponsored by the BSI Architectural Foundation (since 2007), under the aegis of the Swiss Federal Office for Culture in Bern and the Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio (Università della Svizzera Italiana), and organised by the Archivio del Moderno of the Academy of Architecture. 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.

“This year’s event ,” said Mario Botta, “sets out to corroborate the excellent standard achieved by its predecessors, which were won by the exceptionally talented Solano Benitez (in 2008) and Francis Diébédo Kéré (in 2010). At the same time, it provides an in-depth insight into the current state of health of our discipline through the combined contribution of all the candidates. And the initial signs are that the candidates selected for this year’s event, and the works they have submitted, fully meet our expectations”.

The committee of advisors responsible for identifying the candidates comprises Solano Benitez (Paraguay), Barry Bergdoll (USA), Ole Bouman (Netherlands), Luis Fernández-Galiano (Spain), Kenneth Frampton (USA), Sean Godsell (Australia), Kengo Kuma (Japan), Shelley McNamara (Ireland), Rahul Mehrotra (India) and Valerio Olgiati (Switzerland). This highly representative team is further enhanced by the presence of the two most recent winners of the Pritzker Prize, Eduardo Souto de Moura (Portugal) and Wang Shu (China).

The candidates for the 2012 BSI Swiss Architectural Award are Alejandro Aravena (Chile), Atelier Bow-Wow (Japan), Nuno Brandão Costa (Portugal), Angelo Bucci (Brazil), Jan de Vylder, Inge Vinck and Jo Taillieu (Belgium), Marcus Donaghy and William Dimond (Ireland), Ecosistema Urbano (Spain), Liza Fior –MUF Architecture (UK), Antón García-Abril (Spain), Anna Heringer (Germany), Zhang Ke (China), Zhang Lei (China), LTL ARCHITECTS (USA), Gurjit Singh Matharoo (India), Alberto Mozó (Chile), Hiroshi Nakamura (Japan), Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen (Chile), Smiljan Radic Clarke (Chile), Camilo Rebelo (Portugal), Enric Ruiz-Geli (Spain), José María Saez (Ecuador), Joaõ Pedro Serôdio and Isabel Furtado (Portugal), Dominic Stevens (Ireland), Studio Mumbai Architects (India), Jonathan Woolf (UK) and Alejandro Zaera Polo (Spain).

The award ceremony was held on 20 September 2012 at the Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio (Università della Svizzera italiana) and was accompanied by the launch of the exhibition and accompanying catalogue.

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