Fifth edition - 2016
Junya Ishigami (Japan) is the winner of the fifth BSI Swiss Architectural Award. This international award is sponsored by the BSI Architectural Foundation, under the aegis of the Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio - Università della Svizzera italiana in cooperation with the Archivio del Moderno of Mendrisio.
The prize, which totals CHF 100,000, is presented every two years and aims to draw the public’s attention to architects not older than 50 from all over the world whose work contributes to contemporary architectural theory and practice and who have shown particular sensitivity to landscape and the environmental context.
The 2016 winner, Junya Ishigami, was selected among 28 candidates coming from 17 different countries.
The jury has unanimously awarded the BSI Swiss Architectural Award 2016 to Junya Ishigami for the Kanagawa Institute of Technology Workshop (Kanagawa, Japan, 2004-2008), for his intervention at the Japanese Pavilion at the 11th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (2008) and for his "House with Plants" realised in Tokyo’s suburbs for a couple of young spouses (2010-2012).
According to the jury, "Junya Ishigami’s buildings create spaces of great beauty and serenity, which impose themselves with unusual iconic strength", while providing substantial answers to specific functional needs. Junya Ishigami’s three works involve, in particular, "innovative structural research with no heroism, which results in delicately refined architecture" and "a promising relationship with the vegetal world, interpreted and presented in ever changing ways" ranging from a building as a metaphor of a forest, in the case of the Kanagawa Institute of Technology Workshop, to completely integrated vegetation in the case of the "House with Plants".
The jury of the fifth edition has been chaired by Mario Botta (Switzerland) and comprised Jean-Louis Cohen (France), Marc Collomb (Switzerland – director of the Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio), Bruno Reichlin (Switzerland) and José María Sánchez García (Spain), winner of the previous edition. The secretary of the Award is Nicola Navone (Switzerland – vice director Archivio del Moderno).
The candidates at the 2016 edition of the BSI Swiss Architectural Award were nominated by a committee of advisors made up of architects and critics of international renown comprising Solano Benitez (Paraguay – winner of the first edition of BSI Swiss Architectural Award and awarded the Golden Lion for the best project at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia), Ole Bouman (The Netherlands), Gonçalo Byrne (Portugal), Luis Fernández-Galiano (Spain), Sean Godsell (Australia), Bijoy Jain (India - winner of the third edition of BSI Swiss Architectural Award), Diébédo Francis Kéré (Burkina Faso / Germany - winner of the second edition of BSI Swiss Architectural Award), Xiaodong Li (China), Shelley McNamara (Ireland), Valerio Olgiati (Switzerland), Smiljan Radić (Chile): a highly representative group further enriched by two winners of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, Toyo Ito (Japan) and Paulo Mendes da Rocha (Brazil).
The candidates at the 2016 edition of the BSI Swiss Architectural Award were: Andrade Morettin Arquitetos (Brazil), Alejandro Aravena / Elemental (Chile), Arquitecturia (Spain), Eduardo Castillo (Chile), Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury / Urbana (Bangladesh), Santiago Cirugeda / Recetas Urbanas (Spain), DRDH Architects (UK), Sou Fujimoto (Japan), HARQUITECTES (Spain), Go Hasegawa (Japan), Grainne Hassett / Hassett Ducatez Architects (Ireland), Anna Heringer (Germany), Anne Holtrop (The Netherlands), Hua Li / TAO, Trace Architecture Office (China), Jun Igarashi (Japan), Sebastian Irarrázaval (Chile), Junya Ishigami (Japan), Alexia León (Peru), Inês Lobo (Portugal), Made in (Switzerland), Mokena Makeka / Makeka Design Lab (South-Africa), O-office Architects (China), Oualalou + Choi (France), Pezo von Ellrichshausen (Chile), Productora (Mexico), Sami Arquitectos (Portugal), Vo Trong Nghia (Vietnam), Zecc Architects (The Netherlands).
The prize was presented to the winner on 29 September 2016 at the Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio - Università della Svizzera italiana, during a ceremony which also marked the opening of the exhibition of the works submitted by the candidates, remaining open until 23 October.