Recipients 2014


Diébédo Francis Kéré

Kérés Arbeiten sind direkte bottom-up-Hilfen zur Weiterentwicklung einer lebendigen Gesellschaft. Aus dieser Initiative und in dieser angemessenen Architektur entwickelt sich allmählich eine eigenständige, unabhängige Generation von Menschen. Kéré beweist damit, dass Architektur eine unmittelbare Daseinsberechtigung sowie eine profunde wie alltägliche Bedeutung für Menschen haben kann.
The Laudatio from Wilfried Wang | Download > hier
>>> Kéré Architecture ___________________________________________________________________

Juhani Pallasmaa

Pallasmaa’s career – now spanning over nearly six decades – encompasses the full spectrum of building, teaching, writing, editing, lecturing and curating. The true fruit of Pallasmaa’s prodigious life-work lies patently in his thinking about architecture: that is, in his prolific and continuously evolving writing, as well as in his teaching of the discipline. Not surprisingly, Pallasmaa takes a clear stance with regard to moral imperatives in our discipline, considering the responsible rôle that architecture plays in its conditioning of lives.


The Laudatio from Louisa Hutton | Download > hier

>>> Juhani Pallasmaa

Recipients 2012


Al Borde

Schelling Architecture Prize 2012
Al Borde Arquitectos

„Das Team aus Ecuador überzeugt durch poetische Deutung der konstruktiven Grundlagen des Bauens.“

Al Borde (Malu Borja, David Barragán, Esteban Benavides, Pascual Gangotena) – a four member team that was represented by David Barragàn and Pascual Gangotena – were recognized for the deftness with which they have been able to enthuse and actively involve people in the process of building, despite all difficulties. Awarding the prize to Ecuador is coupled with the hope that the spark by which participation is generated as result from enthusiasm and not from protest might be transferred to other cultural and economic circles.

>>> Al Borde Arquitectos


Schelling Architectural Theory Prize 2012
Kenneth Frampton

„His theoretical range encompasses a vastness that no other prominent thinker in architecture has yet achieved.“

The British-American architect and historian Kenneth Frampton is honored for his fundamental studies on tectonics and the architectonic large-scale form as predominant elements of urban landscapes. His theoretical range encompasses a vastness that no other prominent thinker in architecture has yet achieved. In addition, he will be honored for his accurate studies in which he has been analyzing current construction processes as well as the history of modern architecture since the early 19th century.

Recipients 2010


Schelling Architecture Prize 2010
Wang Shu & Lu Wenyu / Amateur Architecture Studio

“Wang and Lu recognize the need for a philosophical and conceptual foundation of architecture which must find its origin in the substance of building.”

In the shadow of the spectacular manifestos of China’s new architecture, Amateur Architecture Studio is demanding a return to the historical tradition of Chinese architecture in its dialogue between crafts and landscape. The office is consciously working with local resources and materials and derives its poetic and atmospheric energy.
Beyond the global boom of vain icons, architecture thus returns to the point from which it has always started anew: in the use of local resources and the incorporation of local traditions. This attitude is thus a paradigm for every other region of the world. Perhaps it is a paradox that such a powerful counter position is being formulated in the realm of the very world power which is accelerating global development today. Dietmar Steiner


Schelling Architectural Theory Prize 2010
Jean-Louis Cohen

“He thematizes building culture as a medium for self-understanding beyond national traditions.”

The work of the French architect, researcher, scientist and curator encompasses publications and exhibitions, which have substantively contributed to the understanding of the international connections between significant architects of the modern period and their influence. Between meticulous research and the graphic representation of the results in exhibitions and comprehensive publications, Jean-Louis Cohen, like almost no other researcher in the field of architectural and urban history, has succeeded to reach a broad public while at the same time speaking up for the quality of the designed environment as well as against its endangerment in the context of the generations and the changing eras. Werner Durth


Tom Heatherwick
Heatherwick’s approach to architecture is unusual, as on the one hand crafted materials are emphasized, while on the other hand prototyping and production processes are valued. Beyond this, Heatherwick evidently has the gift of enthusing people and the ability to use the various talents of his numerous collaborators to “bring things to life”. Louisa Hutton

Kaschka Knapkiewicz & Axel Fickert
The work of Katharina Knapkiewicz and Alexander Fickert is characterized by its absence of ideology and thus its relaxed treatment of the inheritance of modernist housing typologies. It is not the neutral domestic space that is being offered in their work, but a form of space that awakens the users’ undiscovered potential for inhabitation.
At the centre of this work stands the imagination of a type of architectural space in which, similar to the English landscape garden, a balance is sought between the perception of the moving subject and a subtle and highly differentiated geometric order. Walter Nägeli

Recipients 2008


Schelling Architecture Prize 2008
Jan Olav Jensen & Børre Skodvin

“A culturally holistic approach confers on their architecture a coherent, mediating force.”

In search of paradigms for an entire culture, be it for building culture, regional culture or even an entire culture for our time, Jensen & Skodvin are developing a coherent architecture for all these three components of culture. This coherence stems from the basic principles to which Jensen & Skodvin are adhering: their architecture has a mediating effect in the context of existing fabric, be it in relation to the given topography or built substance. As a result of this respect and understanding for this existing fabric the overall design reaches a poetic simultaneity. Wilfried Wang


Schelling Architectural Theory Prize 2008
Friedrich Achleitner


“He analysis a the highest level and evaluates in brilliant linguistic terms.”

 Achleitner has developed a special quality of precise analysis of buildings and over-arching development in architectural and urban history on the basis of a productive combination of literature and architectural criticism, which until now has shaped his rich oeuvre. Special mention should be made of the documentation on Austrian Architecture of the 20th Century, which is collected in three volumes and which has set the highest standards for historiography as well as for other fields. This comprehensive work is the result of many year’s research on the basis of careful evaluation of all accessible archival resources, personal visits of all building on site and their linguistically brilliant evaluation. Dietmar Steiner


Richard Kroeker
For Kroeker, the cultural context is a matrix from which intelligent solutions for future tasks can be developed. In this way he learns about materials and techniques from the indigenous people of the Canadian east coast, the Mi’cmaqs, which are then carried forward in his buildings.


Jürg Conzett
Comprehensive knowledge of engineering, passionate interest in the history of construction, fine sensibility for forms and materials as well as courage in matters of design all come together in the work of Jürg Conzett. Whether he designs on his own or in collaboration with architects, the captivating unity of structure and form are always surprising.


Recipients 2006


Schelling Architecture Prize 2006
Anne Lacaton & Jean Philippe Vassal

“They have succeeded in renewing architecture through an act of creative restraint.”

Anne Lacaton and Jean Philippe Vassal belong to the important representatives of today’s varied and ambitious French architecture scene and they open new positions within the international architectural debate. With their high level of economic and social responsibility, they are creating atmospherically dense, huamn spaces. The Architecture Centre Vienna had already come across their work at an early time.
Lacaton & Vassal are probably the most radical architects today. Their radicality is not driven by the invention of new forms, but by the constant questioning of the adequacy in the use of material means in order to produce the optimal atmospheres. It is fascinating to observe how they always keep in mind the richest spatial options as the goal, regardless of the kind of design commission, from the simple, cheap single family dwelling to the luxury hotel. In this regard they liberate themselves fundamentally from all traditional images and conceptions and how they constantly attempt to question conventions. At a time such as this, in which architecture is primarily regarded as a produces of spectacular images, this attitude must be understood as being downright provocative, if the renunciation of such images is being propagated as a solution.
In 2000, Lacton & Vassal were invited as the French contributors to the Architecture Biennale in venice. The motto for this was “Less esthetics – more ethics”. Lacaton & Vassal wanted to use the budget for this participation to buy water pumps for Africa and merely to document this process in their exhibition. That was too much for those responsible for the French pavillon, their participation was cancelled.

Their working method is equally radical as their architectural position. Nothing is documented in terms of a drawing: sketches might fixate them or their clients on initial images. Neither do they work with models as these could call for an external view or give rise to sculptural solutions. On the contrary, they are constantly expanding their working methods, searching for new technigques and processes in relation with the respective design commission. Dietmar Steiner


Schelling Architectural Theory Prize 2006
Werner Sewing

“His analytically incisive and honest assessment of contemporary architecture and urbanism is unique.”

In the international context, Werner Sewing may be considered as the most influential and important German language architectural and urban design critic. in England, in the United States and China, his analyses and theses on architecture and urban design are being met with a high degree of attention, which is conversely a result of his interest in international development. While it is often the case that in Germany the discourse is suffocating as a result of parochial narrowness, Sewing has been able to make larger connections thanks to his knowledge of economy, politics  and sociology. However, just because of the arguments on the international level or the interdisciplinary approach, Sewing does not smooth out the spectrum of issues. On the contrary, they serve to meticulously distinguish the influences from different cultural contexts and disciplines.
Werner Sewing’s engagement since the fall of the Berlin Wall cannot be overestimated. Being thoroughly committed to urban existence, his analyses and comments on urban development and architecture of the German capital remeined independent of all participating interest groups. Lobbyists, politicians, planners and architects were never able to find in him a fellow ally who could be instrumentalized. His rhetorical energy is feared. As an architectural and urban theoretician, he is suspicious of any kind of consensus, being formed in his thinking by Niklas Luhmann and much later by Max Weber. He is not so much radical as being committed to independent insight situated between pop and high culture.
If “new urbanism” is imported from the USA as a panacea, Werner Sewing disarms it by means of his profound knowledge of the term as an aesthetically and socially bogus claim and shows it to be in the German context as an attempt at ennobling a reactionary traditionalism. With great appetite for controversy, he analyzes everything behind the images, with which urban design and architecture are able to succeed, thanks to the questionble “iconic turn” – nevertheless paying tribute to the architects for their design competence. In his language-bound engagement, the need for contemporary architectural theory manifest itself in the best possible manner. Ursula Baus

Medallists: Alejandro Aravena, Titus Berhard, Sergison Bates; Uta  Hassler, Niklaus Kohler

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