Young Architect of the Year finalists announced

Six of the UK’s most innovative and progressive architects are in the running to win this year’s prestigious BD Young Architect of the Year Award (YAYA).

YAYA, the Young Architect of the Year Award recognises and rewards the most promising architect aged 40 or under. The judges will be looking for an architect with a strong design philosophy – not necessarily with a body of built work.

Will Alsop, SMC Alsop and member of the jury commented: “All the entries were very different this year reflecting the diversity of architecture in the early 21st Century.”

The winner will be announced at the Architect of the Year Award dinner ceremony at The Hilton, Park Lane, London on the 30 October.

The 2008 YAYA finalists are:
Feix & Merlin
Hackett Hall McKnight
Kraus Schoenberg
McChesney Architects
Serie Architects, (formerly Chris Lee Architects and Contemporary Urban)

AOC is a practice of architects, urbanists and cultural interpreters, established in 2003 by Tom Coward, Daisy Froud, Vincent Lacovara and Geoff Shearcroft. They aim to listen to, interpret and amplify people’s desires through different media. Their work includes architecture, teaching design studios, writing articles, tour guiding around Croydon, masterplanning in Southwark and Copenhagen, making installations for art galleries and games.

Feix & Merlin Architects was co-founded by Julia Feix and Tarek Merlin after being shortlisted for the RIBA competition for a new Café at Deal Pier, Kent in 2006. Having met while working for Will Alsop, the two principals have since gone on to win several awards including the Bathing Beauties International Design Competition to re-imagine the beach hut for the 21st Century.

Hackett Hall McKnight was established in 2003 by Mark Hackett and Alastair Hall when they were joint winners of the second stage of the international competition for the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. Ian McKnight joined in early 2008. Their work reflects a considered and deliberate response to the condition of working in Northern Ireland. With an office of 12 people, their current workload includes furniture design, private houses, housing, retail and office fit out, small city hotels and a major public building.

Kraus Schoenberg creates buildings and spaces with the urban cultural context. Central to their designs are people and how they perceive and use their surroundings and reality. The activity amidst historic areas and the peripheries of cities, building in conservation areas and the regeneration of buildings is their current occupation as part of the European urban regeneration.

McChesney Architects was founded in 2001 by Ian McChesney, formerly an associate with John McAslan & Partners. McChesney works largely single handed without partners or permanent staff and over time, has built up a significant portfolio of work. The practice has been sustained by a body of residential projects that have provided the financial stability to be more experimental in other areas. So far the practice has won four RIBA Competitions, two of which, the pavilion and wind shelters have now been built.

Serie Architects, formerly Chris Lee Architects and Contemporary Urban, is an international practice based in London and Mumbai. The practice is fascinated by the evolution and mutation of building types in today’s cities and the projection of these forms of intelligence into spatial solutions. Their work is closely linked to research conducted at the Architectural Association where practice principal, Christopher Lee holds the position of Diploma Unit Master. Kapil Gupta, principal of Serie India, is also director at the Urban Design Research Institute in Mumbai.

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