On Wednesday 22 May, WAN hosted an exhibition and prize-giving ceremony at Arup’s London offices, attended by industry professionals and international recipients of the renowned award. The WAN 21 for 21 Award, in partnership with international engineering firm Arup, is an ongoing quest to discover the next 21 shining stars of architecture and design for the 21st century.
In this year’s programme our jury panel selected five more practices to join the ranks: Longhi, 5468796, FGMF, Agence Search and Rural Urban Framework (RUF). We were delighted to welcome Lourenço Gimenes of FGMF and Thomas Dubuisson and Caroline Barat of Agence Search to the London event, who joined us from Brazil and France respectively.
The event was attended by Javier Quintana, Dean of the IE University in Madrid, who said: “Promoting architecture for the younger generation I think is one of the most important things at this point. It seems that in the profession, only when you’re established do you have certain opportunities so from my point of view, bringing the new flock to a place like this where you can actually promote what they’re doing is one of the best ways to achieve what they want in the future.”
After some avid networking and pouring over of the exhibition boards from our esteemed guests, the attendees were given a series of short presentations from Paul Nuttall, Leading of Building Engineering at Arup, Tessa Schubert, Events Director at WAN, and Martha Thorne, Chair of the Pritzker Prize Jury and member of the WAN jury panel.
Martha Thorne then joyfully presented Lourenço Gimenes, Thomas Dubuisson and Caroline Barat with their prizes, quipping: “Each year I present the Pritzker Prize to the chosen laureate and presenting this award for young architects is just as exciting as the Pritzker Prize.” High praise indeed!
On receiving the certificate for the 21 for 21 Award, Caroline Barat enthused: “It’s super exciting for us…especially because when we saw the competition we thought ‘well we just have to try’ and then step by step we realised it was working out! It also gives us strength to move forward and that’s something that’s really positive especially for a young office to say ‘Okay that can happen and can work out’”.
This sentiment was echoed by Lourenço Gimenes of FGMF who said: “It’s really an honour to be here, especially among such competitors - a very high level of competitors. It’s great because as young architects and young practices we don’t necessarily get the proper means to show our work and to get recognised so it’s also great to show people the story of our work and believe in our ideas and make them invest in us.”