Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

O’Donnell + Tuomey in last four for RIBA International Prize

  • Comment

O’Donnell + Tuomey’s limestone-clad addition to the Central European University in Budapest has been shortlisted for the RIBA International Prize 2018

The first phase of a wider redevelopment of the Hungarian university’s historic campus, the 35,000m² scheme is down to the last four battling it out for the biennial, global accolade.

Also shortlisted are: a boarding school on the edge of the Amazon by Aleph Zero + Rosenbaum; a virtuoso music school in Tokyo by Nikken Sekkei; and an eco-skyscraper in Milan by Boeri Studio.

Irish architects Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey of O’Donnell + Tuomey described their university scheme as a ‘special project’ for the practice, and ‘an open campus for a liberal-minded university’. They said: ‘The project took us on a journey of discovery into the architectural, cultural and urban morphology of Budapest, involving us in sometimes sympathetic, sometimes controversial discussions with the city authorities during the design process.

‘We wanted the building to fit into its context, but to fit in by standing out. Now that it’s built, the project seems to be widely accepted and well understood as belonging to its place; a new part of the old city.’

The four finalists for the prize were chosen from a longlist of 62 projects revealed last December (which included Amanda Levete Architects’ Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon, Heatherwick Studio’s Zeitz MOCAA art gallery in Cape Town, and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ 8 Chifley Square scheme in Sydney.

Speaking about the RIBA International List 2018, RIBA president, Ben Derbyshire said: ‘The marker of a truly successful building is the positive contribution it makes to its local context and people. All four of these projects thoroughly demonstrate visionary, innovative thinking and excellence of execution, and positively impact the communities they have been designed for.’

He added: ‘While these four buildings are in different time zones and continents, like all great architecture they share common qualities. Of particular note is their sensitivity to their local environment and their responsiveness to the particular needs of the people that will use them. I am pleased that three of the four projects are education buildings, providing innovative and inspiring spaces for young people to live, learn and achieve their potential.

‘The fourth scheme is a bold approach to the greening of high-density urban housing that is already inspiring other cities.’

The Grand Jury is led by world-renowned architect, Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio and Renfro, alongside Rural Urban Framework’s Joshua Bolchover, Gloria Cabral of Gabinete de Arquitectura, Peter Clegg of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and SANAA’s founding partner Kazuyo Sejima.

The inaugural RIBA International Prize in 2016 was handed to Grafton Architects for its UTEC (Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología) in Lima, Peru.

This year’s winner will be announced on 29 November.

The 2018 prize finalists

Central European University - Phase 1 by O’Donnell + Tuomey

3. central european university phase 1, o donnell + tuomey, photograph by tam bujnovszky

Shortlisted for RIBA International Prize 2018 - Central European University, phase 1 by O’Donnell + Tuomey

As part of a major redevelopment of the Central European University, the architects have added a limestone-clad building to a street in the heart of Budapest. Drawing on the city’s unique vernacular, the new design skilfully knits together several historical buildings and courtyards to create an internal sequence of spaces and routes. The project brings a total of 35,000m² of new space to the inner-city campus, and consists of a library, auditorium, teaching and learning facilities, study rooms, and a café.

Children Village, Brazil, by Rosenbaum + Aleph Zero

10. children village, rosenbaum + aleph zero, photograph by leonardo finotti

Children Village, Brazil, by Rosenbaum + Aleph Zero

Children Village, located in a rural area on the outskirts of the Amazon, provides boarding accommodation for 540 senior school children at the Canuanã School. The building is largely made from locally-sourced timber, with the Brazilian architects exploiting the abundant natural resources surrounding the site in an innovative way, thus promoting both economic and environmental sustainability.

A variety of interacting spaces – from dormitories and reading spaces to balconies and hammocks – were designed together with the students in order to improve their quality of life and refine the bond between them and the school. Children Village is an exemplar of how architecture can stimulate its users, as well as the surrounding community, in a region rich in natural resources but poor in educational opportunities.

Toho Gakuen School of Music by Nikken Sekkei

11. toho gakuen school of music, nikken sekkei, photograph by harunori noda

Shortlisted for RIBA International Prize 2018 - Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo by Nikken Sekkei

Toho Gakuen School of Music is a famous music college in the suburbs of Tokyo. This new open-plan campus replaced an earlier building on the site, which had a conventional arrangement of cellular practice rooms along a corridor with no natural light. Conversely, this virtuoso piece of architecture has an almost village-like quality with independent teaching spaces, neat communal spaces, and lots of natural light thanks to exposure to the exterior.

Guided by the imperative of optimum acoustics, the Japanese architects have ensured that each lesson room has a proportion and size requested by each instrument, and is arranged with a void space in between, such as a corridor, to provide acoustic separation. As a result, music from each room can be heard in the corridor, but in the rooms there is silence.

Vertical forest (Il Bosco Verticale) by Boeri Studio

18. vertical forest, boeri studio, photograph by giovanni nardi

Shortlisted for RIBA International Prize 2018 - Il Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest), Milan, by Boeri Studio

Vertical forest is the second of two residential towers in Milan representing a new approach to high-rise buildings in which trees and humans coexist. The project consists of two towers of 80m and 112m, planted with almost 17,000 trees, shrubs and plants. This provides the equivalent greenery of 20,000m² of forest and undergrowth.

A project of urban reforestation, Vertical Forest has wide-reaching environmental benefits. Not only does it increase biodiversity by repopulating the city’s flora and fauna, but it creates its own microclimate to filter fine particles and improve air quality. The building also presents a smart solution to control urban expansion, with each tower constituting the equivalent of a peripheral area of single family houses and buildings of around 50,000m².

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.