Swiss Architectural Award 2020
Institutional Communication Service
17 November 2020
The Fondazione Teatro dell’architettura is pleased to announce that Bruther (France) is the winner of the seventh edition of the Swiss Architectural Award
- The Parisian architecture office Bruther (Stéphanie Bru, Alexandre Theriot) wins the seventh edition of the Swiss Architectural Award, characterised by the highest number of candidates – 33 from 19 countries – since the award was established.
- The seventh edition of the Swiss Architectural Award also marks an important development. Promoted for the first time by the Fondazione Teatro dell’architettura, this edition brings together the three Swiss Schools of Architecture (Università della Svizzera italiana – Academy of Architecture; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne – ENAC, Section d'Architecture, Federal Institute of Technology Zurich – Departement Architektur), thus confirming the Award's national importance.
- With this new cooperation, the Swiss Architectural Award confirms it is one of the best endowed and most prestigious architectural awards, by virtue of an advisory committee consisting of internationally renowned architects and critics.
- The CHF 100,000 prize will be presented to the winner in Spring 2021 at the Auditorium of the Teatro dell’architettura in Mendrisio. The ceremony will launch the exhibition of the works submitted by the candidates, which will be held at the Teatro dell’architettura, Università della Svizzera italiana.
The studio Bruther (Paris, France), founded by Stéphanie Bru and Alexandre Thériot, is the winner of the seventh edition of the Swiss Architectural Award, a biennial international architecture prize promoted since 2019 by the Fondazione Teatro dell’architettura, which gathered the legacy of BSI Architectural Foundation.
The seventh edition of the award brought together the three Swiss Schools of Architecture: Università della Svizzera italiana - Academy of Architecture; EPF Lausanne - ENAC, Section d'Architecture, ETH Zurich - Departement Architektur, represented on the jury chaired by Mario Botta. The Award benefits from the organizational support of the Università della Svizzera italiana - Academy of Architecture.
With this new cooperation, which reaffirms the Award’s national importance, the Swiss Architectural Award confirms it is one of the best endowed and most prestigious architectural awards, by virtue of an advisory committee consisting of internationally renowned architects and critics.
The Swiss Architectural Award aims to promote a kind of architecture that is sensitive to contemporary ethical, aesthetic and ecological issues and can facilitate public debate. The prize is awarded to architects not older than 50 years (in the year in which the Award is launched), without distinction of nationality, who have completed at least three significant works.
The prize, which amounts to CHF 100,000, will be presented to the winner in Spring 2021 at the Auditorium of the Teatro dell’architettura, Università della Svizzera italiana, Mendrisio, during a ceremony which will also mark the opening of the exhibition of the works submitted by the candidates.
Bruther was selected among 33 candidates from 19 countries, thus winning the edition with the largest number of participants since the award was established in 2007, a fact which reaffirms the function of seismograph of the most fruitful contemporary experiences, which the Swiss Architectural Award aims to fulfil, thanks to the excellence of the committee of advisors who nominate the candidates.
The jury unanimously conferred the Swiss Architectural Award 2020 on Bruther for the Cultural and Sports Centre Saint-Blaise, Paris (2010-2014), the New Generation Research Centre, Caen (2013-2015) and the Residence for researchers "Maison Julie-Victoire Daubié", Paris (2014-2018) - see photo gallery.
For the Jury "The three works presented by Bruther (Stéphanie Bru and Alexandre Theriot) deal, with great coherence and quality, with the theme of the periphery (and specifically, the periphery of French cities), recognised as the nerve centre where the contradictions of our society manifest themselves with disruptive force. In difficult contexts, marked by social tensions and characterised by anonymous if not degraded spaces, Bruther intervenes with an architecture characterised by a profound civic demand, which aims to restore dignity to these places and their inhabitants".
The jury recognised Bruther's work as fully in line with the objectives of the Swiss Architectural Award, which aims to encourage public debate on the role of architecture in contemporary society through the involvement of the three Swiss schools of architecture, and more urgently in this period of crisis.
The jury of the seventh edition was chaired by Mario Botta and composed of Riccardo Blumer (Director of the Accademia di architettura, USI), João Luís Carrilho da Graça (Lisbon), Dieter Dietz (Director of the Section d’Architecture, EPFL-ENAC) and Christophe Girot (Dean of the Departement Architektur, ETHZ).
The 2020 candidates for the seventh edition were nominated by a committee of advisor consisting of Manuel Aires Mateus, Lisbon (Portugal); Solano Benitez, Asunción (Paraguay); Angelo Bucci, São Paulo (Brazil); Marianne Burkhalter, Zurich (Switzerland); Sean Godsell, Melbourne (Australia); Steven Holl, New York (USA); Junya Ishigami, Tokyo (Japan); Bijoy Jain, Mumbai (India); Shelley McNamara, Dublin (Ireland); Valerio Olgiati, Flims (Switzerland); Adolph Stiller, Vienna (Austria); Elisa Valero, Granada (Spain); Paolo Zermani, Parma (Italy).
The candidates in the 2020 edition of the Swiss Architectural Award were:
Al Borde (Pascual Gangotena, David Barragán, Marialuisa Borja, Esteban Benavides; Ecuador); Arrhov Frick (Johan Arrhov, Henrik Frick, Sweden); Bernardo Bader (Austria); Barbas Lopes Arquitectos (Patricia Barbas, Diogo Lopes, Portugal); Tatiana Bilbao (Mexico); Bruther (Stéphanie Bru, Alexandre Theriot, France); Riccardo Butini (Italy); Carmody Groarke (Kevin Carmody, Andy Groarke, England); Ricardo Carvalho (Portugal); Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury (Bangladesh); DECA Architecture (Alexandros Vaitsos, Carlos Loperena, Greece); Angela Deuber (Switzerland); Edition Office (Kim Bridgland, Aaron Roberts, Australia); Estudio MMX (Jorge Arvizu, Ignacio del Rio Emmanuel Ramirez, Diego Ricalde, Mexico); Nick Gelpi (USA); Guidotti Architetti (Giacomo Guidotti, Riccarda Guidotti, Switzerland); Carla Juaçaba (Brazil); langarita-navarro arquitectos (Maria Langarita, Victor Navarro, Spain); MAPA (Luciano Rocha de Andrades, Matías Carballal Zeballos, Andrés Gobba Hannay, Maurício Lopez Franco, Silvio Lagranha Machado, Brazil); Shingo Masuda+Katsuhisa Otsubo (Japan); Daniel Moreno Flores (Ecuador); Erika Nakagawa (Japan); OFFICE (Kersten Geers, David Van Severen, Belgium); Camilo Rebelo (Portugal); Robust Architecture Workshop (Milinda Pathiraja, Ganga Ratnayake, Sri Lanka); Sabin Blanco Architects (Patricia Sabín Díaz, Enrique M. Blanco Lorenzo, Spain); SIAA_ (Cesar Shundi Iwamizu, Brazil); Taylor and Hinds Architects (Poppy Taylor, Mat Hinds, Australia); Ted’A Arquitectes (Irene Pérez Piferrer, Jaume Mayol Amengual, Spain); Terra+Tuma (Danilo Terra, Fernanda Sakano, Pedro Tuma, Juliana Terra, Brazil); Francesca Torzo (Italy); Christian Wassmann (USA); Xu Tiantian (China).
For all the information on the current and previous editions please refer to www.swissarchitecturalaward.com.
Founded in 2007 in Paris by Stéphanie Bru (1973) and Alexandre Theriot (1972), Bruther works in the fields of architecture, research, education, urbanism and landscape. Bruther aims “to understand and to accept conceptual and constructive needs but also to be able to back down and unexpectedly encounter new experimentation and research areas. Our projects suggest a delicate balance between strategy and form, rigour and freedom, specific and generic, immediacy and evolutivity. Considering the programme in its future, our projects stand for open infrastructures that fit an abundance of context possibilities and a wide malleability of uses”.
Before receiving the Swiss Architectural Award 2020, Bruther was awarded the Prix de l’Équerre d’argent 2016 (for the New Generation Research Centre, Caen), the Gold Award, Best Architects Awards 2016 (for the Cultural and Sports Centre Saint-Blaise, Paris), and nominated in 2015 for the Mies van der Rohe Award (for the Cultural and Sports Centre Saint-Blaise, Paris).
Stéphanie Bru and Alexandre Theriot lectured at various architecture schools worldwide, as Associate Professor of Architecture & Design. Alexandre Theriot currently teaches in the Department of Architecture, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Switzerland.
Fondazione Teatro dell’architettura
At the origin of the Teatro dell’architettura of Università della Svizzera italiana, a tool designed to fuel disciplinary debate, to strengthen the educational offer of the USI and the Academy of Architecture in particular, and to encourage a wider audience to become more aware of the crucial issues of contemporary architectural culture, the Fondazione Teatro dell’architettura has been the promoter of the Swiss Architectural Award since 2019. The Foundation, based in Mendrisio, is chaired by Mario Botta.
The Fondazione Teatro dell’architettura aims, in particular, to offer visibility to the new transdisciplinary interests that increasingly intervene in the design process and redefine the social role of architecture. The complex issues facing contemporary society - commitment to the environment, the availability of energy resources, drastic climate change and new complex social realities - strongly condition the dynamics linked to identity aspects at a territorial level, so much so that new approaches and a new disciplinary sensitivity are needed in the field of architecture, urban studies and landscape design.
Among the activities promoted by the Fondazione Teatro dell’architettura are the exhibitions “Louis Kahn and Venice” (12 October 2018 - 20 January 2019; in collaboration with the USI - Academy of Architecture), “Koen Vanmechelen. The Worth of Life 1982-2019” (4 October 2019 - 2 February 2020; in collaboration with the USI - Academy of Architecture), “Le Corbusier’s early drawings. 1902-1916” (19 September 2020 - 24 January 2021; in collaboration with the USI - Academy of Architecture).