Four projects from Europe, Asia and South America have reached the final round of the RIBA's international competition
Four buildings from Milan, Budapest, Brazil and Tokyo have been chosen for the shortlist for the RIBA’s International Prize 2018. After drawing up a fascinating longlist of 20 ‘transformative’ buildings across the globe, the jury is now faced with the difficult task of choosing a single winner.
The most familiar name to a UK audience on the shortlist is Dublin-based O'Donnell + Tuomey, the principals of which are RIBA Royal Gold Medal winners. Their project, phase 1 of the Central European University in Budapest, has taken on a symbolic power as the university battles for survival, ironic for a George Soros-funded institution based on the principles of ‘Open Society’. The masterplan shows a series of linked courtyards, with facades that work within tight local rules and are articulated by erosion of the limestone.
Nikken Sekkei’s Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo is the second of three education buildings on the shortlist. The music rooms themselves are externally visible as volumes, breaking up the scale. In Milan, Boeri Studio has designed two towers with a combined area of 28,000m2 – Il Bosco Verticale, or vertical forest. Will the greenery survive the extremes of the high life? Two years spent testing plants to see which thrived suggests they will. Could this model counter urban sprawl? Boeri Studio hopes so.
Children Village in Formoso do Araguaia in the north of Brazil, designed by Rosenbaum + Aleph Zero, is the made up of two boarding houses for disadvantaged children from rural backgrounds. It is defined by a deep airy timber canopy that oversails other accommodation in each building.
In 2016 the inaugural prize was awarded to Irish practice Grafton Architects for its university building UTEC (Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología) in Lima, Peru. The winner will be chosen by an international jury chaired by Elizabeth Diller, founding partner of Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, and will be announced in late November.