Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) has announced four finalists for the 2016 edition of the Wheelwright Prize, a $100,000 grant for travel-based architectural research awarded annually. The four finalists—Samuel Bravo (Santiago, Chile), Matilde Cassani (Milan), Anna Puigjaner (Barcelona, Spain), and Pier Paolo Tamburelli (Milan and Genoa, Italy)—reflect the reach of the Wheelwright Prize, which drew entrants from 45 countries in its fourth year as an open, international competition. The four finalists will present their research proposals at an open lecture on April 20 at the GSD.
Samuel Bravo is an architect practicing in Santiago, Chile as Samuel Bravo Arquitecto. Together with fellow Chilean architect Bernadette Devilat, Bravo began an initiative called Tarapacá Project in the aftermath of a 2005 earthquake in northern Chile, whose aim was to restore and preserve heritage sites that had suffered damage with vernacular building processes. Bravo's Wheelwright proposal, Cultural Frictions: A Transference, From Traditional Architecture to Contemporary Production aims to explore the tension between modern and vernacular architecture situated alongside various hydrographic basins around the world.
Matilde Cassani runs an eponymous practice in Milan. She holds a Ph.D in Spatial Planning and Urban Development from the Faculty of Architecture at Politecnico di Milano (also in Milan). As a consultant for a German sustainable development organization, Cassani spent several years in Sri Lanka reconstructing homes in a tsunami-affected zone. For the 2016 Wheelwright Prize, Cassani proposes Once in a Lifetime: The Architecture of Ritual in Pilgrimage Sites, which casts its focus on the singular spiritual journey a religious pilgrim might take as well as associated ceremonies and rituals.
Anna Puigjaner co-founded MAIO, a Barcelona-based practice, with partners Maria Charneco, Alfredo Lérida, and Guillermo López in 2005. MAIO participated in the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial in 2015 and was a finalist for MoMA PS1's 2014 Young Architects Program. Puigjaner serves as the editorial director of Quaderns d’Arquitectura i Urbanisme. Puigjaner's Wheelwright proposal, Kitchenless City: Architectural Systems for Social Welfare, investigates domestic environments from which kitchens have been removed as a means of exploring new ways of living.
Pier Paolo Tamburelli is a co-founder of Milan-based firm Baukuh with Paolo Carpi, Silvia Lupi, Vittorio Pizzigoni, Giacomo Summa, and Andrea Zanderigo. Baukuh, which was founded in 2004, has been a participant in many Biennales: Rotterdam in 2007 and 2011; Istanbul in 2012, Venice in 2008 and 2012, and the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial in 2015. Tamburelli has lectured at London's AA, the University of California at Berkeley, and Cornell University, and currently holds a visiting professorship at the Politecnico di Milano. Tamburelli's Wheelwright proposal is Wonders of the Modern World, which seeks to produce an atlas of ritualistic landscapes produced since the publication of Marc-Antoine Laugier's Essai sur l'Architecture in 1753.
The jury for the 2016 Wheelwright Prize includes standing members Mohsen Mostafavi, Intl. Assoc. AIA, dean of Harvard’s GSD, and K. Michael Hays, the GSD's Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory, who are joined by Eva Franch i Gilabert, chief curator and executive director of New York's Storefront for Art and Architecture; Jeannie Kim, assistant dean of academic programs and outreach at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto and winner of the Arthur C. Wheelwright Traveling Fellowship in 2002; Benjamin Prosky, executive director of the AIA's New York Chapter (AIANY); architect Rafael Moneo, Hon. FAIA; and Kiel Moe, AIA, associate professor of architecture and energy at the GSD.
Read more about the Wheelwright Prize.
This post has been updated with descriptions of each finalist's Wheelwright Prize proposal.