The Prize was presented at Triennale di Milano by Carlo Pesenti, Italcementi CEO, Martha Thorne, a member of the arcVision Prize Jury and Executive Director of the Pritzker Prize, and Stefano Casciani, arcVision Prize Scientific Director.
The arcVision Prize – Women and Architecture is an international social award for female designers instituted by the Italcementi Group, from 2013, aimed at recognizing every year a female architect whose research and design work displays significant qualitative excellence and attention to the core issues of construction—technology, sustainability, social and cultural implications—with preference for women working in conditions of particular complexity in terms of type of project and local conditions.
The nominees are selected by a group of professionals indicated by Advisors and then assessed by a technical-cultural Commission, who makes the final selection of nominees and presents them to an international Jury.
Profile of the women designers
Ideally, the designer who may be recommended to compete for the final Award should:
– have designed at least one significant building (either built or under construction) in the sector of social infrastructures (education, health, culture, information, services in general) entailing essentially innovative solutions and values from the functional and technical point of view, with particular attention to sustainability topics;
– have possibly gained research experience—in the field or in a teaching/academic sphere—in the development of innovative solutions in building systems.
– A two-week workshop or research stay at i.lab, the Research and Innovation Center of Italcementi Group in Bergamo, designed by Richard Meier, which is also intended to be a place of meeting and exchange of innovative technologies and practices for an eco-friendly world.
– A monetary award of €50,000, part of which the winner may graciously decide to donate to social architecture programs of her choice.
Why the arcVision Prize?
The arcVision Prize is intended as a contribution to the development of a sustainability culture sensitive to women and to women’s specific approach to architecture, with special attention to people, the town and the environment. Contemporary architecture has fostered the development of an increasingly important role for female designers. The emergence of new female architects is one of the most interesting social and cultural trends in project design in the construction sector.
The Prize is part of a wider cultural program centered around arcVision, the magazine published by the Group since 1997 to create closer ties between corporate and architectural culture. Over the years, the program has produced books, a special portal, international exhibitions and conferences dealing with architectural materials, structures, technologies and systems. The Group’s aim is to flank its industrial operations with a commitment to research and education, promoting the building construction culture as an essential tool to reach levels of operating excellence.
In the construction materials sector, this commitment has led to the development of new products with a high environmental value, overcoming the conceptual limit generally placed on cement, regarded as a non-differentiated material lacking added value.
Italcementi Group and the Architecture
The Italian company has always paid careful attention to Architecture, as a tool for sustainable transformation of the territory, and to Innovation, as a form of workshop encouraging dialogue among all players in the building community. The Group has always been at the side of the main national and international architects: from experimental work on materials with Gio Ponti and Pier Luigi Nervi for the Pirelli skyscraper and the Vatican Audience Hall, to cooperation with Richard Meier for the Dives in Misericordia Church in Rome and the new Italcementi i.lab, from the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao with Frank O. Gehry, to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France with Dominique Perrault, and the MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome, with Zaha Hadid.