First Architecture Prize awarded at the RWA’s Annual Open Exhibition

Congratulations to London-based, Puerto Rican architect José Garrido

Outstanding penmanship and exquisite detail were the winning ingredients for the first ever Architecture Prize at the RWA Open Exhibition. Announced last night (Monday 15 October) during a private view at RWA’s Queen’s Road Gallery, the Architecture Prize recognises the outstanding talent within the urban design community.

The winner of the inaugral award was London-based, Puerto Rican architect José Garrido with Michael Lewis, an architectural student of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, taking second place.

Entitled ‘Architectural Portraits’, the winning artwork is a wonderful series of jewel-like miniatures. Speaking of the piece José Garrido explains;

I am an architect with an interest in exploring the role of visual arts in the understanding of architectural spaces. The series Architectural Portraits uses familiar gestures to illustrate basic architectural principles: void vs mass, blurred boundaries, tension vs compression, aperture vs enclosure.”

Winner José Garrido is no stranger to awards.  For the last 11 years José has been working for acclaimed practice Ian Ritchie Architects in London, and been a leading team member on various award winning projects including the opera theatre at the Royal Academy of Music (RIBA London Building of the Year) and the redevelopment of Mercers Yard at Covent Garden.

Runner-up Michael Lewis also shows international promise. His beautiful submission ‘Sketchbook of an Architecture Student’, which can be leafed through in the gallery, displays a collection of hand-drawn illustrations of Porto, compiled over a 9-month period whilst studying in the city. This award adds to an impressive collection for such an early-career architect, including the European Architectural Medal and nominations for the RIBA Silver Medal and the Archiprix International Prize.

The Architecture Prize is the culmination of a new partnership between the RWA and the Architecture Centre to champion architecture and design across the South West. As part of this refocus there is an Architecture Room in this year’s 166th Annual Open Exhibition (open 7 October – 25 November) and the Architecture Prize.

The Prize winners were selected by a judging panel, headed by UWE Bristol’s Head of Department Architecture & Built Environment, Elena Marco and Architecture Centre’s Chair of Trustees, Nick Childs. Speaking at the award evening, Elena Marco said the decision was unanimous by all judges, the winners ‘marked themselves out by their outstanding attention to detail’ and communicated ‘what architecture is and can be’.

RWA Architecture Room and Open Exhibition 
The Prize winners reside in the Architecture Room of the RWA’s Open Exhibition. Visit the winners alongside a range of beautiful works at the RWA until 25 November (open Tuesday – Sunday). Find out more on the RWA website.

The Architecture Prize is kindly sponsored by Forbo Flooring.