Archiprix International started up in 2001 as an experiment in the context of 'Rotterdam, Cultural Capital of Europe 2001'.

Archiprix International started up in 2001 as an experiment in the context of 'Rotterdam, Cultural Capital of Europe 2001'. All design institutes in the fields of architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture throughout the world were invited to select and submit their best graduation projects. More than 140 educational organizations from all continents replied positively. The presentation of the world's best graduation work in the Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam furnished an inspiring picture of the current status of global architectural education.


Workshop Rotterdam 2001


The jury was composed of famous architects with different regions, active in the field of design and education. They shared the conviction that is was absolutely necessary to affirm the quest for a universal architectural language related to global problems, rather than to discover regional vernacular. Today the diversity of expression is homogenised by the complexity of the problems. In judging the enormous amount of projects the jury appreciated novelty and creativity, while giving highest esteem to inventive attitudes towards topical issues of worldwide concern. The primary needs and fundamental aspirations of our time have guided our choice.
Jo Coenen, chairman of the jury, Maastricht
Aaron Betsky, Rotterdam
Aurelio Galfetti, Mendrisio
Paolo Mendes da Rocha, São Paolo
Jury preparation and assistance: Martine de Maeseneer, Doesjka Majdandzic, Peter Trummer, Joris te Witt
Secretary of the jury: Gijs Wallis de Vries

In its choice the jury appreciates attitudes that correspond to the true necessities and aspirations of our time. We do not want to overestimate the real and existing values of regional vernacular architecture, because today mankind is facing the same problems everywhere.

If the problems are comparable, they are also very complex, and include local components. Globalisation has no model yet. For example, we have to find particular experiences that contribute to a new, general conscience of nature. We distinguished two conceptions:
- Working with nature, in a poetical or a scientific way;
- Updating secular experiences of building landscape as a human construct

Clearly, these territorial attitudes must start from the analysis of existing conditions. We are also intent on discovering visions that explore new forms of living. Crucial propositions concern the recuperation and re-use of human products and the transformation of the built environment. Our environment has always been a transformation of nature, but it will be more and more a transformation of manmade structures. In this respect, the concentration of the planetary city is urgent, and we are especially attracted by projects which use non-places and colonise interstitial spaces at different scales.

True to our love of architecture and unshaken belief in its force, we have added another theme to the three mentioned above. Briefly summarised:
1 The problem of constructing (urban) landscape with nature
2 The problem of constructing (urban) landscape integrating old experiences of constructing artificial territory
3 The problem of stopping the destruction of nature by making the concentration of human life in cities liveable and agreeable
4 In the mediation between natural support and artificial structure architecture continues to be an art with a great poetic force and a philosophical conscience of technology

These themes have merged from our discussion. In selecting the most outstanding designs, we have looked for the topical and the timeless, the tropical and the moderate, the simple and the complex, the beautiful and the sublime. There must be no misunderstanding as to our appreciation of the social dimensions of architecture and urban planning. In our opinion, the social in architecture implies an inevitable monumentality. It is in the nature and discipline of architecture to represent the social condition. Beyond ideology, the issue of architecture today is to face the huge impacts, both physical and mental, of the presence of mankind on earth.

The winning projects have distinguished themselves by one or more of the architectural virtues extolled above. It is not our intention to discuss the individual qualities of each project, as it would do no justice to all the other projects which provoked debate (often with even more outspoken opinions). The general considerations of this report should provide enough enlightening clues to our decision. We have not arrived at an equal distribution of prizes over the globe, which we regretted. Placing quality first, we were glad however to have been able to select projects representing one (or more) of the themes we discussed; that is, of poetically and ecologically building with nature, of reinventing secular traditions of manmade landscape, of intensifying and alleviating urban density, of striking an intelligent and moving balance between the architectural artifice and its natural support.

Decommissioning and re-use of oil and gas platforms in the Adriatic Sea; Danilo Romani and Daniela Brascugli, Italy
Emerging of the Form: Ecotouristic Project in Mejallones; Veronica Carvajal Cortes, Chile
Floating City, Jamie Bromley, England
Hotel in the desert, Israel, Alexandra Stage
House for a fiction character, James Bond, Jose Paulo Ferreira Rodrigues, Portugal
IMAGEbuilding, Jarrik Ouburg, Serge Schoemaker, the Netherlands
Rotterdam Central Station, Adam Collaitz Kurdahl, Denmark
Transtation, Atsuo Okishio, Japan
Urban Pause - depth of air -, Lars R van Es, USA

This was a fantastic pilot project and we all embraced it without political agenda or preconceptions regarding architectural schools or styles. We hope and trust that Archiprix International will gain enormous prestige, encouraging worldwide participation. We wish the organisers of the next Archiprix International a lot of success in realising the ambition to make it the most significant representation of the aspirations of graduating architects throughout the world!

Jo Coenen (chairman of the jury)
Rotterdam van Nelle factory, July 3rd 2001


Danilo Romani, Daniela Brascugli - Italy > Decommissioning and Re-using Oil and Gas Platforms
Veronica Carvajal Cortes - Chile > Emerging of the Form
Jamie Bromley - England > Floating City
Alexandra Stage - Austria > Hotel in the Desert, Israel
Jose Paulo, Ferreira Rodrigues - Portugal > House for a Fiction Character, James Bond
Jarrik Ouburg, Serge Schoemaker - Netherlands > IMAGEbuilding
Adam Collaitz Kurdahl - Denmark > Rotterdam Central Station
Atsuo Okishio - Japan > Transtation
Lars R. van Es - United States > Urban Pause - depth of air -